Scientists have used DNA samples to identify remains of a World War II soldier found more than 70 years ago as an East Tennessee man who was reported missing in action.
The remains were identified in September as Army Pfc. Lewis E. Price, 23, of Rogersville. In November 1944, Price was a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 109th Infantry Division. They moved into the Hürtgen Forest in Germany to relieve U.S. forces who had been fighting for weeks.
The details of how Price died are not known, but he was reported missing in action on November 6, 1944. The American Graves Registration tried to locate his remains in the forest, but were unable to make a correlation with any remains found in the area and he was declared non-recoverable.
A historian with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency in 2015 analyzed documentation of an unidentified set of remains found in the forest in 1946 and interred as an unknown soldier in Belgium. The historian determined, based on the location and evidence from personal effects, that there might be a correlation between the remains and Price.
Scientists used DNA analysis, dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence to identify the remains as Price.
More than 400,000 Americans died during World War II, 72,778 of whom are still unaccounted for.