LINCOLN, Neb. — An army sergeant from Nebraska who was killed in World War II will finally be laid to rest in his hometown in November.
Army Sgt. Eugene G. McBride was a member of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 311th Infantry Regiment, 78th Infantry Division. On Jan. 30, 1945, while engaged in an attack against enemy forces near Huppenbroich, Germany, McBride was killed by a blast from an enemy artillery shell. His remains were not identified by American forces after the battle.
On Feb. 18, 1945, Army officials at United States Military Cemetery Margraten processed unidentified remains of a Soldier who had reportedly been killed near Huppenbroich, Germany. The remains, designated X-90 Margraten, had no identification tags and were subsequently buried at the cemetery as an unknown soldier.
After the war, the American Graves Registration Command traveled to Huppenbroich and extensively searched the Hürtgen Forest, to locate McBride’s and another soldier’s remains. In 1949, American Graves Registration Command officials pursued the possibility of an association between X-90 Margraten and McBride. However, a positive identification could not be made and the remains were interred at the Rhone American Cemetery in France, on Jan. 7, 1952.
Unable to make a correlation with any remains found in the area, he was declared non-recoverable on Jan. 7, 1952.
In 2016, based upon a comprehensive study of unresolved American losses of the Hürtgen Forest, the original recovery location of the remains, and evidence from the personal effects recovered with X-90 Margraten, a DPAA historian determined that there was a likely association between the remains and McBride.
In June 2017, the Department of Defense and American Battle Monuments Commission disinterred X-90 and accessioned the remains to the DPAA laboratory for identification. To identify McBride’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological and chest radiograph comparison analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.
He was accounted for on Sept. 10, 2018, and will be buried on November 14.
DPAA is grateful the American Battle Monuments Commission for their partnership in this mission. Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. Currently there are 72,784 service members (approximately 26,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable) still unaccounted for from World War II. McBride’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Hombourg, Belgium, an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the other MIAs from WWII. Although interred as an Unknown, McBride’s grave was meticulously cared for by ABMC for 70 years. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at www.dpaa.mil or call (703) 699-1420/1169.