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The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the
remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from World War II, have been identified and are being returned
to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Sgt. Jerome E. Kiger, of Mannington, W.V., will be buried on July 21, in Fairmont, W.V.
On July 21, 1944, a B-24H Liberator aircraft, which carried nine crew members, was shot down by
enemy fire and crashed while on a bombing raid to Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany. Of the nine crew
members, six were able to parachute to safety and a seventh crewman’s remains were recovered near
Hadorf. Kiger and another crewman were not recovered. Attempts to recover their remains after the
war were unsuccessful.
In 2009, a German national turned over human remains to a Joint POW/MIA Accounting
Command (JPAC) investigating team who was operating in southern Germany. The German national
recovered the remains and aircraft wreckage from a crash site southwest of Munich.
In 2012, a JPAC recovery team excavated the suspected crash site southwest of Munich, locating
additional human remains and aircraft wreckage.
To identify Kiger’s remains, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification
Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools such as dental
comparisons and mitochondrial DNA, which matched Kiger’s sister and niece.
Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died. At the end of
the war, the U.S. government was unable to recover and identify approximately 79,000 Americans.
Today, more than 73,000 are unaccounted-for from the conflict.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing
Americans, visit the DPMO web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.