The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Army 1st Lt. Seymour P. Drovis, 24, of Cook County, Illinois, killed during World War II, was accounted for on Sept. 4, 2018.
(This identification was initially published on Sept. 14, 2018.)
In July 1944, Drovis was a member of Company A, 105th Infantry Regiment, 27th Infantry Division, engaged against enemy forces in Achugao Village, Saipan Island, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The division sustained heavy casualties during one of the largest Japanese “banzai” attacks of WWII. A soldier reported seeing Drovis fatally shot on July 7, 1944.
In September 2013, two Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command anthropologists (JPAC, a predecessor to DPAA) recovered possible osseous remains and material evidence from a burial feature on Saipan. The location correlates to where Drovis’ unit fought during the banzai attack. The remains were recovered by JPAC Central Identification Laboratory anthropologists and by a Japanese non-governmental organization, Kuenti, working in conjunction with the Japanese government, and in cooperation with a local archeological firm, Swift and Harper Archaeological Research and Consulting, and the Japanese Historic Preservation Office. The remains were subsequently sent to the DPAA laboratory for identification.
To identify Drovis’ remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.
DPAA is grateful to the Japanese non-governmental organization, Kuenti, working in conjunction with the Japanese government, and in cooperation with a local archeological firm, Swift and Harper Archaeological Research and Consulting, and the Japanese Historic Preservation Office for their partnerships 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 72,708 service members (approximately 26,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable) still unaccounted for from World War II. Drovis’ name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, in Honolulu, along with the others missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.