Missing WWII Soldier is Identified Wed, 22 Sep 2010 17:25:00 -0500


IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 865-10
September 22, 2010

U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)

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Missing WWII Soldier is Identified

                 The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office 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. 

                 U.S. Army Pfc. James C. Konyud, of Cleveland, will be buried on Sept. 25 in his hometown. From mid-September 1944 to early February 1945, the U.S. Army was engaged against German forces in the Hürtgen Forest, along the Germany/Belgium border, in the longest continuously fought battle in American history.  In early January 1945, elements of the 121st Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division were deployed defensively in the area southeast of Aachen.  Konyud, a member of K Company, 121st Infantry Regiment, was reported missing near the location on January 1.

                 In 2007, a German Explosive Ordnance Disposal team working in an agricultural field between Vossenack and Hürtgen, found human remains and military-related equipment, including Konyud's military identification tag.  The remains and items were turned over to U.S. Army Memorial Affairs Activity-Europe officials for further analysis.

                 Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command teams traveled to excavate the crash site twice in 2007 and once in 2008, recovering additional remains and crew-related equipment—including a second identification tag for Konyud.

                 Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used mitochondrial DNA – which matched that of Konyud's brother and niece -- in the identification of his remains.  

                 More than 400,000 of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II died.  At the end of the war, the U.S. government was unable to recover, identify and bury approximately 79,000 as known persons. Today, more than 72,000 Americans remain unaccounted-for from the conflict.

                 For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Website at www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call 703-699-1420.

 

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