The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Army Pfc. Donald E. Mangan, 26, of Elkton, South Dakota, killed during World War II, was accounted for on July 30, 2019.
(This identification was initially published Aug. 7, 2019.)
In 1944, Mangan was a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on Sept. 17, 1944, after his unit was attacked by enemy forces near Wettlingen, Germany. His remains could not be recovered after the attack.
After the war, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC), U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps, was the unit tasked with investigation and recovery of missing American personnel. The AGRC collected thousands of unknown remains from across northern Europe. A mass grave of several 112th Infantry Soldiers was found near Wettlingen, and most were identified through identification tags or personal effects. However two sets, designated X-70 Hamm and X-71 Hamm, were declared unidentifiable, and subsequently buried in the Luxembourg American Cemetery as Unknowns.
In 2017, while studying American losses and unidentified remains recovered from combat around Wettlingen, Germany, a DPAA historian reviewed documents of X-70 Hamm, and determined that there were five unresolved American casualties who were last known to have been lost in combat near Wettlingen, including Mangan.
In April 2019, the Department of Defense and American Battle Monuments Commission disinterred X-70 Hamm and accessioned the remains to the DPAA laboratory.
To identify Mangan’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental, anthropological analysis and chest radiograph comparison analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence.
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 72,652 service members still unaccounted for from World War II with approximately 30,000 assessed as possibly recoverable. Mangan’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at Luxembourg American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg, along with others missing from WWII. Although interred as an Unknown, Mangan’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.
For family information, contact the Army Service Casualty office at (800) 892-2490.
Mangan will be buried in Gig Harbor, Washington, on Oct. 22, 2019.