HUNTSVILLE, Tenn. — The remains of a World War II soldier will finally return home to be laid to rest 76 years after his death.
Army Pfc. Oliver Jeffers of Huntsville, Tennessee, was assigned to Company L, 3rd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. On Nov. 10, 1944, he was killed while his unit was fighting German forces near Germeter, Germany in the Hürtgen Forest.
At the time of his death, his body could not be recovered because of the on-going fighting.
Years later, in 2018, a historian with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency studying unresolved American losses in the Hürtgen area determined that one set of unidentified remains recovered from a minefield near Germeter in 1946 could possibly belong to Jeffers.
The remains were positively identified using circumstantial and material evidence and mitochondrial and autosomal DNA analysis.
His body will return to East Tennessee to be laid to rest. A funeral will be held on Wednesday, October 7, at 1 p.m. at the Fairview Missionary Baptist Church in the Fairview community and burial will follow in the Fairview Cemetery with full military honors. Military personnel will be serving as pallbearers.
According to his obituary, Jeffers was born in Huntsville on Oct. 7, 1913, and was a member of the Fairview Missionary Baptist Church.
He still has surviving family members in the area, according to the obituary.
Jeffers’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at Netherlands American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Margarten, Netherlands, along with others still missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.