Remains of NC WWII soldier to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery

A North Carolina World War II Veteran will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 3:23 PM EDT
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FORT KNOX, KY (FOX Carolina) - The U. S. Army Human Resources Command Public Affairs Office says the remains of a soldier killed during World War II will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery on April 4.

Officials say Army Pfc. David Owens was a native of Green Hills, North Carolina.

He was assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division.

Military officials says Owens’ unit was “engaged in battle with German forces near Hürtgen, Germany, in the Hürtgen Forest, when he was reported missing in action Nov. 22, 1944, at age 27.”

Owens’ body was unable to be recovered, and officials say he was never reported as a prisoner of war.

He was declared killed in action Nov. 23, 1945 and investigators say his body was declared non-recoverable in December of 1950.

Decades later, a historian with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency determined that one set of unidentified remains recovered near Hürtgen in 1946 possibly belonged to Owens.

Army Pfc. David N. Owens
Army Pfc. David N. Owens(U. S. Army Human Resources Command Public Affairs Office)

After the remains were sent to an Air Force base in Nebraska, Owens was officially accounted for.

Officials say his remains were identified using circumstantial evidence as well as dental, anthropological, mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome DNA analysis.

Graveside services for Owens will be performed by Everly-Wheatley Funerals and Cremation, Alexandria, before the interment.

Military officials say Owens’ name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at Netherlands American Cemetery - an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Margraten, Netherlands. His name is found among others still missing from World War II.

Officials say a rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.