Soldier Missing In Action From WWII Identified (Kight)

Release No: 12-046 May 15, 2012 PRINT | E-MAIL

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.