The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Army Pfc. Clifford M. Mills, 29, of Troy, Indiana, killed during World War II, was accounted for on Jan. 29, 2019.
In September 1944, Mills was a member of the 319th Glider Field Artillery Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, which participated in Operation Market Garden, the invasion of the German-occupied Netherlands. On Sept. 18, 1944, Mills was reported missing in action in the vicinity of Wyler and Zyfflich, Germany.
Because of enemy control of the area, an immediate search for Mills was not possible. After the war, the Army found no evidence that Mills had survived the landing or been captured.
Following the end of hostilities, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC), U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps, was tasked with investigating and recovering deceased and missing American personnel in the European Theater. During the course of these operations, units recovered thousands of unknown sets of remains. One set, designated Unknown X-2566 Neuville, was recovered from an isolated grave near a downed glider. The remains could not be identified and were subsequently buried as an Unknown at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial in Hombourg, Belgium.
Following thorough analysis of military records and AGRC documentation by DPAA historians and scientists, which suggested a strong association between X-2566 Neuville and Mills, the remains were disinterred in June 2017 and sent to DPAA for analysis.
To identify Mills’ remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis, dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.
DPAA is grateful to 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 72,742 service members (approximately 26,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable) still unaccounted for from World War II. Mills’ name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Netherlands American Cemetery in Margraten, Netherlands, an American Battle Monuments Commission site, along with others who are missing from WWII. Although interred as an "unknown" his grave was meticulously cared for over the past 70 years by the American Battle Monuments Commission. 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.
Mills will be buried March 30, 2019, in Troy, 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.