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| Aug. 31, 2022
Soldier Accounted For From World War II (Hofman, D.)
WASHINGTON – The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that U.S. Army Pfc. Donald Hofman, 19, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, killed during World War II, was accounted for July 8, 2022.
In January 1945, Hofman was assigned to Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division. Elements of the unit were supporting five companies attempting to secure terrain near Reipertswiller, France, when they were surrounded by German forces while being pounded by artillery and mortar fire. The surrounded companies were given the order to attempt a break-out on Jan. 20, but only two men made it through German lines. The rest were either captured or killed. Hofman was among those killed, but his body could not be recovered because of the fighting.
Beginning in 1946, 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 Hofman. He was declared non-recoverable on May 22, 1951.
DPAA historians have been conducting on-going research into Soldiers missing from combat around Reipertswiller, and found that Unknown X-6376 Neuville, buried at Ardennes American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Neuville-en-Condroz, Belgium, could be associated with Hofman. X-6376 was disinterred in July 2021 and transferred to the DPAA Laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for analysis.
To identify Hofman’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), Y chromosome DNA (Y-STR), and autosomal DNA (auSTR) analysis.
Hofman’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.
Hofman will be buried in Byron Center, Michigan, at a date yet to be determined.
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.
Hofman’s personnel profile can be viewed at https://dpaa-mil.sites.crmforce.mil/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt0000000XjzlEAC.