The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that U.S. Army Pvt. Stephen C. Mason, 21, of Jersey City, New Jersey, killed during World War II, was accounted for July 9, 2021.
In the fall of 1944, Mason was assigned to Headquarters Co., 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. He was reported missing in action during Operation MARKET GARDEN after his patrol failed to return from a mission to the enemy lines near Beek, Netherlands on Nov. 3. His body was unable to be recovered. Mason posthumously received the Silver Star for his actions.
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 Beek could be identified as Mason. He was declared non-recoverable in January 1951.
In 2015, DPAA historians began working on a comprehensive research and recovery project focused on those missing from Operation MARKET GARDEN. During that work, they analyzed information about X-3323 Neuville, an unknown set of remains recovered from the Beek area in 1946 and buried in the Cambridge American Cemetery in the United Kingdom. Following a multidisciplinary analysis from DPAA historians, forensic anthropologists, and odontologists, it was determined X-3323 could possibly be Mason. These remains were disinterred in April 2017 and sent to the DPAA Laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for examination and identification.
To identify Mason’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis as well as circumstantial evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.
Mason’s 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.
Mason will be buried in North Arlington, New Jersey. 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 American Battle Monuments Commission and to the U.S. Army Regional Mortuary-Europe/Africa 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 www.dpaa.mil or find us on social media at www.facebook.com/dodpaa or https://www.linkedin.com/company/defense-pow-mia-accounting-agency.
Mason’s personnel profile can be viewed at https://dpaa-mil.sites.crmforce.mil/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt0000000XdsBEAS.