ASHLAND – The remains of a soldier killed during World War II will be interred July 22, at Mount Hope Cemetery in Shiloh.
Graveside services for Army Pfc. Sanford Keith Bowen will be performed by Denbow-Gasche Funeral Home & Crematory, Ashland, preceding the interment.
A native of Ashland, Bowen was a member of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division. His unit was attempting to secure terrain near Reipertswiller, France, in January 1945, when it was surrounded by German forces while being pounded by artillery and mortar fire.
Bowen was killed Jan. 20, at age 26, when Company I, and four other companies that were also surrounded, were given the order to attempt a break-out. Only two men from Company I made it through German lines. The rest were either captured or killed.
Bowen’s body could not be recovered because of the fighting.
In 1947, the American Graves Registration Command, the organization that searched for and recovered fallen American personnel in the European Theater, found 37 unidentified sets of American remains around Reipertswille, but was unable to identify any of them as Bowen.
He was declared non-recoverable May 8, 1951.
More recently, historians with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, conducting on-going research into Soldiers missing from combat around Reipertswiller, found that Unknown X-6083 St. Avold, buried at Lorraine American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in St. Avold, France, could be associated with Bowen.
X-6083 was disinterred in June 2021 and transferred to the DPAA Laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for analysis.
Bowen was accounted for by the DPAA March 21, 2022, after his remains were identified using anthropological and mitochondrial DNA analysis.
His name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at Epinal American Cemetery in Dinoze, France, along with others still missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
For additional information about Pfc. Bowen, go to: https://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/PressReleaseArticleView/Article/2980987/soldier-accounted-for-from-world-war-ii-bowen-s/
To learn more about the Department of Defense’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at www.dpaa.mil, www.facebook.com/dodpaa, or call 703-699-1420/1169.