Remains of WWII Marine Corps Reserve corporal from Tennessee now identified

Marine Corps Reserve Cpl. William R. Ragsdale
Posted at 1:57 PM, Jul 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-16 15:07:16-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — World War II Marine Corps Reserve Cpl. William R. Ragsdale, 23, of Nashville, Tennessee was officially accounted for by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) on April 15, 2022.

He had been a member of Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division as part of the invasion force of the island of Saipan in an effort to capture the Mariana Islands from Japan.

Ragsdale was first reported as wounded in action and evacuated from Saipan on June 28, 1944. In the chaos surrounding the battle and its aftermath, his status was changed to missing in action and then deceased.

After the war ended, the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) was tasked with the investigation and recovery of missing American personnel in the Pacific Theater.

When AGRS was not able to identify any of the remains on Saipan as Ragdale, he was declared non-recoverable.

Remains designated as Unknown X-6 were collected from Saipan and interred in an American Battle Monuments Commission site in the Philippines. They were sent to the DPAA Laboratory in Hawaii for analysis when it was determined in January of 2020 that they could likely be identified.

Using dental, anthropological and mitochondrial DNA analysis in combination with circumstantial and material evidence, X-6 was successfully identified as Ragsdale.

Ragsdale's name is recorded in the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetary of the Pacific in Honolulu, alongside others who remain missing from World War II. A rosette will now be placed next to his name to indicate that he has been accounted for.

He will be buried in his hometown, Nashville, on August 6, 2022.