An agency that keeps track of missing US soldiers said Thursday it had tracked a North Carolina man who served in World War II and went missing in battle.
The Defense POW / MIA Accounting Agency said in a press release Thursday that it had identified U.S. Army 1st Lt. James E. Wright of Parkton.
The press release stated that Wright was assigned in September 1944 to the 5th Infantry Division, part of the Third Army under Lieutenant General George S. Patton. On the morning of September 8, Wright’s unit was part of a larger force ordered to cross the Moselle and take up positions in the woods. The force held its position against the Germans and suffered heavy casualties until September 10, when they again crossed the river. It was only then that they were allowed to retreat, the statement said.
Most of the soldiers were able to retreat, although some officers remained behind to search for the wounded or missing before crossing again. Wright was among the missing soldiers and his body has not been found due to the fighting and the German presence, the agency said.
In 2012, a private researcher from the 7th Armored Division Association suggested that one of the unknowns identified only as X-46 Hamm and buried in the Luxembourg American Cemetery could match a soldier from Wright’s unit or the 7th. Armored Division. After researching and comparing records, the X-46 was exhumed in May 2016 and sent to a lab at a Nebraska Air Force base for identification.
Wright’s name is inscribed on the walls of the Missing at the Lorraine American Cemetery, a site of the American Battle Monuments Commission in Saint-Avold, France. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate that he has been considered, the agency said.
Wright will be buried on October 12 at Lumber Bridge.