U.S. Army Pfc. Donald Hofman Accounted For After Being Killed in World War II

Us Army Pfc Donald HofmanU.S. Army Pfc. Donald Hofman, 19, from Grand Rapids who was killed during World War II was accounted for July 8, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

Hofman was assigned to Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division in January 1945. The unit was supporting five companies attempting to secure terrain near Reipertswiller, France when they were surrounded by German forces.

They attempted a break-out on Jan. 20, but only two men made it through the German lines and the rest were either captured or killed. Hofman was among the ones killed, but his body was not recovered because of the fighting.

In 1946, the American Graves Registration Command searched the area around Reipertswiller and found 37 unidentified sets of American remains. They were not able to identify any of them as Hofman, and he was declared non-recoverable on May 22, 1951.

Historians in the DPAA have been researching soldiers missing from combat around Reipertswiller and found that Unknown X-6376 Neuville, buried at Ardennes American Cemetery could be associated with Hofman. In July 2021, X-6367 was disinterred and transferred to the DPAA Laboratory for analysis.

Scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis and circumstantial evidence to identify Hofman’s remains. Scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System also used mitochondrial DNA, Y chromosome DNA and autosomal DNA analysis.

A rosette will be placed next to Hofman’s name on the Walls of the Missing at Epinal American Cemetery to indicate that he as been accounted for.

Hofman will be buried in Byron Center, Michigan.