PVT. Jacob W. Givens
Jacob Whitney Givens was born in Butler County in Ohio on April 26th, 1914. He attended grammar school and then worked in the manufacturing industry.
Before the war, Jacob also got married.
He entered Service from Fort Thomas in Newport, Kentucky on the 24t of March 1944. After this he was assigned to K Company, 3rd Battalion of the 60th Infantry Regiment, part of the 9th Infantry Division.
As he arrived in the European Theater of Operations, he found himself and his unit in the middle of the Hurtgen Forest where a brutal battle was being fought since September 1944. K Company was part of the October push towards the town of Germeter. After days of heavy fighting, they set up a defensive position east of the main B399 Monschau – Duren road. From here the mission was to advance down south towards the town of Monschau. However, K Company kept their defensive positions along the road for a couple of days between October 15th and 23rd, 1944. During these days, several heavy artillery barrages were dropped on the men, and occasional counter attacks were received. It was on October 20th, 1944 that Private Jacob W. Givens went Missing In Action. One year later on October 21st, 1945, Private Givens was officially reported Missing in Action.
Private Givens’ name is mentioned on the Wall of Missing at the US Cemetery in Margraten, The Netherlands.
In the USA there is an empty tomb for Jacob as well. It is located at the Machpelah Cemetery in Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky.
After the war, the American Graves Registration Command extensively searched the Hürtgen Forest for him. No remains found in the area were identified as Givens, and the Army declared him non-recoverable.
While studying unresolved American losses in and unidentified remains recovered from the Hürtgen Forest, DPAA personnel analyzed historical documentation regarding X-5483 Neuville, a set of unidentified remains recovered on May 15, 1947 from District #20C of the Hürtgen Forest by the AGRC. The remains had originally been found by a German woodcutter who later led an AGRC team to the site. The AGRC team found the remains lying on the ground, surrounded by U.S. Army infantry equipment. The remains, designated X-5483, could not be identified, and were interred at the United States Military Cemetery Neuville (present day Ardennes American Cemetery).
Based upon the original recovery location of X-5483, a DPAA historian determined that there was a likely association between the remains and Givens. In June 2018, the Department of Defense and American Battle Monuments Commission disinterred X-5483 and accessioned the remains to the DPAA laboratory for identification.
To identify Givens’ remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y-chromosome DNA (Y-STR) analysis
Jacob Givens’ name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the Netherlands American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Margraten, Netherlands, along with the others missing from WWII. Although interred as an Unknown, Givens’ grave was meticulously cared for by ABMC for 70 years. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.*.
*Taken from the official press release by DPAA.
At the time of his passing Pvt. Givens was survived by his wife; Dorothy Setters Givens, his young daughter; Zelma Lois Givens, who later married Jack McDowell, his parents; Edwar Drake and Minerva Jane Roberson Givens, two sisters; Roberta Givens and Laura E. Givens and four brothers; Albert B. Givens, Thomas E. Givens, Floyd C. Givens and James A. Givens.
His lineage continues through his grandchildren; Jackie Mitchell and her husband Tim, Judi Calhoun and her husband Mike, the late Jennifer Hager and her husband still surviving Brian, and his grandson, John McDowell, six great grandchildren; Jeremy Whitney Mitchell, his wife Anita, Ashley Mitchell Martin her husband Pat, Nicholas Hager, his wife Jessica, Elaina Calhoun, her husband Justin, Cathryn Calhoun and Jacob Isaac McDowell, six great-great grandchildren also survive; Madi Mitchell, Jax, Brody and Presley Martin and Lynlee and Elizabeth Hager.
Celebration of Life Service for Pvt. Jacob Whitney Givens, will be conducted Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 12 noon at the Fitzpatrick First Baptist Church, Prestonsburg, with Pastor Tommy Reed officiating. The burial will follow in the McDowell Family Cemetery, Prestonsburg, memorial visitation will be from 4 until 8 p.m. Friday at the church, under the professional and dignified care of the Hall Funeral Home, Martin, Kentucky.
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