BISMARCK, ND (KXNET) — The remains of Army Private First Class Robert L. Alexander, a Soldier from North Dakota who was killed during World War II, will be laid to rest on November 14, at Arlington National Cemetery.
According to a news release, Alexander was a native of Tolley, North Dakota, and a member of the 105th Infantry Regiment, 27th Infantry Division. His unit was fighting the Japanese on Saipan in the Mariana Islands on July 7, 1944, when he was killed in action after the Japanese general on Saipan ordered his forces into a mass suicide, or “banzai,” attack against the 105th’s lines. Alexander was 27 years old.
Following the end of the war, the American Graves Registration Service – tasked with investigating and recovering missing American personnel in the Pacific Theater – searched for and disinterred remains on Saipan but could not identify any as Alexander. He was declared non-recoverable in September 1949.
His remains, designated as Unknown X-27 27th Infantry Division Cemetery, were later recovered from Saipan and laid to rest in the Fort William McKinley Cemetery, now the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in the Philippines.
After thorough research determined that Unknown X-27 could likely be identified, the remains were taken, and sent to the DPAA Laboratory at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, for analysis.
Alexander was accounted for by the DPAA on June 21, 2022, after his remains were identified using circumstantial and material evidence as well as dental, anthropological, and mitochondrial DNA analysis.
His name is recorded on the Counts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, 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.