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| Aug. 19, 2022
Soldier Accounted For From World War II (Alexander, R.)
WASHINGTON – The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Army Pfc. Robert L. Alexander, 27, of Tolley, North Dakota, killed during World War II, was accounted for June 21, 2022.
In July 1944, Alexander was a member of the 105th Infantry Regiment, 27th Infantry Division, fighting the Japanese on Saipan in the Mariana Islands. Alexander was killed July 7 when the Japanese general on Saipan ordered his forces into a mass suicide, or “banzai,” attack against the 105th's lines.
Following the end of the war, the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) was tasked with investigating and recovering missing American personnel in the Pacific Theater. They searched for and disinterred remains on Saipan, but could not identify any as Alexander. He was declared non-recoverable in September 1949.
Remains, designated as Unknown X-27 27th Infantry Division Cemetery, were recovered from Saipan and interred in the Fort William McKinley Cemetery, now the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in the Philippines.
After thorough historical research, it was determined that X-27 could likely be identified. On Jan. 22, 2019, Unknown X-27 was disinterred and sent to the DPAA Laboratory at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, for analysis.
To identify Alexander’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.
Alexander’s name is recorded in the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, along with the others who are still missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
Alexander will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, at a date yet to be determined.
For family and funeral information, contact the Army Casualty office at (800) 892-2490.
DPAA is grateful to the American Battle Monuments Commission for their partnership in this mission.
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 https://www.linkedin.com/company/defense-pow-mia-accounting-agency.
Alexander’s personnel profile can be viewed at https://dpaa-mil.sites.crmforce.mil/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt0000000XfDdEAK.