ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — A World War II soldier from Elizabethton whose remains were unaccounted for until last year will be laid to rest next week at Arlington National Cemetery.
The remains of Army Pfc. Mark P. Wilson will be interred on Wednesday, June 7, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. He was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division.
Wilson was reported as missing in action on Nov. 8, 1944, while his battalion worked to hold the town of Kommerscheidt, Germany in the Huertgen Forest. He was 20 years old.
Wilson’s body was unable to be recovered, and Germany never reported him as a prisoner of war. He was declared killed in action following the war.
Between 1946 and 1950, the American Graves Registration Command conducted several investigations in the Huertgen area to recover or identify the remains of missing American soldiers, but Wilson’s remains were not found.
A historian with the DPAA later determined that one set of unidentified remains recovered from Kommerscheidt in April 1947 and buried at the Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium may have belonged to Wilson. The remains were disinterred in July 2021 and sent to the DPAA’s laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska for identification.
The DPAA was able to identify Wilson’s remains by using circumstantial evidence and anthropological, mitochondrial DNA, Y chromosome DNA, and autosomal DNA analysis.
Wilson was declared accounted for on Sept. 12, 2022.
Graveside services for Wilson will be performed by Everly-Wheatley Funerals and Cremation of Alexandria, Virginia.
Wilson’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Plombieres, Belgium. A rosette will be placed next to his name to show that he has been accounted for.
News Channel 11 spoke with Wilson’s nephew, Tom Whitehead, in regard to the impact his identification meant to his family. Whitehead said his grandparents and other family members always struggled with not knowing what happened to Wilson, but those living are proud to see him buried in Arlington.