Remains of 24-year-old WWII soldier from Estelline, Texas ID’d

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The remains of a World War II soldier from the Estelline, Texas who died in combat in Belgium in 1945 have been identified.

Witnesses say Army Pfc. John W. Hayes was killed by an 88 mm fired by a German tank on Jan. 4, 1945. After the war, an American graves registration team found no record of his remains being recovered. However, an unidentified set of remains were recovered near the site of his death and buried in a Belgian American military cemetery in 1948.

In 2018, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency developed evidence that the remains were likely those of Hayes. The remains were disinterred and analyzed. The evidence, including DNA, confirmed the identification.

Hayes will be buried June 19 in Memphis, Texas.

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