Soldier Accounted For From World War II (Dickson, M.)

Release No: 18-234 Dec. 13, 2018
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WASHINGTON — The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Army Pfc. Marvin E. Dickson, 19, of Indianapolis, killed during World War II, was accounted for on Sept. 27, 2018.

In November, 1944, Dickson was a member of Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division. He was tasked with facilitating communication among various battle elements by laying telephone wire between headquarters and outposts in the Hürtgen Forest in Germany. Dickson was reportedly killed in the early morning hours of Nov. 13, 1944, when he and other Soldiers moved to the front lines to reestablish broken telephone communications. According to witnesses, one man was killed and three were wounded. However, surviving members could not confirm Dickson’s death, nor provide the exact location to where he was killed. He was subsequently listed as missing in action. In Nov. 14, 1945, his status was amended to killed in action.

After the war, the American Graves Registration Command extensively searched the Hürtgen Forest, to locate Dickson’s remains. Unable to make a correlation with any remains found in the area, he was declared non-recoverable.

In April 1947, a set of remains was recovered from District #21 of the Raffelsbrand sector of the Hürtgen Forest. The remains were sent to the central processing point at Neuville, Belgium. They were unable to be identified, were designated X-5406, and buried at Neuville American Cemetery.

Based upon the original recovery location of X-5406, a DPAA historian determined that there was a possible association between the remains and Dickson. In April 2017, the Department of Defense and American Battle Monuments Commission disinterred X-5406 and accessioned the remains to the DPAA laboratory for identification.

To identify Dickson’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used Y-chromosome DNA (Y-STR) analysis, dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.

DPAA is grateful the American Battle Monuments Commission for their partnership in this mission.

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. Currently there are 72,771 service members (approximately 26,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable) still unaccounted for from World War II. Dickson’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the Netherlands American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Margraten, Netherlands, along with the others missing from WWII. Although interred as an Unknown, Dickson’s grave was meticulously cared for by ABMC for 70 years. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

For family contact information, contact the Army Casualty Office at (800) 892-2490.

Dickson will be buried June 8, 2019, in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

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.