The Successful Search for Lawrence Gordon - 3rd Armored Division
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Last updated: June 10, 2014 - What's New?

Lawrence S. Gordon was born in Canada to American parents, thus having dual nationality. As a young man, he moved to Wyoming and worked on a sheep ranch in 1940. When WWII broke out, he enlisted in the US Army 24 Jan 1942. He was eventually assigned to the Reconnaissance Company of the 32nd Armored Regiment of 3rd Armored Division. Many of his buddies were transferred in 1943 as cadre to the newly formed 7th Armored Division, which is why this web page is on the 7AD web site, since some of our veterans may have been his buddies who would want to know about him.

He was a member of an armored car crew. On 13 Aug 1944, the armored car was hit, killing all but one of the crew. All of the remains were recovered, including two sets of unknown remains, labeled X-2 and X-3 and taken to the temporary US military cemetery at Gorron, France. X-2 was later identified. But in 1945 a review of X-3 found that he was wearing a German overcoat. So his remains were considered to be German and turned over to Germany after the war, when they were buried at the German WWII ossuary Mont de Huisnes in France.

About 2010, Jed Henry - grandson of another member of Lawrence Gordon's Reconnaissance Company - learned of this incident and began to research what happened to Lawrence Gordon. He put together a team of four others who provided guidance and advice on different aspects of the search and also family members of Lawrence Gordon. This research led to the findings above ... and more. It turned out that one of the other crew members who was positively identified was also wearing a German overcoat. So it seemed highly likely that X-3 was not a German soldier but was in fact Lawrence Gordon.

The German War Graves Commission (Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge) reviewed the findings of the research and agreed that the remains may be those of Lawrence Gordon and should be DNA-tested. The sad thing is that if the remains were buried in a US military cemetery, the US accounting agencies would never have found sufficient grounds for doing such a test. So it was fortunate that they were not in US custody.

On September 13, 2013, the remains had extracts taken by French DNA experts, with some samples possibly being also sent to the US for testing. Results of the DNA testing should be known by January 2014. Even if the results are negative, Lawrence Gordon's family will at least have closure from the knowledge that as much was done as was possible -- something that the US accounting agencies would never have given them.

In the May 30, 2014 press release announcing the US recognition of the identification, the Gordon family thanked the following individuals personally "for the service and dedication to the identification of PFC Gordon": Commander Renee R. Richardson, Jed Henry (Amateur researcher), Alexis Boban (French historian/WWII Expert), Wesley Johnston (Historian 7th Armored Division), Patrick Gorman (Amateur researcher), Ed Huffine (DNA expert-Bode Technology), Josh Hyman (DNA expert-University of Wisconsin), Frédéric Dupuch (Director INPS), Ryan Knocke(formerly of Senator Herb Kohl’s office), Margaret McInnis (Rep. Pocan’s office), Kelly Dean (Archivist at NPRC), Susan Kilianski (HRC), Josh Fennell (DPMO), Chris McDermott (JPAC)

This web page contains links to coverage of these events.


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