Soldier Missing In Action From WWII Identified (O’Toole)

Release No: 11-046 July 13, 2011 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 are being buried with full military honors.

Army Pfc. Edward L. O’Toole, 23, of San Francisco, will be buried on July 15 in San Bruno, Calif. On Nov. 20, 1944, O’Toole, as part of the 333rd Infantry Regiment, 84th Infantry Division, went missing near Süggerath while his unit conducted a largely successful offensive to capture towns in Western Germany. In 1953, after an extensive search, his remains were determined unrecoverable by U.S. Army Graves Registration personnel.

In 2009, a German citizen digging in a wooded area near Süggerath, discovered a grave with remains from two individuals, military-related equipment and identification tags with the name O’Toole.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the JPAC laboratory also used dental comparisons in the identification of the remains.

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.