Private Myron Elton Williams, served in the Company L, 3d Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment,
4th Infantry Division, in the European Theater during the Second World War, and was reported
missing in Action (MIA) as of 16 November 1944 near the town of Hürtgen, Germany. His
remains were not immediately recovered or identified after the war, therefore his official date
of death is listed as 17 November 1945.
While studying unresolved American losses in, and unidentified remains recovered from, the
forest southwest of the town of Hürtgen, a Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency historian
analyzed a set of remains recovered by the American Graves Registration Command in 1947
between Germeter and Hürtgen. A German forester had originally found them on the ground
near a "German mine belt." The remains had no means of identification, but remnants of
uniform and equipment indicated that the individual had been part of the U.S. Army. Sketch
map of the recovery location shows that the remains were lying within forest District #88. The
lead investigator reported that the recovery area was not only mined but also showed
extensive artillery damage. He estimated that the individual had likely died in November 1944,
based upon reports that the heaviest fighting in that area took place at that time.
The recovery team transferred the remains to the Central Identification Point at Neuville-en-
Condroz, Belgium. All efforts to identify in the 1940s failed. On 27 July 1949 a board of officers
declared the remains to be unidentifiable. On 29 September 1949, the AGRC interred the
remains in Plot C, Row 21, Grave 16, at U.S. Military Cemetery (USMC) Neuville, which is now
Ardennes American Cemetery.
Based upon available historical records, a DPAA historian determined the remains probably
belonged to a member of 1st or 2d Battalion, 109th Infantry, or 3d Battalion, 12th infantry
Regiment, killed between 2 and 21 November 1944. Following comprehensive study, the
historian recommended disinterring the remains and provided a list of 12 soldiers as possible
historical candidates. Analysis of the records for these candidates excluded all but four of the
soldiers. Private Williams was among the soldiers still considered a likely candidate. The
Department of Defense and American Battle Monuments Commission exhumed the remains in
April 2019 and transferred them to the DPAA Laboratory. DNA testing was performed and the
laboratory analysis and the totality of the circumstantial evidence available established the
remains to be those of Private Myron Elton Williams, U.S. Army.
Private Williams was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal; Purple Heart Medal; Good
Conduct Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, with three bronze service
stars with arrowhead; World War II Victory Medal; Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award; and
the Honorable Service Lapel Button WWII.
His name is permanently inscribed on the "Tablets of The Missing" at the Netherlands American
Cemetery and Memorial Margraten, Eijsden-Margraten Municipality, Limburg, Netherlands.
After seventy-eight years, Private Williams’ remains were identified using DNA Analysis and will
be returned to be reunited with his family.
Private Myron Elton Williams was born on 4 May 1915 in Ottawa, Illinois. He grew up in Dixon,
Illinois and graduated from Dixon High School in 1933. He enrolled in the University of Illinois in
1933 attending through 1936 where he met and married his wife, Dorothy Havener Williams, of
He entered Active-Duty in the United States Army on 17 September 1943. He was assigned to
the 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, which eventually deployed to Devonshire,
England on 26-29 January 1944, moving later to Southbrent, England on 15 May 1944 in
preparation for D-Day and the scheduled invasion at UTAH Beach (Tare Green). However, the
strong marine current moved their landing site two kilometers south of La Madeleine in front of
the German W-5 stronghold. Elements of the 12th Infantry Regiment landed shortly after noon
and waded through waist-high water in a flooded swamp area full of ditches and holes for
three-hours with the Germans firing down on them. Eventually making their way to Cherbourg
on 21 June 1944, the 4th Infantry Division and Units were directed to the south to the
Carentan-Periers area on 1 July 1944. On 25 August 1944, the 12th Infantry Regiment
participated in the “Liberation of Paris” operations. By 6 September 1944, the 4th Infantry
Division reached Ardennes, France, continuing to Luxembourg, Belgium on 8-9 September
1944, and reached Liege, Belgium on 10 September 1944 stopping for a few weeks for a
gasoline shortage until 7 November 1944, when the 12 Infantry Regiment entered the Hurtgen
At the beginning of D-Day, the 12 th Infantry had consisted of 3,800 personnel. By July 1, 1944, it
consisted of 1,130 men.
At the time of his death, Private Williams was survived by his wife, Dorothy Havener Williams,
Urbana, Illinois. In addition, he was survived by five sisters: Geraldine Williams Reid; Mary
Williams Zuend; Alice Williams Chase; Juanita Williams Scheppach; and Lura Williams Crossley.
Current living relatives are nephews: Douglas Reid, Tampa, Florida; James Reid, Dallas, Texas;
Dr. J. William Scheppach, Bend, Oregon; William Crossley, Brazil; Dr. David Crossley, Las Vegas,
Nevada and Elton Crossley of Sequiem, Washington ; and nieces: Dianne Chase Mangum, Austin, Texas; Catherine Chase Hernandez, Austin,
Texas; Mary Scheppach Carlson, Roseland, Virginia; and Janet Crossley, Nipomo, California.
Funeral Services for Private Myron Elton Williams will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Friday, June 2, 2023, at Central Texas Veterans Cemetery in Killeen. The community is Invited to come show their support in laying him to rest after missing in action for over seventy nine years.
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