World War II veteran from Rhode Island identified using DNA evidence

Local News

U.S. Army Pfc. Roy Searle, 22, of Providence was mortally wounded during enemy engagement in December 1944, and his body was never recovered, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency said.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — An American soldier from Rhode Island who was killed in Germany during World War II has been identified using DNA evidence, the U.S. Department of Defense said.

U.S. Army Pfc. Roy Searle, 22, of Providence was mortally wounded during enemy engagement in December 1944, and his body was never recovered, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency said. Searle’s infantry regiment was unable to recover the remains of fallen soldiers before it relocated, and Searle’s body was declared nonrecoverable in 1951, the agency said.

Historians later discovered that a set of remains buried as an unknown at an American Battle Monuments Commission site in France could be associated with Searle. The remains were disinterred in June 2021 and sent to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency laboratory for identification, and they were identified as Searle’s, the agency said.

Dental and anthropological analysis were also used to identify Searle, the defense department said. He will be buried Wednesday in Lake Worth, Florida.


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