The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today Army Pvt. James I. Trick, 25, of Hughesville, Pennsylvania, was accounted for July 8, 2019.
(This identification was initially published July 11, 2019.)
In late 1944, Trick was a member of Company M, 3rd Battalion, 109th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division, which was engaged against enemy forces in the Hürtgen Forest, near Germeter, Germany. He reportedly killed by enemy shrapnel on Nov. 4, 1944, while bring supplies for his unit.
After the war, the American Graves Registration Command extensively searched the Hürtgen Forest for him. No remains found in the area were identified as Trick’s, and the Army declared him non-recoverable.
On July 22, 1947, a set of remains, designated X-6207 Neuville, was recovered from the Hürtgen Forest, where Trick’s company was engaged in battle. The remains were transferred to the Central Identification Point at Neuville, Belgium. Despite exhaustive efforts, the remains could not be identified and were subsequently interred at the United States Military Cemetery Neuville-en-Condroz (present-day Ardennes American Cemetery) in September 1949.
Based upon the original recovery location of X-6207, a DPAA historian determined that there was a likely association between the remains and Trick. In June 2018, the Department of Defense and American Battle Monuments Commission disinterred X-6207 and accessioned the remains to the DPAA laboratory for identification.
To identify Trick’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) 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 72,674 service members still unaccounted for from World War II, of which approximately 30,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable. Trick’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the Netherlands American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Margraten, Netherlands, along with the others missing from WWII. Although interred as an Unknown, Trick’s grave was meticulously cared for by ABMC for 70 years. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.