BINGHAMTON, NY (AP) – The remains of a WWII soldier from upstate New York who was killed in France in 1944 have been identified, defense officials said on Friday.
US Army PFC. Morris E. Swackhammer, 20, of Binghamton was listed on June 28, according to the Defense POW / MIA accounting agency. His family only recently received a full briefing on his identification.
Swackhammer was hit by German machine gun fire on November 22, 1944 in the woods northwest of the village of Fraize, Alsace, France. His squad had to abandon his body in the face of enemy attack.
In 1945, U.S. personnel recovered an unidentified body from a Fraize cemetery that they believed belonged to Swackhammer, but could not confirm it.
The remains were buried in the American Cemetery in the Ardennes in Belgium. They were exhumed in July 2019 and purchased in the United States after researchers who examined historical documents concluded the remains were “strongly associated” with Swackhammer, according to the DPAA.
Swackhammer has been identified by scientists who have relied on DNA, dental and anthropological analysis.
He will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on a date to be determined.
Swackhammer was assigned to C Company, 1st Battalion, 143rd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division. His unit landed on the south coast of France in August 1944 as part of Operation Dragoon.