Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office
announced today that the remains of a U.S.
serviceman, missing in action from World War II,
have been identified and are being returned to his
family for burial with full military honors.
U.S. Army Pfc. James C. Konyud, of
Cleveland, will be buried on Sept. 25 in his
hometown. From mid-September 1944 to early February
1945, the U.S. Army was engaged against German
forces in the Hürtgen Forest, along the
Germany/Belgium border, in the longest continuously
fought battle in American history. In early January
1945, elements of the 121st Infantry
Regiment, 8th Infantry Division were
deployed defensively in the area southeast of
Aachen. Konyud, a member of K Company, 121st
Infantry Regiment, was reported missing near the
location on January 1.
In 2007, a German Explosive
Ordnance Disposal team working in an agricultural
field between Vossenack and Hürtgen, found human
remains and military-related equipment, including
Konyud’s military identification tag. The remains
and items were turned over to U.S. Army Memorial
Affairs Activity-Europe officials for further
Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command
teams traveled to excavate the crash site twice in
2007 and once in 2008, recovering additional remains
and crew-related equipment—including a second
identification tag for Konyud.
Among other forensic
identification tools and circumstantial evidence,
scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA
Identification Laboratory used mitochondrial DNA –
which matched that of Konyud’s brother and niece --
in the identification of his remains.
More than 400,000 of the 16
million Americans who served in World War II died.
At the end of the war, the U.S. government was
unable to recover, identify and bury approximately
79,000 as known persons. Today, more than 72,000
Americans remain unaccounted-for from the conflict.