The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Army Pfc. Raymond H. Middlekauff, 31, of Baltimore, killed during World War II, was accounted for on April 8, 2019.
(This identification was initially published on April 16, 2019.)
In late 1944, Middlekauff was a member of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, which was engaged in battle against German forces near the town of Grosshau, in the Hürtgen Forest in Germany. He was reported missing in action as of Dec. 4, 1944, when his company reorganized after a severe counterattack and he could not be accounted for.
Following the close of hostilities in Europe in 1945, Middlekauff was among the hundreds of soldiers still missing from combat in the Hürtgen Forest. On Dec. 5, 1945, after no information on his whereabouts, the War Department declared him deceased and non-recoverable.
Between 1947 and 1950, American Graves Registration Command (AGRC) investigative teams traveled to Grosshau to search for Middlekauff’s remains. Various graves registration units recovered dozens of unidentified remains from the Hürtgen Forest. Those that could not be identified were designated as Unknowns and buried in American cemeteries in Europe.
Following thorough analysis of military records and AGRC documentation by DPAA historians and scientists, one set of remains, Unknown X-2773 Neuville, which was buried at present day Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium, was determined to have a likely association with Middlekauff. Unknown X-2773 Neuville was disinterred in April 2018 and sent to DPAA for analysis.
To identify Middlekauff’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence. Additionally, the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y-chromosome STR DNA (Y-STR) analysis.
DPAA is grateful to the American Battle Monuments Commission and to the U.S. Army Regional Mortuary- Europe/Africa for their partnership in this mission.
Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. Currently there are 72,692 service members still unaccounted for from World War II, of which approximately 30,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable. Middlekauff’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the Netherlands American Cemetery in Margraten, Netherlands, an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with others who are missing from WWII. Although interred as an “unknown” his grave was meticulously cared for over the past 70 years by the American Battle Monuments Commission. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
If you wish to contact Middlekauff’s family, call the Army Casualty Office at (800) 892-2490.
For future funeral details, visit www.dpaa.mil