The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today
that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from World War II, have been identified
and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Pfc. Gerald W. Kight, 23, of White Salmon, Wash., will be buried May 19, in his
hometown. In September 1944, Kight and the 82nd Division’s 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment
were dropped in the vicinity of Nijmegen, Netherlands, as part of the allied invasion codenamed
“Market Garden.” Kight was manning a machine gun position near the town of Groesbeek, when
he was overrun by German Forces.
On Sept. 12, 2011, the Royal Netherlands Army’s Recovery and Identification Unit
recovered human remains from a wartime foxhole, in a corn field northeast of Groesbeek. Along
with the remains were military uniform fragments, and three military identification tags, which
bear the name and home address of Kight and his mother.
To identify the remains, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and
used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools such as dental comparisons.
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.