An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

News Release

Press Release | March 29, 2022

Soldier Accounted For From World War II (Helms, G.)

WASHINGTON  –   The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Gerald R. Helms, 29, of Chicago, killed during World War II, was accounted for July 26, 2021.

In the fall of 1944, Helms was assigned to Company E, 325th Glider Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. He was reported missing in action near Katerbosch, Netherlands, during Operation MARKET GARDEN after he failed to return from a lone scouting mission Oct. 2. His body was never found by his unit, and there was no evidence he had ever been captured. A presumptive finding of death was issued Oct. 3, 1945.

Following the war, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC), the organization that searched for and recovered fallen American personnel, conducted several searches of the area, but by 1950, none of the remains found around Katerbosch could be identified as Helms. He was declared non-recoverable in October 1950.

In 2015, DPAA historians began working on a comprehensive research and recovery project focused on those missing from Operation MARKET GARDEN, but none of the disinterred remains could be identified as Helms. However, in October 2019, a Dutch citizen digging a trench in the front yard of a home in Katerbosch came upon human remains and military artifacts. The Royal Netherlands Army’s Recovery and Identification Unit (RIU) excavated the site on Oct. 30. They conducted a full anthropological analysis of the remains and historical analysis of the material items, including Helms’ identification tags, and recovery location. The RIU concluded the remains belonged to Helms. These remains and evidence were then transferred to the DPAA Laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for further examination and identification.

To identify Helms’ remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

Helms’ name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Netherlands American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Margarten, Netherlands, along with others still missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

Helms will be buried in Elwood, Illinois. The date has yet to be determined.

For family and funeral information, contact the Army Casualty Office at (800) 892-2490.

DPAA is grateful to the Dutch government and the Royal Netherlands Army’s Recovery and Identification Unit for their partnership in this mission.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at or find us on social media at or

Helms’s personnel profile can be viewed at