Remains of Bloomfield WWII soldier will be interred at Arlington Nation Cemetery nearly 78 years after his death

Army Sgt. Larry S. Wassil USDOD

The remains of a Bloomfield soldier killed in World War II will finally be interred at Arlington National Cemetery May 13.

Graveside services for Army Sgt. Larry S. Wassil will be performed by Everly-Wheatley Funerals and Cremation, Alexandria, Virginia, preceding the interment.

A Bloomfield native, Wassil was assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division. His unit was part of the Hürtgen Forest offensive, near Hürtgen, Germany, when he was reported missing in action Dec. 28, 1944, at age 33.

Wassil was leading a three-man reconnaissance team scouting enemy positions near Bergstein when they started taking enemy machine gun fire, forcing them to scatter. When the gunfire stopped, the other two men found each other, but were unable to find Wassil. German forces never listed him as a prisoner of war and the War Department issued a presumptive finding of death for Wassil Dec. 29, 1945.

Following the end of the war, the American Graves Registration Command conducted several investigations in the Hürtgen area between 1946 and 1950, but were unable to recover or identify Wassil’s remains.

He was declared non-recoverable in December 1951.

While studying unresolved American losses in the Hürtgen area, a historian with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency determined one set of unidentified remains, designated X-9118 Griesheim Mausoleum, originally discovered by German wood cutters near Bergstein and recovered by the AGRC in 1952, possibly belonged to Wassil.

The remains, which had been buried in Ardennes American Cemetery, were disinterred in April 2019 and sent to the DPAA laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for examination and identification.

Wassil was accounted for by the DPAA July 27, 2021, after his remains were identified using circumstantial and material evidence, as well as, dental, anthropological, mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome DNA and autosomal DNA analysis.

His name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Netherlands American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Margraten, Netherlands, along with others still missing from World War II.

A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for — all these years later.

For additional information about Sgt. Wassil, visit:

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.