Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Alvin Beethe.
photo for screen-resolution image); high-resolution
Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that
the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from World War II, have been
identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military
Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Alvin Beethe of Elk Creek, Nebraska, will be buried
June 8, in Arlington National Cemetery. On Nov. 26, 1944, Beethe, of the
393rd Fighter Squadron, 367th Fighter Group, 9th Air Force, was the pilot of
an P-38 Lightning that failed to return from a bombing mission against enemy
forces near Duren, Germany. Another U.S. aircraft in the mission reported
that Beethe's aircraft crashed near the town of Morschenich. Beethe was
reported killed in action and his remains were not recovered.
the war, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC) conducted
investigations on the loss of Beethe and successfully located his crash site.
However, no remains were recovered at that time.
2008, the Department of Defense was notified that private citizens in Germany
had located the wartime crash site. A DoD team traveled to Morschenich and
surveyed the purported site. In June 2013, another DoD team excavated the
site, and recovered human remains and aircraft wreckage.
identify Beethe's remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA
Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used forensic identification tools to
include two forms of DNA analysis, mitochondrial DNA, which matched his
cousin and Y-chromosome Short Tandem Repeat DNA, which matched his nephew.
the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died.
Today, more than 73,000 are unaccounted for from the conflict.
additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for
Americans, who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website
or call 703-699-1420.