The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Army Sgt. Robert W. McCarville, 24, of Beloit, Wisconsin, killed during World War II, was accounted for on July 10, 2019.
(This identification was initially published July 15, 2019.)
In December 1942, McCarville was a member of Company L, 128th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division. He was killed in action on Dec. 5, 1942, during an assault against enemy positions near Cape Endaiadere, Duropa Plantation, Territory of Papua. Due to intense enemy fire, his unit was unable to recover his remains.
In 1945, a platoon leader from McCarville’s company recalled that McCarville’s remains were recovered Dec. 18, 1942, and he was buried in a temporary grave near where he was killed. The platoon leader said that in January 1943, a burial detail disinterred McCarville’s remains and transferred them to a small cemetery on the beach at Cape Endaiadere.
On Jan. 6, 1943, the remains of an unidentified American Soldier were interred at the U.S. Duropa Plantation Cemetery #1. In March 1945, the remains were moved to U.S. Armed Forces Cemetery Finschhafen #2 where they were designated “Unknown X-34.”
In 1947, the American Graves Registration service exhumed approximately 11,000 sets of remains, including X-34, and sent them to the Central Identification Point at the Manila Mausoleum in the Philippines. X-34 could not be identified and subsequently was interred at Fort McKinley (now the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial.)
On Nov. 4, 2016, Unknown X-34 was disinterred, and the remains were sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.
To identify McCarville’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y-chromosome DNA (Y-STR) analysis.
DPAA is grateful to the American Battle Monuments Commission for their partnership in this mission.
For family information, contact the Army Service Casualty Office at (800) 892-2490.
McCarville will be buried Nov. 10, 2019 in his hometown.
Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. Currently there are 72,650 service members still unaccounted for from World War II, with approximately 30,000 assessed as possibly recoverable. McCarville’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.