Bodies Of World War II Soldiers Identified After All This Time

U.S. authorities reported this week that two more American troops, one from New Mexico and one from Georgia, who died in World War II, had been positively identified. The enormous undertaking of identifying the thousands of missing military personnel is far from over.

Case file X-3212 now has a name: Homer Mitchell. He was a 20-year-old Army soldier from eastern New Mexico who died during World War II. This identification comes after years of searching military data and establishing important inferences.

Laboratory testing verified the results, and last week, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency disclosed them, providing closure to Mitchell’s family.

Casework involving Mitchell commenced in 2018. The investigation into the disappearance of three troops in the Pachten Forest, which is located on Germany’s western border, led researchers to conclude that X-3212 was one of them, with Mitchell being the most likely candidate.

On December 10, 1944, as his unit was under heavy fire from German troops, Mitchell was killed. Someone buried Mitchell and three other soldiers in the civilian cemetery in Hüttersdorf, Germany. Until 2021, when historians finally established a connection to Mitchell, the unidentified bones remained in France.

Many members of Mitchell’s family are veterans, and they will be reuniting next spring in Portales to lay the soldier to rest after being scattered throughout New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Noting that it has been over 80 years after Mitchell passed away, his great-niece Sonja Dennin called the revelation mind-blowing.

She said that the parents were very distressed by the young man’s disappearance and the inability to give him a decent burial.

It was hard to collect victims from the December combat due to the ferocity of the mortar and artillery attacks. The American Graves Registration Command was not charged with investigating and retrieving American servicemen who went missing in Europe until after the war had ended.

Their explorations spanned the years 1946–1950. They formally proclaimed Mitchell “Killed in Action” in November 1951, but the family had no closure until now.