The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Army Pfc. Dale W. Ross, 22, of Ashland, Oregon, killed during World War II, was accounted for on April 16, 2019.
(This identification was initially announced on April 18, 2019.)
In January 1943, Ross was a member of Company E, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, serving in the Pacific Theater. He was reported missing in action on Jan. 14, 1943, following a patrol in the vicinity of Hill 27, Mount Austen, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. A search was conducted, but fellow Soldiers were unable to locate his remains. On July 14, 1949, based on a lack of information, the U.S. Army determined Ross to be non-recoverable.
In 2012, predecessor organizations to DPAA conducted investigations and interviews in Mbarana Village, a village situated near the Gifu battlefield, where Ross was believed to have died. Between 2012 and 2015, several investigation and recovery operations were conducted in Mbarana, and possible human remains were located along the steep hillside surface of Hill 27.
In 2017, Pacific Wrecks, Inc., a partnership organization, contacted DPAA regarding possible remains found along Hill 27. DPAA excavated the site with support from local civilians, recovering additional remains. The remains were consolidated with the remains found in 2015, and sent to the laboratory for analysis.
To identify Ross’ remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence. Additionally, the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used Y-chromosome DNA (Y-STR) analysis.
DPAA is grateful to the government of the Solomon Islands, Pacific Wrecks, Inc., and the Ross family for their partnership in this recovery.
Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. Currently there are 72,722 service members (approximately 26,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable) still unaccounted for from World War II. Ross’ name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in Taguig City, Philippines, along with the others missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.