The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Army Pvt. Alevin A. Hathaway, 20, of Hinesburg, Vermont, killed during World War II, was accounted for Jan. 14, 2020.
In November 1944, Hathaway was assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 109th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division. His unit was engaged in battle with German forces near Hürtgen, Germany, in the Hürtgen Forest, when he was reported missing in action on Nov. 6. His body was not recovered, and he was declared killed in action Nov. 7, 1945.
Following the end of the war, the American Graves Registration Command was tasked with investigating and recovering missing American personnel in Europe. They conducted several investigations in the Hürtgen area between 1946 and 1950, but were unable to recover or identify Hathaway’s remains. He was declared non-recoverable in December 1950.
While studying unresolved American losses in the Hürtgen area, a DPAA historian determined that one set of unidentified remains, designated X-2739 Neuville, recovered from a minefield south of Hürtgen in 1946 possibly belonged to Hathaway.
The remains, which had been buried in Ardennes American Cemetery in 1950, were disinterred in April 2018 and sent to the DPAA laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for identification.
To identify Hathaway’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence, including fragments of personal documents found on the battlefield. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.
Hathaway’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at Netherlands American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Margarten, Netherlands, along with the others still missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
Hathaway will be buried in his hometown. The date has yet to be decided.