The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Army Pfc. George B. Thomas, 31, of East Providence, Rhode Island, killed during World War II, was accounted for March 20, 2023.
In November 1944, Thomas was assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division. His unit was engaged in battle with German forces near Hürtgen, Germany, in the Hürtgen Forest, when he was reported missing in action on Nov. 24. His body was not recovered during the battle, and the Germans never reported him as a prisoner of war. The War Department issued a finding of death on Nov. 25, 1945.
Following the end of the war, the American Graves Registration Command was tasked with investigating and recovering missing American personnel in Europe. They conducted several investigations in the Hürtgen area between 1946 and 1950 but were unable to identify Thomas’ remains. He was declared nonrecoverable on Feb. 21, 1951.
While studying unresolved American losses in the Hürtgen area, a DPAA historian determined that Thomas could be associated to one of two sets of unidentified comingled remains, designated X-7192 Neuville and X-7193 Neuville, which had been recovered together from a field south of Hürtgen in 1948. The remains, which had been buried in Ardennes American Cemetery in 1950, were disinterred in July 2021 and sent to the DPAA laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for analysis and identification.
To identify Thomas’ remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.
Thomas’ name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Henri-Chapelle, Belgium, along with the others still missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
Thomas will be buried in Exeter, Rhode Island on July 10, 2023.
For family and funeral information, contact the Army Casualty Office at (800) 892-2490.
DPAA is grateful to the American Battle Monuments Commission and to the U.S. Army Regional Mortuary-Europe/Africa 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.
Thomas’ personnel profile can be viewed at: https://dpaa-mil.sites.crmforce.mil/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt0000000XhYYEA0