pvt givensKENTUCKY (9/9/19) — Gov. Matt Bevin today recognized the sacrifice of a Kentucky soldier who died in World War II, but whose remains have just been positively identified.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) today announced that Army Pfc. Jacob W. Givens, 30, of Mt. Sterling, was officially accounted for on June 17, 2019.

In October 1944, Givens was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division, which was engaged against enemy forces in the Raffelsbrand sector of the Hürtgen Forest, near Germeter, Germany. He was reported missing in action as of Oct. 20, 1944, when his company reorganized after a severe counterattack and he could not be accounted for.

After the war, the American Graves Registration Command extensively searched the Hürtgen Forest for him. No remains found in the area were identified as Givens, and the Army declared him non-recoverable.

While studying unresolved American losses in and unidentified remains recovered from the Hürtgen Forest, DPAA personnel analyzed historical documentation regarding X-5483 Neuville, a set of unidentified remains recovered on May 15, 1947 from District #20C of the Hürtgen Forest by the AGRC. The remains had originally been found by a German woodcutter who later led an AGRC team to the site. The AGRC team found the remains lying on the ground, surrounded by U.S. Army infantry equipment. The remains, designated X-5483, could not be identified, and were interred at the United States Military Cemetery Neuville (present day Ardennes American Cemetery).

Based upon the original recovery location of X-5483, a DPAA historian determined that there was a likely association between the remains and Givens. In June 2018, the Department of Defense and American Battle Monuments Commission disinterred X-5483 and accessioned the remains to the DPAA laboratory for identification.

To identify Givens’ remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y-chromosome DNA (Y-STR) analysis.

DPAA recognized 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 72,669 service members still unaccounted for from World War II, of which approximately 30,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable. Givens’ name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the Netherlands American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Margraten, Netherlands, along with the others missing from WWII. Although interred as an Unknown, Givens’ 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.

Givens will be buried Nov. 9, 2019, in Prestonburg, and Gov. Bevin will order flags lowered to half-staff in his honor on that date.

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