WASHINGTON — The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) 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.
This is the first time the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) has identified a soldier unaccounted for from World War I.
He is Army Pvt. Francis Lupo of Cincinnati, Ohio. He will be buried on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2006, at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.
Representatives from the Army met with Lupo’s next-of-kin to explain the recovery and identification process and to coordinate interment with military honors on behalf of the Secretary of the Army.
In 1918, Lupo participated in the combined French-American attack on the Germans near Soissons, France, in what came to be known as the Second Battle of the Marne. Despite heavy Allied losses, this battle has been regarded as a turning point in the war, halting and reversing the final German advances toward Paris.
Lupo, a member of Company E, 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, was killed in action during the battle, but his remains were never recovered.
In 2003, while conducting a survey in preparation for a construction project, a French archaeological team discovered human remains and other items a short distance from Soissons. Among the items recovered were a military boot fragment and a wallet bearing Lupo’s name. The items were given by the French to U.S. officials for analysis.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA in the identification of Lupo’s remains.