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Agency identifies remains of Army soldier killed in WWII

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The remains of a West Virginia soldier killed during World War II have been identified, officials said.

Army Pfc. John J. Sitarz, 19, of Weirton was accounted for by using DNA, dental and anthropological analysis as well as circumstantial evidence, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced Monday in a statement.

Sitarz was assigned to Company L, 3rd Battalion, 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division when he was declared missing in action on Nov. 2, 1944, while his unit was engaged in battle with German forces, the statement said. His body could not be recovered due to ongoing fighting and his status was changed to killed in action the following year.

After the war, the American Graves Registration Command began investigating and recovering missing American personnel in Europe, but Sitarz’ remains were not identified, officials said.

A historian with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency studying unresolved American losses in the Hürtgen area determined that one set of unidentified remains recovered from a minefield in 1946 possibly belonged to Sitarz, the statement said. The remains were disinterred from Ardennes American Cemetery in 2018 and sent for analysis.

A rosette will be placed next to Sitarz’s name on the Tablets of the Missing at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Hombourg, Belgium to indicate he has been accounted for. Sitarz will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery at a date to be determined.