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 returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
He is Sgt. Edward T. Jones, U.S. Army, of West Pawlet, Vt. He will be buried on Saturday in Saratoga, N.Y.
Representatives from the Army met with Jones’ next-of-kin to explain the recovery and identification process and to coordinate interment with military honors on behalf of the Secretary of the Army.
In November 1944, the 112th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division was attacking east through the Hürtgen Forest in an attempt to capture the German towns of Vossenack and Schmidt. On November 4, the Germans counterattacked in what would become one of the longest running battles in U.S. history. Jones and five other members of A Company, 112th Infantry Regiment, was killed in the town of Kommerscheidt on November 6 when a German tank fired point-blank on their position.
In 2008, a German Explosive Ordnance Disposal team, working at a construction site in the town of Kommerscheidt, found fragments of a World War II-era U.S. military boot. The team notified the German War Graves Commission who recovered remains of two individuals at the site and military equipment including two identification tags. The items were turned over to a Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command team in the area for further analysis.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the JPAC used dental comparisons in the identification of the remains.
More than 400,000 of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II died. At the end of the war, the U.S. government was unable to recover, identify and bury approximately 79,000 Americans. Today, more than 72,000 remain 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 www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1420.