WWII soldier will be laid to rest on Veteran's Day in Michigan
By THE DETROIT FREE PRESS (TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE) Published: November 7, 2017
The remains of a World War II soldier from Detroit will be laid to rest on Veteran's Day in northern Michigan.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced Monday that Army Technician Fourth Grade Pete M. Counter, 24, of Detroit will be buried Saturday in Onaway. He will receive full military honors.
Counter recently was identified through forensic analysis using DNA, dental records and circumstantial evidence.
Counter’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site in the Philippines along with the other soldiers missing in action from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been identfied.
Here is what happened to Counter, according to the agency:
On Dec. 5, 1942, Counter was a member of Company C, 126th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division, when he was killed during intense engagement with Japanese forces in the vicinity of Soputa-Sanananda Track in the Australian Territory of Papua (present-day Papua New Guinea.)
He was reportedly buried in an isolated grave north of Soputa.
In February 1943, the remains of an unidentified American soldier, tentatively associated with the 32nd Infantry Division, were interred at the U.S. Temporary Cemetery No. 2 at Soputa. On April 6, 1943, the remains, designated “Unknown X-10” were re-interred at Temporary Cemetery No. 1 at Soputa, then interred at U.S. Armed Forces Finschhafen No. 2, and re-designated “Unknown X-171.”
In 1947, the American Graves Registration service exhumed approximately 11,000 graves, including X-171, which was redesignated to X-2693, and shipped the remains to the Central Identification Point at the Manila Mausoleum in the Philippines. X-2693 could not be identified and were interred at Fort McKinley (now the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial.)
In November 2016, DPAA received authorization to re-examine the remains. Unknown X-2693 was disinterred Nov. 4, 2016, and sent to the laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska for analysis.
Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. Currently there are 72,977 service members (approximately 26,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable) still unaccounted for from World War II.
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