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MIA since WWII, 19-year-old Staff Sgt. Blanton coming home to Richmond
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MIA since WWII, 19-year-old Staff Sgt. Blanton coming home to Richmond

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Raymond Carlyle Blanton

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Raymond “Carlyle” Blanton, 19, of Richmond was killed during World War II and was long missing.

The young man was finally accounted for on April 23, 2020, said a news release on Wednesday from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

In October 1944, Blanton was assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division engaged in battle with German forces near Germeter, Germany, in the Hürtgen Forest.

He was killed in action on Oct. 14. Blanton could not be recovered because of ongoing fighting.

Following the end of the war, the American Graves Registration Command was tasked with investigating and recovering missing American personnel in Europe, according to a release from Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

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Several investigations occurred in the Hürtgen area between 1946 and 1950, but Blanton’s remains were never found and he was declared non-recoverable in 1951.

While studying unresolved American losses in the Hürtgen area, a DPAA historian determined that one of two sets of unidentified recovered remains, comingled from Raffelsbrand sector of the Hürtgen Forest near Germeter in 1946, possibly belonged to Blanton.

The remains had been buried in Ardennes American Cemetery in 1950, were disinterred in September 2017 and sent to the DPAA laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for identification.

Scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis and circumstantial evidence to identify Blanton’s remains. Scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA analysis, the release stated.

Blanton’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at Netherlands American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Margarten, Netherlands. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

Blanton will be buried July 1, 2021 in his hometown of Richmond, according to the release.

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