BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — Another World War II hero is coming home. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced Thursday that the remains of U.S. Army Pfc. Lowell Dalton Smith have been identified and his family notified.
Smith’s identity was confirmed on June 21 but the announcement was delayed until family could be given a full briefing. He was a native of Battle Creek.
According to the DPAA, in January 1945, he was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division. The unit was a reserve in the Battle of Reipertswiller in France. On Jan. 21, Smith was part of an assault squad that attacked German forces surrounding several companies, trying to break their allies free. After taking on fire, including mortars and snipers, Company F was forced to withdraw. That’s when his unit realized Smith was missing.
Months later, Army personnel reviewed German records of fighting that day and discovered a German death report for Smith.
The process to recover fallen American soldiers started in 1946, led by the American Graves Registration Command. Among the remains, 37 sets were unidentifiable and Smith was declared nonrecoverable in 1951.
Historians with the DPAA reviewing the files found evidence that tied one sets of remains to Smith. In June of 2021, the remains, then identified as X-8062, were disinterred from the Lorraine American Cemetery in St. Avold, France, and taken to a DPAA lab in Nebraska.
Scientists used dental records and other circumstantial evidence along with a confirmed mitochondrial DNA match to confirm the remains belonged to Smith.
Smith’s name will remain on the Walls of the Missing at the Epinal American Cemetery in France. According to the DPAA, a rosette will now be placed next to his name to indicate he has since been found.
Smith is expected to be buried at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta. A date has yet to be set for a ceremony.