Louis Salvatore Doddo is a United States Army soldier who was killed in action during the Battle of Saipan Island on July 7, 1944. His remains were found in 1950 and they were identified on November 3, 2020.

Early Life

Louis Doddo was born on December 25, 1913 in Norwalk, Connecticut. Before he joined the military, he was living in Hartford, Connecticut and working as a carpenter. He was also not married and had no children.

Military Service

Doddo joined the United States Army on March 21, 1941. His service number was 31042417. Before his death at the Battle of Saipan, he was a Staff Sergeant for the 27th Infantry Division, 105th Infantry Regiment.

Battle of Saipan

One June 15, 1944, the V Amphibious Corps (consisting of the 2nd Marine Division, the 4th Marine Division, and the 27th Infantry Division) invaded the island of Saipan as part of Operation Forager. Defending the island was the 31st Army of the Imperial Japanese Army. Doddo participated in the battle. At some point, he guarded Japanese commander Jiro Saito, member of the staff of rear Admiral Takeshita Tsu, after he walked out of a dugout Doddo tossed a grenade into. On July 7, 1944, Doddo was reported to be killed during the battle, although the circumstances of his death are not known.

The Battle of Saipan, sometimes called the Pacific D-Day, ended two days later on July 9, 1944. Thirteen hundred and seventy American Marines and soldiers were killed wounded, or missing, twenty-nine thousand Japanese soldiers were killed (with 5,000 committing suicide), and twenty-thousand civilians were killed.

Aftermath

After his death, Doddo was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. He was also memorialized on Court 7 of the Courts of Missing at the Honolulu Memorial at Honolulu, Hawaii. He was declared dead by the US Army on July 8, 1945.

After World War II ended, the American Graves Registration Service searched and disinterred remains of United States servicemen of the Pacific Theater. In 1950, Doddo's remains were recovered at the 27th Infantry Cemetery on Saipan, but they were unable to be identified. As a result, AGRS labelled his remains "X-26" and buried him at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in the Philippines on March 30, 1950.

Identification

On December 26, 2018, the remains of X-26 were exhumed after historians working for the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency determined the remains could be Doddo's or four other soldiers. The remains were sent to the the DPAA Laboratory at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, for analysis. DPAA scientists use dental analysis, anthropological analysis, and circumstantial evidence. Scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

Through these methods, X-26 was identified as Louis Salvatore Doddo on November 3, 2020. He will be buried in May of 2021 at his hometown.

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