The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Pvt. Donald E. Brown, 24, of Thompson, Iowa, accounted for on June 20, 2018, will be buried October 6 in his hometown. In July 1944, Brown was a member of Company A, 745th Tank Battalion, fighting in support of the 1st Infantry Division in the European Theater, in World War II. Brown was killed in action on July 28, 1944, when his M-4 Sherman tank was destroyed by enemy fire near Cambernon, France.
Following the close of hostilities, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC) searched for and disinterred the remains of U.S. service members who were killed in battle.
In July, 1947, an investigation located remains in a tank from Brown’s battalion. The remains, unable to be identified, were designated Unknown X-452 Blosville and were interred in Normandy American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer, France.
Following thorough research and analysis of American Soldiers missing from ground combat, as well as receiving family requests, the Department of Defense and American Battle Monuments Commission disinterred X-452 in August 2017 and accessioned the remains to the DPAA laboratory.
To identify Brown’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) and Y-chromosome (Y-STR) DNA analysis, anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.
DPAA is grateful to the American Battle Monuments Commission for their partnership in this recovery.
Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. Currently there are 72,813 service members (approximately 26,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable) still unaccounted for from World War II. Brown’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the Brittany American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Saint James, France, along with the others missing from WWII. Although interred as an Unknown in Normandy American Cemetery, Brown’s grave was meticulously cared for over the past 70 years by the ABMC. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at www.dpaa.mil, find us on social media at www.facebook.com/dodpaa or call (703) 699-1420/1169.