KINGSTON, Tennessee — The remains of a World War II soldier from Tennessee who was killed in Germany have been identified, military officials say.
Delaney,24, was fighting with the 4th Infantry Division when his battalion launched an artillery strike against German soldiers near Grosshau in the Hurtgen Forest on Nov. 22, 1944.
An enemy artillery shell struck Delaney’s foxhole, and he died before he could be medically evacuated.
His remains weren’t recovered then because of ongoing combat operations, according to a release from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. He was among hundreds of soldiers still missing from combat in the Hurtgen Forest when the war ended in 1945.
In 1947, a local resident, Siegfried Glassen, found a set of remains that he thought were of an American soldier, and the remains were sent to the American Graves Registration Command. But the remains could not be identified and they were buried in Ardennes American Cemetery.
Decades later, after an analysis of military records and AGRC documents, the remains were disinterred in 2017 and sent to DPAA for analysis. There the scientists used a range of evidence: dental, anthropological, material as well as mitochondrial DNA analysis.
They discovered that the remains that had been designated years ago as “X-5425 Neuville” were those of Delaney. He was officially accounted for in December.
The grave where he was interred as an “unknown” was “meticulously cared for over the past 70 years by the American Battle Monuments Commission,” the DPAA release said.
Officials say more than 72,000 U.S. service members remain unaccounted for from World War II.