Beloit army sergeant killed during World War II accounted for, remains to be buried in hometown

Man died Dec. 5, 1942
Beloit army sergeant killed during World War II accounted for, remains to be buried in hometown
Courtesy of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced Monday that Army Sgt. Robert W. McCarville, from Beloit, who was killed at 24 years old during World War II, was accounted for July 10, 2019.

According to a release, McCarville was a member of Company L, 128th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division. He died in action Dec. 5, 1942, during an attack near Cape Endaiadere at the Duropa Plantation in the Territory of Papua. At the time, his unit wasn’t able to recover his remains.

The release said out of 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died. There are 72,650 service members who are still unaccounted for from the war, and 30,000 are deemed to be possibly recoverable.

A platoon leader from his company remembered McCarville’s remains were recovered Dec. 18, 1942, and buried in a temporary grave. The leader said the remains were transferred to a small cemetery on the beach at Cape Endaiadere in January 1943.

The release said remains of an unidentified American soldier were buried Jan. 6, 1943 at U.S. Duropa Plantation Cemetery No. 1. The remains were moved to U.S. Armed Forces Cemetery Finschhafen No. 2 in March 1945 and designated “Unknown X-34.”

In 1947, 11,000 sets of remains, including X-34, were exhumed by the American Graves Registration and sent to the Central Identification Point at the Manila Mausoleum in the Philippines. X-34 was not identified and was then buried at Fort McKinley, now known as the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial.

The remains of X-34 were removed Nov. 4, 2016 and sent to DPAA. X-34’s remains were identified by scientists as McCarville using dental and anthropological analysis. Scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome DNA analysis to further identify the remains.

McCarville will be buried Nov. 10, 2019, in his hometown. Since he’s been accounted for, a rosette will be added next to McCarville’s name on the Wall of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial. The memorial is an American Battle Monuments Commission site.