Date: May 27, 2024
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Location: Zoom, Facebook, YouTube
Events | Online Events

We mark Memorial Day with Open Conversation with America’s veterans about the meaning of the day and the memories, feelings, and thoughts it stirs. Please join us for this evening of reflection and storytelling about those who served and never returned home.

Special guest Jed Henry joins us to talk about his work recovering remains of US MIAs in Europe from World War II.

Jed led a team that recently discovered Army 1st Lieutenant Nathan B. Baskind, 28, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, killed during World War II.

In June 1944, Baskind was assigned to Company C, 899th Tank Destroyer Battalion, as a platoon commander of four M-10 tank destroyers. According to historical war records, 1st Lt. Baskind and another man from his company were scouting ahead of their tank destroyers when enemy forces descended upon them in an ambush. The other soldier, heavily wounded, escaped the firefight and made his way back to the main U.S. force, believing Baskind was killed in the attack. Several attempts were made to retrieve Baskind’s body from the ambush point, but they could not locate his remains.

Following the end of the war, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC) was tasked with investigating and recovering missing American personnel in Europe. Investigators discovered a death and burial report for 1st Lt. Baskind among the foreign records recovered from the Germans, evidently filed after the war on May 29, 1945, in Meiningen, Germany. The record revealed 1st Lt. Baskind was captured and later died at a hospital for German air force personnel near Cherbourg on June 23, 1944. German forces then buried him in the military cemetery in the city. In early 1948, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) sent the U.S. Army one of 1st Lt. Baskind’s identification tags. It is believed the German government likely submitted the tag to the ICRC, along with a death and burial report, following the war.

In November 1957, the Volksbund, the German War Grave Commission, contacted the U.S. Army regarding 1st Lt. Baskind. While disinterring a mass grave of what were believed to be 24 Germans buried in the Cherbourg cemetery, a Volksbund team discovered one of 1st Lt. Baskind’s identification tags and remnants of an American-type shirt with a first lieutenant rank and tank destroyer insignia. The remains in the mass grave were commingled, and the German team was unable to separate them into individual sets. The German investigators therefore placed the remains in seven burial pouches and then re-interred them in the Marigny German War Cemetery, 40 miles south of Cherbourg. Subsequent attempts to identify the remains of 1st Lt. Baskind by U.S. and German investigators were not successful.

In 2023, the Volksbund and other interested private research organizations exhumed the commingled remains from Marigny War Cemetery for analysis. By February 2024, these researchers contacted DPAA to inform the agency that 1st Lt. Baskind’s remains had been analyzed by a private U.S. laboratory and sought DPAA’s concurrence. To verify Baskind’s remains, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System reviewed the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), Y chromosome DNA (Y-STR), and autosomal DNA (auSTR) analysis previously performed.

1st Lt. Baskind’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at Normandy American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Colleville-sur-Mer, France, along with the others still missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

Baskind’s personnel profile can be viewed at