Army Pfc. Lowell Smith accounted for from WWII

U.S. Army Pfc. Lowell D. Smith
U.S. Army Pfc. Lowell D. Smith. Photo credit DPAA

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that U.S. Army Pfc. Lowell D. Smith, 24, of Battle Creek, Michigan, killed during World War II, was accounted for June 21, 2022.

In January 1945, Smith was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division. The unit was in regimental reserve during the Battle of Reipertswiller in France. On Jan. 21, Smith was part of a Browning Automatic Rifle squad when his company attacked German forces surrounding several companies in an attempt to help them break out.

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Company F immediately drew enemy artillery and mortar fire followed by sniper and machine-gun fire and was forced to withdraw. When the unit reassembled following the withdrawal, Smith was missing. In May that year, Army personnel reviewing captured German records discovered a German death report for Smith dated the day he went missing.

Beginning in 1946, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC), the organization that searched for and recovered fallen American personnel in the European Theater, searched the area around Reipertswiller, finding 37 unidentified sets of American remains, but it was unable to identify any of them as Smith. He was declared non-recoverable on July 19, 1951.

DPAA historians have been conducting on-going research into Soldiers missing from combat around Reipertswiller, and found that Unknown X-8062 St. Avold, buried at Lorraine American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in St. Avold, France, could be associated with Smith. X-8062 was disinterred in June 2021 and transferred to the DPAA Laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for analysis.

To identify Smith’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) analysis.

Smith’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at Epinal American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Dinozé, France, along with others still missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

Smith will be buried in Augusta, Michigan, at a date yet to be determined.