AUGUSTA, Mich. (AP) – An 18-year-old Marine private from Detroit who was killed in heavy fighting on the Japanese island of Okinawa during World War II will be buried Monday at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Michigan.
It’s happening thanks to the use of mitochondrial DNA testing to identify his remains seven decades years after his death.
Robert McConachie was reported killed in action in June 14, 1945, during a battle on Kunishi Ridge.
The Pentagon’s Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office says that McConachie’s remains arrived at the Army’s Central Identification Laboratory at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii in 1987.
Efforts to identify the remains were unsuccessful at the time. But it says scientists reopened the investigation four years ago and used the DNA and dental records to confirm the remains were McConachie’s.
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