Dec. 12, 2023
Soldier Accounted for from WWII Hood E. Cole
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that U.S. Army Pfc. Hood E. Cole, 26, of Atlanta, Georgia, killed during World War II, was accounted for Feb. 22, 2023.
In January 1945, Cole was assigned to L Company, 3rd Battalion, 276th Infantry Regiment, 70th Infantry Division. On Jan. 14, Cole was killed in action when his unit was attacked by German forces near Baerenthal, France. At some point during the fighting, Cole was killed, but historical records do not indicate exactly where. Due to the fighting, his body was unable to be immediately recovered.
Beginning in 1947, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC), the organization that searched for and recovered fallen American personnel in the European Theater, searched the area around Baerenthal. None of the investigations uncovered any leads regarding the disposition of Cole’s remains. He was declared non-recoverable on May 11, 1951.
DPAA historians have been conducting ongoing research into Soldiers missing from combat around Baerenthal and found that X-9441 and X-9442 Frankfurt Mausoleum, buried in Ardennes American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Neupré, Belgium, could be associated with Cole. X-9441 and X-9442 were disinterred in April 2018 and transferred to the DPAA Laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for analysis.
Cole’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at Epinal American Cemetery in Dinozé, France, along with others still missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
Cole will be buried on January 15, 2024, in Canton, Georgia
January 13, 2024, at 1:34 pm EST
ATLANTA — A World War II soldier who had been missing in action for nearly 80 years will finally be laid to rest in his metro Atlanta hometown.
U.S. Army Private First Class Hood Cole died in Jan. 1945 while assigned to the 70th Infantry Division in France, but his family never knew what happened to him. The Army listed him as “MIA” and “unrecoverable.”
“For them to put all this effort in and bring him back and identify him and go through the full military honors, it’s just been fantastic. The only regret we have is that my grandmother didn’t live to see it,” Sgt. Rusty Midkiff said.
Cole’s family said his remains were found in 1978, but no one knew who he was until DNA evidence linked Cole to his family.
He will be laid to rest on the 80th anniversary of the day he enlisted in the Army.
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