US Marine Missing in Action From World War I Identified

Discussion in 'US' started by jumpinjarhead, Jun 23, 2010.

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  1. Marine Missing in Action From World War I Identified

    The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from World War I, have been identified and returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
    U.S. Marine First Sergeant George H. Humphrey of Utica, N.Y., will be buried on Wednesday at Arlington National Cemetery. On Sept. 15, 1918, Humphrey participated in the first U.S.-led offensive of the war under the command of Gen. John J. Pershing. The battle with the Germans became known as the St. Mihiel Offensive. There were 7,000 Allied losses during this offensive and it was the first use of the American use of the term "D-Day" and the first use of tanks by American units.
    Humphrey, a member of the U.S. 6th Marine Regiment, attached to the Army's 2nd Infantry Division, was killed in action during the battle and his remains were buried by fellow Marines the next day. In October 1919, a Marine who witnessed the death wrote a letter to Humphrey's brother recounting the attack near the village of Rembercourt. He included a map of his recollection of the burial site.
    Attempts to locate Humphrey's remains by U.S. Army Graves Registration personnel following the war were unsuccessful. In September 2009, French nationals hunting for war relics found artifacts near Rembercourt-sur-Mad they believed to be those of a World War I American soldier. A month later, a team from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command excavated the area, recovering human remains and military-related items including a marksman's badge with Humphrey's name engraved on the back.
    Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC laboratory also used dental comparisons in the identification of the remains.
     
  2. Good work by those who tirelessly continue the search.

    RIP First Sergeant Humphrey
     
  3. One can't stress enough the importance of this sort off work. Men such as First Sgt Humphrey are our heritage. When you start timing-out a man's contribution to freedom, when you decide that too much time has passed since his sacrifice for our liberty then you not only fail his generation but you fail your own as well.
    The highest request a Nation can make of its children is that they be willing to sacrifice their future, their place in life, for the good of their fellow man. 1st Sgt Humphrey will not have wanted to die but he did answer his country's call and we should all bow our heads and be grateful.
     
  4. Wow, I'm agreeing with you again "MiT". There was a report of 2 British WW1 soldiers being identified in Belgium a few years ago during some building work :- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1856481.stm
    These men must not be forgotten by us or our children, they gave their lives in the defence of our country!
     
  5. Lovely for his family to have a proper place to remember him too
     
  6. And to those Frenchies who had the good sense and common decency to report their find instead of selling it on Ebay
     
  7. Seconded. There but for the grace of God laid both my Grandfathers.

    RIP.
     
  8. My great grandad was killed at Borry Farm Langemarcke, near Ypres on 17 August 1917, as was most of his battalion, the 7th Skins. His body was identified and buried after the battle but could not be found after the war. I now have new hope that he will also be found and his personal effects be recovered, we could do with the money after all, they deducted the blanket he was buried in from his final pay chit.
     
  9. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    I think you will find that is not a common occurence. France is stuffed full of militaria as any village jumble sale will reveal. Anything you want can be sourced cheaply.

    WW1 and WW2 went through my back garden, the surronding hills and forests are full of trench systems which are easy to date and ID. Nobody cares.
    Searching for kit is more likely to result in finding munitions, or a corpse - nobody goes near the places, there are literally thousands of them and they are seen as dangerous graveyards.
     
  10. German bloke I know collects Heini militaria from the Prussian expansion through to the end of WW1, his collection is impressive including working firearms. He couldn't understand why I had a problem with his regular metal detecting holidays in Flanders. Sad git is constantly digging up remains, takes the worthwhile stuff and bins the rest, evidence of identity is being destroyed all the time. He even takes his kids with him digging in areas which still stink of mustard gas after rain.

    I hope he finds one of those little French discus Grenades one day, the sort which like to come out of the ground still fizzing.
     
  11. I thought that the unauthorised exhumation of human remains, even if it is for the artifacts, would be a crime? Would this not in fact boil down to him being a "grave robber"?
    Worst still these are war graves, so even if his own personal morality does not do the job, then the law should IMHO.
    (Mustard Gas is still to be found in the former battle areas? I did not know that!)
     
  12. Belgium alone disposes about 400 tonnes of WW1 CW every year. The odd one shows up in UK every now and then too.
     
  13. Fukkin Hell, that's one big back yard :)