Kentucky WWII soldier to be buried in Elizabethtown
FORT KNOX, Ky. (WBKO) - The remains of a World War II soldier will be buried in Elizabethtown Sept. 23 after being declared non-recoverable for decades.
According to the U.S. Army, Rockfield native Army Pvt. Joe C. Brooks will be interred at Elizabethtown Memorial Gardens with graveside services preceding the interment from Manakee Funeral Home.
Brooks was a first scout assigned to Company I, 39th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division and his unit was a part of Operation HUSKY, the Allied effort from July 10 to Aug. 17, 1943, to capture Sicily from Benito Mussolini’s fascist Italian regime.
He was killed in action during the Battle of Troina on Aug. 1, at age 19, while leading an advance against German forces.
Army officials say Brooks’ body was not recovered due to the fighting.
Following the war, the American Graves Registration Command searched the area near Troina for the remains of fallen service members but could not find any that could be identified as Brooks.
He was declared non-recoverable on April 9, 1947.
Decades later, Brooks was accounted for by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting on Sept. 27, 2022 after his remains were identified using circumstantial evidence as well as dental, anthropological and mitochondrial DNA analysis, according to Army officials.
Joe Brooks’ name was recorded among others still missing from World War II on the Walls of Missing at the Sicily-Romer American Cemetery in Nettuno, Italy.
Officials say a rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
Pvt. Joe Brooks’ personnel file can be viewed here.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at www.dpaa.mil.
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