Julius H. O. Pieper

World War II
Service #6488523
RankRadioman Second Class, U.S. Navy
UnitUnited States Naval Reserve
Entered Service From
Nebraska
Date of DeathJune 19, 1944
StatusRecovered
Memorialized Tablets of the Missing
Normandy American Cemetery
Colleville-sur-Mer, France
BuriedPlot E Row 25 Grave 43
Normandy American Cemetery
Notes

Through the work of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, the remains of Radioman 2nd Class Julius H.O. Pieper were accounted for in 2017. His name is permanently inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at Normandy American Cemetery. --- Special Note: The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) announced on June 13, 2018 that the remains of a U.S. sailor recently accounted-for from World War II will be interred with full military honors at Normandy American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer, France, on June 19, 2018. Navy Reserve Radioman 2nd Class Julius H.O. Pieper, 19, accounted for by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) in 2017, will be buried next to his twin brother, Ludwig. On June 19, 1944, the brothers were serving aboard Landing Ship Tank Number 523 (LST-523), off the coast of Normandy, France. The ship exploded and sank after striking a German mine, killing both Julius and Ludwig. In the years following the incident, the remains of Julius were not recovered or identified. His twin brother, Radioman 2nd Class Ludwig J. Pieper, was recovered and buried at Normandy American Cemetery. At the request of the Pieper family, the grave of Ludwig was relocated in 2018 to a new location in the cemetery that will allow the brothers to rest side by side. In September 1961, French salvage divers dismantled the LST-523 and turned over potential remains discovered to U.S. authorities. The remains, designated as Unknown X-9352, were found in the Radio Room of LST-523. At the time, the remains could not be identified and were interred in Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium as an Unknown. In 2015, a high school student in Ainsworth, Nebraska, was researching the Pieper twins as part of a World War II research project managed by National History Day. The student, Vanessa Taylor, gathered information from the National Archives, requested records from DPAA and interviewed surviving family members. During the research process, a possible link between the remains recovered in 1961 and Julius Pieper was discovered by DPAA. The staff at DPAA did further research, exhumed the Unknown remains believed to be Julius in 2016, and made an identification which was announced in 2017. To identify Pieper’s remains, DPAA used laboratory analysis, including dental, anthropological and chest radiograph comparison analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Although interred as an Unknown in Ardennes American Cemetery, Pieper’s grave was meticulously cared for the past 70 years by ABMC. The Pieper brothers, along with the more than 172,000 Americans buried or memorialized at ABMC’s World War II cemeteries and memorials will continue to be honored in perpetuity ensuring their service, achievements and sacrifice will never be forgotten.

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Purple Heart

The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who after 5 April 1917 have been wounded or killed in action against an enemy of the United States or an opposing armed force, while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict, as the result of acts of enemy or hostile opposing forces, as a result of terrorist attacks or attacks on peacekeeping forces since 28 March 1973, or by friendly fire in circumstance as described above.

rosetta medal
When an individual’s remains have been accounted for by the U.S. Department of Defense, a rosette is placed next to the name on the Wall/Tablet/Court of the Missing to mark that the person now rests in a known gravesite.
Purple Heart