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Military identifies slain World War II soldier after over 75 year wait

ASHLAND, Ohio — The remains of an Ohio soldier killed while fighting in France during World War II have now been positively identified, Defense Department officials announced Monday.

Pfc. Sanford Keith Bowen, 26, of Ashland, was part of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division. The unit that was attempting to secure terrain near Reipertswiller, France in January 1945 when they were surrounded by German forces, officials said.

Sanford Keith Bowen will be buried July 22 in Shiloh.
Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency

Only two men from his company made it through German lines, and the rest were captured or killed. Bowen’s body could not be immediately recovered, due to the heavy fighting.

Historians with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency said their scientists used anthropological analysis to identify Bowen. He was actually accounted for back in March, officials said, but the announcement was delayed until his family received a full briefing.

Bowen will be buried July 22 in Shiloh.

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