Wednesday, September 27, 2006

WWI Hero Buried

A Cincinnati man long listed as missing in action in World War I has finally returned home. Pvt. Francis Lupo, of Cincinnati, Ohio, was killed on July 21, 1918, during an attack on German forces near Soissons, France. His remains were discovered by a French archaeologist in 2003 and identified by scientists from the Pentagon's Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory. He was 23 years old when he was killed.
Pvt. Francis Lupo's funeral at Arlington National Cemetery
Pvt. Lupo was interred at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. An Army honor guard carried him to his final resting place, while French military officers greeted family members as they sat at graveside. Larry Greer, a Pentagon spokesman on POW-MIA issues, said it was the first time the remains of a World War I service member have been recovered and identified since the Pentagon established an office in the 1960s with the specific mission of identifying war dead from abroad. He said available government records do not indicate when or whether World War I remains had been recovered and identified prior to the 1960s. Lupo was a member of Company E, 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division when his unit fought as part of a combined French-American attack on German forces near Soissons in what came to be known as the Second Battle of the Marne.Some have called that battle a turning point in the war, halting German advances toward Paris. Of the 1st Infantry Division's 12,228 infantry officers and enlisted soldiers who fought in the Second Battle of the Marne, all but 3,923 were killed, wounded, taken prisoner or listed as missing, according to a Pentagon historical report. Lupo was reported missing-in-action, and no witness report or statement concerning the circumstances of his loss appears in the available records, the Pentagon report said. Lupo's name was memorialized on the list of missing soldiers inscribed on the walls of the memorial chapel at the Aisne-Marne American Military Cemetery near the village of Belleau, not far from where he was killed.

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