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News & Stories
News | Jan. 3, 2017

Soldier Missing From World War II Identified (Appleby)

Army Pvt. Gene J. Appleby, missing from World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Sept. 17, 1944, Appleby was a member of Company A, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, as part of Operation Market Garden. The regiment was tasked with landing at Drop Zone “T,” north of Groesbeek, The Netherlands. Appleby successfully jumped and was seen on the ground by members of the unit. However, as the soldiers rallied to move toward their objective, Appleby was seen struck by enemy fire. Following the attack, he was listed as missing in action, and declared him deceased as of Sept. 18, 1945.

On Sept. 8, 2011, the Royal Netherlands Army Recovery and Identification Unit (RIU) was notified by the Groesbeek Police of possible human remains found at the Groenendaal Farm by local residents. Officials conducted an excavation and recovered possible human remains and material evidence. The remains were transferred to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, now DPAA, for identification.

Historians from DPAA working on cases of missing Americans from Operation Market Garden received valuable recovery information from the RIU and traveled to the original recovery site with the local researchers who originally found the remains. With this information, the DPAA historians established a list of individuals whose circumstances of loss and last known location matched the remains. Appleby was among the top candidates.

DNA analysis and circumstantial evidence were used in the identification of his remains.

Interment services are pending.

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Public Affairs Contact Information

Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency PAO
Washington, D.C.
2300 Defense Pentagon
Attn: Outreach and Communications
Washington, D.C. 20301-2300