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 will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
He is 2nd Lt. Howard C. Enoch, Jr., U.S. Army Air Forces, of Marion, Ky. He will be buried on September 22 in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.
Representatives from the Army met with Enoch’s 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.
On March 19, 1945, Enoch was the pilot of a P-51D Mustang that crashed while engaging enemy aircraft about 20 miles east of Leipzig, near the village of Doberschütz, Germany. His remains were not recovered at the time, and Soviet occupation of eastern Germany precluded his recovery immediately after the war.
In 2004, a team from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) surveyed a possible P-51 crash site near Doberschütz. The team found aircraft wreckage. In 2006, another JPAC team excavated the site and recovered human remains and aircraft wreckage.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA in the identification of Enoch’s remains.
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.