The remains of a 20-year-old Army private from Tennessee killed fighting in Germany during World War II have recently been identified.
Army Pfc. Mark P. Wilson, 20, of Elizabethton, Tennessee was accounted for on Sept. 12, 2022, according to a release from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.
In November 1944, Wilson was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division. The 1st Battalion at the time was tasked with holding the town of Kommerscheidt, Germany, in the Hürtgen Forest, according to the release.
During that mission, Wilson was reported missing in action on Nov. 8. His body was unable to be recovered, and the German military never reported him as a prisoner of war. He was declared killed in action after the war.
After the war’s end, the American Graves Registration Command began investigating and recovering missing American personnel in Europe. The command conducted several investigations in the Hürtgen area between 1946 and 1950 but could not recover or identify Wilson’s remains. The command declared Wilson’s case as “non-recoverable in November 1951,” according to the release.
While studying unresolved American losses in the Hürtgen area, a POW/MIA agency historian determined that one set of unidentified remains designated X-5433 Neuville, recovered from Kommerscheidt in April 1947, might have belonged to Wilson.
The remains had been buried in Ardennes American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Neuville-en-Condroz, Belgium, in 1949. Those remains were disinterred in July 2021 and sent to the agency laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for identification.
Scientists from the agency used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence to identify the remains. Armed Forces Medical Examiner System scientists used mitochondrial DNA, Y chromosome DNA, and autosomal DNA analysis.
Wilson’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, also an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Plombières, Belgium, along with the others still missing from World War II.
A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for, according to the release. Wilson will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery on a date yet to be determined.