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News Release

Press Release | March 21, 2024

Soldier Accounted for from WWII (Poulter, H.)

Washington  –  

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that U.S. Army Pvt. Harold O. Poulter, 23, of Charleston, Illinois, killed during World War II, was accounted for January 17, 2024.

In February 1945, Poulter was assigned to Company G, 2nd Battalion, 318th Infantry Regiment, 80th Infantry Division. His regiment was engaged in fierce fighting near the town of Biesdorf, Germany, when he was reported killed in action by small arms fire on Feb. 8. His body was unable to be recovered due to intense fighting against heavily reinforced German forces on an elevated position. Despite various recovery attempts, Pvt. Poulter’s remains were not accounted for during or after the war.

Following the end of the war, the American Graves Registration Command was tasked with investigating and recovering missing American personnel in Europe. In 1951, remains were recovered from a wooded area southeast of Biesdorf. Remnants of military clothing, an American helmet and ammunition were found, but no identification tags or personal effects were located. The remains were designated X-8517 Neuville and interred at the U.S. Military Cemetery at Tunisia, known today as the North Africa American Cemetery.

In September 2022, Department of Defense and American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) personnel exhumed X-8517 Neuville for forensic analysis and comparison with unresolved soldiers known to have been lost in the Biesdorf conflict area. The remains were sent to the DPAA laboratory for identification.

To identify Poulter’s 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) and Y-chromosome DNA (Y-STR) analysis.

Poulter’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at Luxembourg American Cemetery, an ABMC site in Hamm, Luxembourg, 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.

Pvt. Poulter will be buried in Lerna, Illinois, on June 4, 2024.

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.