New England Cable News has an interesting story about the use of both genealogy and DNA to be used to identify the remains of a World War II U.S. Marine who is believed to be buried in Manchuria, the northeastern corner of China.
Sgt. William Lynch of Dorchester, Massachusetts disappeared in World War II when his unit surrendered to the Japanese. He was known to be a prisoner of war but his family never heard from him again. Of the 1,500 US Marines captured together, Sgt. Lynch is the only one who has not been identified and his fate is not known.
Researchers believe that he was transported to Manchuria, tortured, and eventually died there. Former Chinese prisoners of the Japanese who were held at the same prisoner of war camp point to a nearby overgrown cemetery and talk of rumors of an American being buried in a specific grave there.
A veterans group hopes to send a team to the Chinese cemetery to perform DNA testing to see if the grave contains the remains of Sgt. William Lynch. The group contacted Marie Daly of the New England Historic Genealogical Society last summer to help identify living relatives who could provide mitochondrial DNA to help identify the soldier. Marie found living relatives in about 2 days.
You can see the complete television news story, including interviews of Marie Daly and of Judy Armour, Sgt. Lynch's niece, on New England Cable News web site at http://www.necn.com/Boston/New-England/2009/05/25/Family-receives-new-hope-in/1243303679.html or click on the image below.