ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WKRN) – More than 70 years after his death, a Tennessee solider was finally accounted for, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA).
On Wednesday, Jan. 18, a release provided by the DPAA announced the body of U.S. Army Pfc. Mark P. Wilson, of Elizabethton, was recovered on Sept. 12, 2022.
In November 1944, 20-year-old Wilson and his battalion had been tasked with holding the town of Kommerscheidt, Germany in the Hürtgen Forest.
Wilson was reported missing in action on Nov. 8, 1944 and his body was unable to be recovered. The DPAA said the Germans never reported Wilson as a prisoner of war and he was declared killed in action.
After the war, the American Graves Registration Command was given the assignment to investigate and recover missing personnel in Europe.
They conducted several investigations in the Hürtgen area from 1946-1950, but were never able to recover Wilson’s remains. In November 1951, Wilson was declared non-recoverable.
According to the DPAA, a historian studying unresolved American losses in the Hürtgen area determined that a set of unidentified remains that were recovered in 1947 possibly belonged to Wilson.
A release states the unidentified remains were buried in 1949 at the Ardennes American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Neuville-en-Condroz, Belgium.
In July 2021, the remains were disinterred and sent to the DPAA laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for identification.
To identify the remains, scientists with the DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence. Scientists with the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System also aided in the identification using mitochondrial DNA Y chromosome DNA and autosomal DNA analysis.
Wilson’s name was recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Plombières, Belgium.
The DPAA said a rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for. Wilson will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on a date yet to be determined.
For family and funeral information, contact the Army Casualty Office at 800-892-2490. To view Wilson’s profile, click here.