The remains of a WWII soldier killed in the longest battle in U.S. Army history have returned to Dayton, Tenn.

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (WATE) – The remains of a World War II Army soldier killed in the military branch’s longest battle in history will be laid to rest on August 14 in Dayton, Tennessee.

Pvt. Warren GH DeVault, 24, from Rhea, killed in the Battle of Hürtgen Forest, was counted on September 14, 2020, according to a statement released by Defense POW / MIA Accounting Agency on Friday.

In November 1944, DeVault was assigned to F Company, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. His unit was engaged in battle with German forces near Hürtgen, Germany, when it was reportedly killed in action on November 20. DeVault could not be recovered due to ongoing fighting, and his remains have not been found or identified.

After four years of investigating the area, DeVault was declared unrecoverable in January 1952.

Studying the unresolved American losses at Hürtgen, a DPAA historian determined that a set of unidentified remains buried in the American Cemetery in the Ardennes in 1951 may have belonged to DeVault. The remains were exhumed in April 2019 and DeVault was identified through circumstantial evidence, as well as dental, anthropological and DNA analysis.

The Battle of the Hürtgen Forest lasted almost three months from September 19 to December 16, 1944. The forest lies on the border between Belgium and Germany.

DeVault’s name is inscribed on the walls of the Fallen at the Dutch American Cemetery, a site of the United States Commission for Battle Monuments in Margarten, the Netherlands, along with the other World War II dead. A rosette will be placed next to its name to indicate that it has been taken into account.


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