The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced recently that Army Pfc. William L. Simon, 20, of Middleton, Wisconsin, killed during World War II, was accounted for Nov. 29, 2022.
In November 1944, Simon was assigned to Company G, 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 killed in action on Nov. 5. His remains could not be recovered during the battle.
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 identify Simons’s remains. He was declared nonrecoverable on Dec. 10, 1950.
While studying unresolved American losses in the Hürtgen area, a DPAA historian determined that one set of unidentified remains, designated X-5767 Neuville, recovered in a field south of Hürtgen in 1946 possibly belonged to Simon. The remains, which had been buried in Ardennes American Cemetery in 1950, were disinterred in April 2019 and sent to the DPAA laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for identification.
To identify Simon’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and autosomal DNA (auSTR) analysis.
Simon’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.
Simon will be buried in Middleton, Wisconsin on a date yet to be determined.