Washington, D.C.–A soldier killed in action at Hurtgen Forest during World War II has been identified, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency said.
Army Staff Sgt. Grady H. Canup, 30, of Greenwood, South Carolina was accounted for on Jan. 26.
In November 1944, Canup was assigned to Company C, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. His unit was part of the Hürtgen Forest offensive when he was reported killed in action on Nov. 14 when enemy artillery fire hit near his foxhole. Because of the fighting, his body was unable to be recovered.
Following the end of the war, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC) was tasked with investigating and recovering missing American personnel in Europe. They conducted several investigations in the Hürtgen area between 1946 and 1950 but were unable to recover or identify Canup’s remains. He was declared non-recoverable in December 1951.
While studying unresolved American losses in the Hürtgen area, a DPAA historian determined that one set of unidentified remains designated X-5450 Neuville, originally discovered by a German forester and recovered by the AGRC in 1947, possibly belonged to Canup. The remains, which had been buried in Ardennes American Cemetery, were disinterred in April 2019 and sent to the DPAA laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for examination and identification.
Meanwhile, in 2019, Canup’s identification tag was found in the Hürtgen Forest in the general location of where DPAA historians believed he was lost and near where X-5450 was recovered.
To identify Canup’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), Y chromosome DNA (Y-STR), and autosomal DNA (auSTR) analysis.
Canup’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at Netherlands American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Margraten, Netherlands, along with the others still missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
Canup will be buried on April 10 in Anderson, South Carolina.