Remains of World War II soldier identified, returned home to Buffalo

The remains of an American soldier who was killed in World War II have been identified and returned home to New York after nearly 80 years.

U.S. Army Pfc. Bartholomew Loschiavo of Buffalo was killed in action on Oct. 1, 1944, while his unit engaged German troops near Grevenmacher, Luxembourg.

According to a witness at the battle, 24-year-old Loschiavo was hit by an enemy mortar shell, injuring his legs and abdomen, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) said in a statement. While trying to reach over, Loschiavo rolled off a terrace and disappeared into a cluster of grapevines. His remains could not be located after the battle.

"He really wanted to serve. It was something he wanted to do and we're proud of that. He did do that," his great-nephew Donald Loschiavo told CBS affiliate WIVB-TV.

Local residents discovered his remains and buried him in the village cemetery in Grevenmacher in April 1945. A year later, the American Graves Registration Command recovered the remains and transferred them to the Luxembourg American Cemetery, where he was laid to rest in an anonymous grave for more than 75 years.

U.S. Army Pfc. Bartholomew Loschiavo, 24, of Buffalo, N. Y. was killed in action on Oct. 1, 1944 while his unit engaged German troops near Grevenmacher, Luxembourg. / Credit: Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency
U.S. Army Pfc. Bartholomew Loschiavo, 24, of Buffalo, N. Y. was killed in action on Oct. 1, 1944 while his unit engaged German troops near Grevenmacher, Luxembourg. / Credit: Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency

"There was 5,000 men in that cemetery alone, including Bart, and there's 96 of them still, with no name," Donald Loschiago told WIVB-TV. "I hope other people would do this for their family member and bring them home."

In 2020, his family contacted DPAA to ask if analysts could determine whether the remains might have been those of their relative. After several years, the U.S. Department of Defense and the American Battle Monuments Commission notified the Loschiavo family that their DNA was a positive match to the remains.

On May 27, just days before what would have been Bartholomew Loschiavo's 104 birthday, his remains were returned home, WIVB-TV reported.

"We couldn't be more proud of him and what he did for this country," great-nephew David Loschiavo told WIVB-TV. "That's really what it's all about."

Pfc. Loschiavo's name was recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Luxembourg American Cemetery. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for. His final burial took place on Saturday in Buffalo.

"This is closure and just sad that his brothers and sisters never had a chance to find out the truth," Donald Loschiavo said.

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