The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that U.S. Army Pfc. Francis P. Martin, 25, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, killed during World War II, was accounted for June 21, 2022.
In January 1945, Martin was assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division. The unit had penetrated the German lines near Reipertswiller, France, which left its flanks open to German forces. On Jan. 16, Martin was on a truck convoy bringing rations to the front lines. The convoy was ambushed, and Martin was not among the men who escaped. Over the next few days, the Germans surrounded the 157th forces, preventing any search for Martin or the recovery of his body. With no evidence in captured German records that he survived the ambush or was held as a prisoner of war, the War Department issued a finding of death on Jan. 17, 1946.
Beginning in 1947, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC), the organization that searched for and recovered fallen American personnel in the European Theater, searched the area around Reipertswiller, finding 37 unidentified sets of American remains, but it was unable to identify any of them as Martin. He was declared non-recoverable on Oct. 15, 1951.
DPAA historians have been conducting on-going research into Soldiers missing from combat around Reipertswiller, and found that Unknown X-6373 Neuville, buried at Henri-Chappelle American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site near Liège, Belgium, could be associated with Martin. X-6373 was disinterred in August 2021 and transferred to the DPAA Laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for analysis.
To identify Martin’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used Y chromosome DNA (Y-STR) and autosomal DNA (auSTR) analysis.
Martin’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at Epinal American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Dinozé, France, along with others still missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
Martin will be buried on a date to be determined, in Arlington National Cemetery.
For family and funeral information, contact the Army Casualty Office at (800) 892-2490.
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 or find us on social media at www.facebook.com/dodpaa or https://www.linkedin.com/company/defense-pow-mia-accounting-agency.
Martin’s personnel profile can be viewed at https://dpaa-mil.sites.crmforce.mil/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt000001e5Dk4EAE.