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News Release

Press Release | March 13, 2024

Airman Accounted for from WWII (Kasten, R.)

Washington  –  

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that U.S. Army Air Force 1st Lt. Richard J. Kasten, 24, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, killed during World War II, was accounted for July 18, 2023.

In January 1944, Kasten was assigned to the 68th Bombardment Squadron, 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy) in the European Theater. On Jan. 21, Kasten, a navigator on board a B-24D Liberator, was killed in action when his plane was attacked by German air forces near Écalles-sur-Buchy, France. The aircraft ultimately crashed near Lignières-Châtelain, where four of the 11 crewmembers were killed. German forces quickly found the crash site and recovered three sets of remains, which were then interred in the French cemetery at Poix-de-la-Somme. Kasten’s remains were not reported among those buried by German forces, and he was listed as Killed In Action by October 1944.

American Graves Registration Command (AGRC) personnel exhumed American remains from Poix cemetery in June 1945, where they recovered four the remains of three of 1st Lt. Kasten's crewmates and four sets of unknown remains, including one set designated X-411 St. Andre (X-411). These remains were ultimately interred in Suresnes American Cemetery in France.

Beginning in 1946, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC) was the organization that searched for and recovered fallen American personnel in the European Theater. Teams from the AGRC searched the area around Lignières-Châtelain, but they uncovered no new leads regarding the disposition of 1st Lt. Kasten’s remains.

In April 2019, DPAA historians and American Battle Monuments Commission personnel, exhumed X-411 from Suresnes American Cemetery and transferred them to the DPAA Laboratory for analysis where it was later determined the remains of X-411 belonged to Kasten.

To identify Kasten’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA).

Kasten’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at Ardennes American Cemetery, France, along with others still missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

1st Lt. Kasten will be buried in Battle Creek, Michigan, on a date to be determined.

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

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