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Colorado soldier killed during World War II identified

A missing World War II soldier from Ridgway was accounted for on Sept. 21, 2023, 78 years after his death in France.

U.S. Army Private James B. McCartney, 22, was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 222nd Infantry Regiment, 42nd Infantry Division in early 1945, according to a Thursday release from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. On March 1 of that year, McCartney was killed in action while his unit patrolled near Wildenguth, France. His remains were not immediately recovered and the Germans did not report McCartney as a prisoner of war.

The American Graves Registration Command, the organization that searched for and recovered fallen American personnel in the European Theater, searched the area beginning in 1947 and did not locate McCartney’s remains. He was declared nonrecoverable on Oct. 8, 1951.

DPAA historians who are conducting research into soldiers missing from combat near Wildenguth found that X-6492, a body buried in the Lorraine American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in St. Avold, France, could be connected to McCartney. In August 2022, the DPAA disinterred and transferred X-6492 to a laboratory for analysis.

Scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as mitochondrial DNA and autosomal DNA analysis, to identify McCartney’s remains.

McCartney’s name is on the Walls of the Missing at Epinal American Cemetry in Dinozé, France. To indicate he has been accounted for, a rosette will be placed next to his name.

McCartney will be buried March 30, 2024, in Bakersfield, California.

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