Joe Allen Vinyard was born on 21 June 1921 at Loudon, TN.
He was the son of Joe Henry and Fannie Mae Akins Vinyard
Enlisted – 13 August 1942, Ft. Oglethorpe, GA
He was a Corporal in US Army WWII in the 774th Tank Battalion.

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Soldier went missing in WWII, will be laid to rest in Maryville

Devarrick Turner

A Loudon County native killed during World War II is being laid to rest in Maryville, after his remains had been unidentified for nearly 80 years.

Army Cpl. Joe A. Vinyard will be interred June 17 at Grandview Cemetery according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. Smith Funeral & Cremation Services will perform graveside services.

Vinyard was a M4 Sherman tank crewmember assigned to Company A, 774th Tank Battalion in Germany. Vinyard went missing after his crew’s tank was hit by German forces in December 1944. The War Department issued a presumptive finding of death for Vinyard in April 1946. He was 23 years old.

Through continued DNA testing of unidentified remains from WWII, the DPAA was able to account for Vinyard on Sept. 9, 2022.

The sole missing crewmember

In December 1944, Vinyard and his tank crew were engaged in a battle with German forces in the Hürtgen Forest near Gey, Germany, when they were hit by an anti-tank artillery round.

The crew escaped the tank, but when they regrouped, Vinyard was not there. A crewmember reported seeing Vinyard get out of the tank. Vinyard never returned and there were no remains in the tank, according to initial inspections.

Investigations in the Hürtgen area between 1946 and 1950 by the American Graves Registration Command found remains in two destroyed tanks near the Gey area. The remains couldn’t be identified and were buried in Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium. Vinyard was declared non-recoverable in 1950.

One set of the remains was disinterred in July 2021 and sent to the DPAA laboratory in Nebraska to undergo testing and analysis. Using DNA from a relative, it was determined the remains were Vinyard.

Vinyard’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Netherlands American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission, along with others still missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

More information about Vinyard and the DPAA’s mission to account for those who went missing while serving can be found at

Devarrick Turner is a trending news reporter. Email . Twitter @dturner1208 .

  • Rank: Corporal
  • Date of birth:
  • 21 June 1921
  • Date of death: 18 April 1946
  • County: Loudon
  • Hometown: Greenback
  • Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
  • Division/Assignment: 774th Tank Battalion
  • Theater: Europe
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Battles: Hürtgen Forest
  • Awards: Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands; Grandview Cemetery, Maryville
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar XV, Top Panel
  • Contact us to sponsor Joe A. Vinyard

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