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S.W. Florida Daily News


Veteran's remains identified through DNA testing 80 years later

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The remains of a US Army private, killed during World War II in 1944, have been identified through DNA testing after 80 years. Army Sports Hall of Famer Pvt. Gordon H. Yates was only 19 when he died during a battle in the South Pacific. For decades, his remains were considered unidentifiable, but with the help of new forensic technology, researchers were able to locate his surviving family members and confirm the identity of his remains. Yates will finally be laid to rest in his hometown in Illinois.


The identification of remains of veterans who fought in wars decades ago and were never found has been made possible due to the advancements in DNA testing. After decades of not knowing where their loved ones were, families of veterans are finally finding closure.


During World War II, the United States suffered huge losses, with over 400,000 American soldiers dying in battle. Many of those soldiers were declared missing in action and their remains never found. For decades, families of those soldiers were left without answers. However, with the progress in DNA technology, remains of many of these soldiers are being identified, even 80 years after their death.

How DNA testing is used to identify remains

DNA testing is a popular scientific technique that is being used to establish the identity of human remains. It is a process that involves comparing DNA from the remains to that from the close family members of the deceased. The discovery of DNA structure has had a tremendous effect on forensic science and identification of remains.

DNA testing is able to provide evidence linking biological material to individuals with a high degree of accuracy. In the case of veterans, this process involves finding a relative who shares DNA similarities with the remains, which is referred to as a family reference sample. This family reference sample is then tested and compared with the remains’ DNA to determine whether they are a match.

Why DNA testing is important for veterans

DNA testing of remains is important to veterans in many ways. Firstly, it helps to provide closure for the families of the veterans. The knowledge of how, where, and when their loved ones died brings a sense of closure and allows them to honor and memorialize their loved ones properly. Secondly, it helps to identify the remains of veterans who were interred in mass graves and unidentified cemeteries across the world. Many of these remains are finally being identified 80 years later, thanks to DNA testing

Finally, DNA testing allows veterans to get proper respect and recognition for their sacrifice. Often, veterans who were never found were not properly honored and remembered. However, with the identification of remains through DNA testing, these veterans can finally receive the honors and commendation that they deserve. This not only applies to the veterans but their families as well, who feel a sense of pride and closure knowing that their loved ones are getting the proper recognition.


The identification of veterans’ remains through DNA testing, eight decades later after their death, remains a significant breakthrough in forensic science. It offers incalculable value to the families and loved ones of the veterans. While some families never got the opportunity to receive the remains of their loved ones, the identification permits them to give their loved ones the proper burial and honors they deserve. This process of identification portrays a sense of appreciation and gratitude to all the servicemen and women who have served to protect our country. Finally, it serves as an acknowledgment of the sacrifices made and the importance of commemorating such service.


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