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 Pvt. James W. Turner, U.S. Army, of Altus, Okla. He will be buried on September 11 in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.
Representatives from the Army met with Turner’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.
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 Nov. 4, the Germans counterattacked in what would become one of the longest running battles in U.S. history. Turner, a member of G Company, 112th Infantry Regiment, was reported missing in action near Vossenack on Nov. 9.
In 2005, a German citizen who was searching for wartime relics in the Hürtgen Forest, near Vossenack, found human remains and other items, including Turner’s military identification tag. The remains and items were turned over to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) for further analysis.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC also used dental comparisons in the identification of Turner’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) 699-1169.