74 years after being killed in WWII, remains of Indy soldier identified

Army Pfc. Marvin E. Dickson

HÜRTGENWALD, Germany – The remains of an Indianapolis soldier killed in World War II have been identified 74 years after his death.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced Thursday that Army Pfc. Marvin E. Dickson has officially been accounted for.

DPAA says Dickson was 19 when he was killed in the Hürtgen Forest in Germany. He was a member of Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division.

According to the DPAA, Dickson was killed and three other soldiers were wounded on Nov. 13, 1944, when they were moved to the front lines to reestablish broken telephone communications.

However, surviving members could not confirm Dickson’s death nor provide the exact location to where he was killed. He was subsequently listed as missing in action. In Nov. 14, 1945, his status was amended to killed in action.

In April 1947, a set of remains was recovered from District #21 of the Raffelsbrand sector of the forest. The remains were sent to the central processing point at Neuville, Belgium. They were unable to be identified, were designated X-5406, and buried at Neuville American Cemetery.

In April 2017, the Department of Defense and American Battle Monuments Commission dug up X-5406 and sent the remains to the DPAA laboratory for identification.

Using DNA analysis, dental records and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence, officials positively identified X-5406 as Dickson.

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. Currently there are 72,771 service members still unaccounted for.

For funeral details and family contact information, contact the Army Casualty Office at (800) 892-2490.

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