WWII casualty returning home


A World War II soldier killed in action and once declared ‘non-recoverable” will be returning home to Russell County this Saturday.

PFC Henry Wade will arrive in Lexington this Saturday, at 12:21 p.m. There will be a welcome home procession as he is taken to Russell County, where members of Rolling Thunder, emergency services and others will lead the procession.

Gov. Andy Beshear acknowledged the sacrifice of Wade, who was not accounted for until May 11, 2003, and whose family had not been fully briefed on the identification until recently.

“We are so grateful to those who are working diligently to identify our unknown heroes from the Second World War,” Beshear said. “While it is heartbreaking to learn about the loss of another Kentuckian, it is also healing to be able to finally bring them home.”

Army Pfc. Henry C. Wade, who was from the Decatur community in Russell County, was assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, as an infantryman.

In November 1944, his unit was engaged in battle with German forces near the Germeter-Hürtgen Road, where they encountered heavy resistance.

Fighting raged for several days, during which Wade was killed in action.

Due to the tactical situation, his remains were not immediately recovered. He was declared non-recoverable in December 1951.

Following the end of the war, the American Graves Registration Command was tasked with investigating and recovering missing American personnel in Europe.

They conducted several investigations in the Hürtgen area between 1946 and 1950.

While studying unresolved American losses in the Hürtgen Forest area, a defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) historian determined that one set of unidentified remains, designated X-4462 Neuville, possibly belonged to an American soldier killed near the town of Hürtgen in November 1944.

The remains, which had been buried in Ardennes American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Neuville-en-Condroz, Belgium, in 1949, were disinterred in June 2021 and sent to the DPAA laboratory for identification.

To identify Wade’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis as well as circumstantial evidence.

Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA analysis.

Wade’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at Netherlands American Cemetery, an American Battles Monuments Commission site in Margarten, Netherlands, 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.

Wade will be buried Nov. 29 at the Mill Springs National Cemetery in Nancy, authorities said.

Wilson Funeral Home of Russell Springs is in charge of arrangements.

Anyone interested in lining up along the procession route to pay tribute to this man who gave his life for our country 79 years ago can monitor Wilson Funeral Home’s Facebook page for exact arrival times.

From The Times Journal

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