published : 2023-09-13

DNA Evidence Identifies WWII Soldier from Rhode Island

Army Pfc. Roy Searle Set for Burial in Florida

An old photograph of Army Pfc. Roy Searle, taken with a vintage Kodak Brownie camera, showcases the young soldier's determination and courage.

An American soldier from Rhode Island who was killed in Germany during World War II has been identified using DNA evidence, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

U.S. Army Pfc. Roy Searle, 22, of Providence, was mortally wounded during enemy engagement in December 1944, and his body was never recovered, stated the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

Searle's infantry regiment was unable to recover the remains of fallen soldiers before it relocated, leading to the declaration of Searle's body as nonrecoverable in 1951.

However, historians later made a startling discovery that brought hope to the long-lost soldier's story. They found a set of remains buried as an unknown at an American Battle Monuments Commission site in France, which could potentially be associated with Searle.

A sepia-toned image captures the bustling streets of Providence, Rhode Island during World War II, reminding us of the hometown Searle left behind to serve his country.

In June 2021, these remains were disinterred and sent to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency laboratory for identification. Through meticulous dental and anthropological analysis, the defense department confirmed that these remains indeed belonged to Searle.

The revelation of Searle's identity after so many years has brought both excitement and astonishment. It has finally provided closure to his family and fellow soldiers who never forgot him.

To honor his sacrifice and service, Searle will be laid to rest on Wednesday in Lake Worth, Florida. The solemn burial ceremony will bring his journey full circle, as a grateful nation pays its respects to the fallen hero.

This story serves as a reminder of the immense sacrifices made by brave soldiers like Searle during World War II. It reinforces the importance of never forgetting the heroes who have fought and died for our freedom.

A black and white photograph of a solemn burial ceremony, taken with a Nikon D850, symbolizes the final respect and gratitude shown to fallen hero Roy Searle in Lake Worth, Florida.

As we reflect on the past and honor those who gave their lives, let us also express our gratitude to all current servicemen and women who continue to protect our nation.

The identification of Pfc. Roy Searle using DNA evidence serves as a testament to the power of perseverance, advanced technology, and the unwavering commitment to bringing closure to families of the missing. It is a remarkable chapter in the ongoing efforts to honor and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.