RECENTLY FOUND HEROES

 

from ALL PAST WARS

 

 

HONOR THE DEAD BY HELPING THE LIVING”

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

"Returning with Honor"
March 03, 2017

KHAMMOUANE, Laos --

With 1,614 service members missing in action from the Vietnam War, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) deploys hundreds of service members,
DoD civilians, and contractors all over the world in hopes of returning our nation’s fallen heroes.

Recently a team of 59 personnel completed DPAA’s second Laos mission of fiscal year 2017, covering the Central East region of Laos. From rice patties to mountainsides,
the teams excavated thousands of square meters of land recovering important evidence relating to missing servicemen lost during the war.

“I’m very honored to have been part of this initiative to bring our missing home,” said U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chris Walgenbach,
recovery non-commissioned officer. “This mission has been the most unique part of my 13 year career in the military and I know others feel the same way.”

Every team member plays an important role in mission success. Whether that is the recovery non-commissioned officer setting up the sites,
or the recovery leader collecting scientific data, working together ensures nothing is overlooked and the safety of the team remains number one priority.

Due to the efforts of the teams, Laos representatives handed over possible remains to the U.S. to be repatriated and welcomed back on American soil after 48 years.
Upon arrival the possible remains will be transported to DPAA’s laboratory for examination and possible identification.

“During this mission I have worked along side some of the greatest men and women I’ve had the pleasure of meeting,
and being chosen for the repatriation ceremony was a perfect way to end such a great mission,” said U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Andrew Brod,
recovery non-commissioned officer. “It is truly an honor to be bringing closure to the families of our fallen service members.”

The hard work and continued dedication of these teams makes it possible for DPAA to fulfill our nations promise and
provide fullest possible accounting for our missing service members to their families and the nation.

 

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Ameil Fredeluces, edic, and U.S. Marine Corps. Staff Sgt. Eddie Ludwig, explosive ordinance disposal technician,
remove dirt from units during excavation operations as part of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency’s mission in the Khammouane Province, Laos,
January 29, 2017.  Recovery Team Three executed excavation operations in search of two missing U.S. Air Force pilots who crashed while on a visual
reconnaissance mission during the Vietnam War over 48 years ago. DPAA’s mission is to provide the fullest possible accounting
for our missing personnel to their families and the nation.

 

 

Members of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency dig units during excavation operations as part of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency’s
mission in the Khammouane Province, Laos, January 26, 2017. Recovery Team Three executed excavation operations in search of two missing
U.S. Air Force pilots who crashed while on a visual reconnaissance mission during the Vietnam War over 48 years ago. DPAA’s mission is to provide the
fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel to their families and the nation.

 

 

Jack Kenkeo, life support investigator, shovels dirt from the screening stations during excavation operations as part of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency’s
mission in the Khammouane Province, Laos, January 23, 2017. Recovery Team Three executed excavation operations in search of two missing U.S. Air Force pilots
who crashed while on a visual reconnaissance mission during the Vietnam War over 48 years ago.
DPAA’s mission is to provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel to their families and the nation.

 

 

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Francis Sangiamvongse, linguist, screens soil with local villagers during excavation operations as part of the Defense POW/MIA
Accounting Agency’s mission in the Khammouane Province, Laos, January 29, 2017. Recovery Team Three executed excavation operations in search
of two missing U.S. Air Force pilots who crashed while on a visual reconnaissance mission during the Vietnam War over 48 years ago.
DPAA’s mission is to provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel to their families and the nation.

 

 

Lynn Rakos, scientific recovery expert, waters hard soil to help with excavation operations as part of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency’s mission
in the Khammovan Province, Laos, January 23, 2017. Recovery Team three executed excavation operations in search of two missing U.S. Air Force pilots
who crashed while on a visual reconnaissance mission during the Vietnam War over 48 years ago.
DPAA’s mission is to provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel to their families and the nation.

 

 

In March of 2017, Making the effort to thank the troops for what they do out in the field means everything.
With a DPAA recovery team in Quang Nam Province, two hours west of Da Nang, Vietnam.

 

 

Disappearance of two Madison airmen in 1953 remains a mystery

The unsolved case called "one of the most enduring mysteries of the Great Lakes"
has been the subject of numerous articles and a film on Canadian television.

The UW-Madison story involved a group of six students and staff members who were part of a team that unearthed a World War II U.S. fighter aircraft—
and possibly remains of its pilot—in the ground under a farm field in France this summer.

The team used ground-penetrating radar and a photo taken by a British reconnaissance plane two days after the May, 1944
crash of the P-47 Thunderbolt flown by 1st Lt. Frank Fazekas.

 


 

 

USS Arizona BB-39

USS Arizona was a Pennsylvania-class battleship built for and by the United States Navy in the mid-1910s. Named in honor of the 48th state's recent admission into the union, the ship was the second and last of the Pennsylvania class of "super-dreadnought" battleships. Although commissioned in 1916, the ship remained stateside during World War I. Shortly after the end of the war, Arizona was one of a number of American ships that briefly escorted President Woodrow Wilson to the Paris Peace Conference. The ship was sent to Turkey in 1919 at the beginning of the Greco-Turkish War to represent American interests for several months. Several years later, she was transferred to the Pacific Fleet and remained there for the rest of her career.

Aside from a comprehensive modernization in 1929–31, 
Arizona was regularly used for training exercises between the wars, including the annual Fleet Problems (training exercises). When an earthquake struck Long Beach, California, in 1933, Arizona's crew provided aid to the survivors. Two years later, the ship was featured in a Jimmy Cagney film, Here Comes the Navy, about the romantic troubles of a sailor. In April 1940, she and the rest of the Pacific Fleet were transferred from California to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, as a deterrent to Japanese imperialism.

During the 
Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, Arizona was bombed. After a bomb detonated in a powder magazine, the battleship exploded violently and sank, killing 1,177 officers and crewmen. Unlike many of the other ships sunk or damaged that day, Arizona was irreparably damaged by the force of the magazine explosion, though the Navy removed parts of the ship for reuse. The wreck still lies at the bottom of Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial, dedicated on 30 May 1962 to all those who died during the attack, straddles the ship's hull.

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma BB-37 

The USS Oklahoma was on Battleship Row in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. That was the morning that the Japanese Empire attacked the United States by surprise.

The Japanese used dive–bombers, fighter–bombers, and torpedo planes to sink nine ships, including five battleships, and severely damage 21 ships.
There were 2,402 US deaths from the attack. 1,177 of those deaths were from the USS Arizona, while 429 of the deaths were from the USS Oklahoma.

The crew of the USS Oklahoma did everything they could to fight back. In the first ten minutes of the battle, though, eight torpedoes hit the Oklahoma, and she began to capsize.  A ninth torpedo would hit her as she sunk in the mud.  14 Marines, and 415 sailors would give their lives. 32 men were cut out through the hull while the others were beneath the waterline.  Banging could be heard for over 3 days and then there was silence.

After the battle, the Navy decided that they could not salvage the Oklahoma due to how much damage she had received.  The difficult savage job began in March 1943, and Oklahoma entered dry dock 28 December. Decommissioning  September 1, 1944, Oklahoma was stripped of guns and superstructure, and sold December 5, 1946 to Moore Drydock Co., Oakland, Calif. Oklahoma parted her tow line and sank May 17, 1947.  540 miles out, bound from Pearl Harbor to San Francisco.  Today, there is a memorial to the USS Oklahoma and the 429 sailors and marines lost on December 7, 1941, located on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

 

 

USS Oklahoma Memorial at Pearl Harbor

 

 

 

THE KOREAN WAR, 1950-1957

 

 

 

 

 

Service Personnel Not Recovered Following WWII from MICHIGAN - 2476
(as of December 2016)

 

Service Personnel Not Recovered Following Korea from MICHIGAN - 342
(as of December 2016)

 

Service Personnel Not Recovered Following Cold War from MICHIGAN - 4
(as of December 2016)

 

Service Personnel Not Recovered Following Viet Nam from MICHIGAN - 49
(as of December 2016)

 

 


 

RECENTLY FOUND
 HEROES in 2017

 

 

Airmen killed From World War II Accounted For
August 17
, 2017

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Stanley F. Stegnerski,

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Stanley F. Stegnerski, Pennsylvania was killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Nov. 21, 1944, Stegnerski was the pilot of a P-51D Mustang, taking off from Royal Air Force Base 244 at East Wretham, Norfolk, England, on a bomber escort mission over Germany. Over Merseberg, Germany, the American aircraft were attacked by German fighters. Stegnerski’s group closed in on a group of 20 German fighters and opened fire. He was last seen by his wingman as they prepared to attack the German Focke-Wulf fighters.

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Stegnerski's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
August 17
, 2017

Navy Pharmacist's Mate 1st Class John H. Schoonover, 39

Navy Pharmacist's Mate 1st Class John H. Schoonover, 39, Wood County, WI, killed in the attack on the USS Oklahoma during World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Schoonover was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Schoonover.

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Schoonover's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

Currently there are 73,098 service members still unaccounted for from World War II.

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
August 17
, 2017

Navy Gunner's Mate 1st Class George Herbert,

Navy Gunner's Mate 1st Class George Herbert, California, killed in the attack on the USS Oklahoma during World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Herbert was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Herbert.

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Herbert's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
August 16
, 2017

Navy Reserve Aviation Ordnance man 2nd Class Ora H. Sharninghouse,

Navy Reserve Aviation Ordnance man 2nd Class Ora H. Sharninghouse, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Sept. 8, 1944, Sharninghouse was a member of the Navy Torpedo Squadron Eighteen (VT-18), USS Intrepid, on a bombing mission against Japanese positions on Babelthuap Island, Palau. As the aircraft reached the target area, the pilot began a dive near Bokerugeru Point and the crew released its 2,000-pound bomb. While attempting to pull out of the dive, the bomb hit an ammunition dump and exploded. The explosion tore the tail from the aircraft, causing it to crash off-shore. Sharninghouse was reported missing in action.

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Sharninghouse's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
August 16
, 2017

Navy Reserve Aviation Radioman 2nd Class Albert P. Rybarczyk,

Navy Reserve Aviation Radioman 2nd Class Albert P. Rybarczyk, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for. 

On Sept. 8, 1944, Rybarczyk was a member of the Navy Torpedo Squadron Eighteen (VT-18), USS Intrepid, on a bombing mission against Japanese positions on Babelthuap Island, Palau. As the aircraft reached the target area, the pilot began a dive near Bokerugeru Point and the crew released its 2,000-pound bomb. While attempting to pull out of the dive, the bomb hit an ammunition dump and exploded. The explosion tore the tail from the aircraft, causing it to crash off-shore. Rybarczyk was reported missing in action. 

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released 7-10
days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Rybarczyk's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

Airmen killed From World War II Accounted For
August 16
, 2017

Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. Earl P. Gorman,

Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. Earl P. Gorman, missing from World War II, has now been accounted for.

On April 23, 1944, Gorman was a member of the 718th Bombardment Squadron, 449th Bombardment Group, as the radio operator for a B-24 aircraft, on a bombing mission against targets near Schwechat, Austria. The formation left Grottaglie, Italy, and flew over Yugoslavia to reach the target, when they were attacked by German planes. During the attack, Gorman was struck and critically wounded. His crewmates put a parachute on him and bailed him out of the plane in an area they believed to be northeast of Zagreb, before bailing themselves. All of the crewmembers except Gorman survived.

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Gorman's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

Airmen killed From World War II Accounted For
August 16
, 2017

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Frank A. Fazekas,

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Frank A. Fazekas, Madison, Wi. killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

On May 27, 1944, Fazekas was a member of the 22nd Fighter Squadron, 36th Fighter Group, when he was returning from a mission over northern France and his P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft came under enemy fire. His aircraft crashed in a field north of the French village of Buysscheure. His remains were not recovered and the U.S. Army reported him deceased on May 27, 1944.

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Fazekas' name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

Captured Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
August 16
, 2017

Army Master Sgt. Finley J. Davis,

Army Master Sgt. Finley J. Davis,  Allegheny Pennsylvania,  captured and killed during the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In late 1950, Davis was a member of Company D, 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, when his unit was fighting off persistent Chinese attacks in the Ch’ongch’on River area in northwest North Korea. The battle began on Nov. 25, 1950, when the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) initiated an offensive along the 8th Army front. All 8th Army units were ordered to withdraw on November 29. Davis’ battalion was assigned to provide security for the division. The unit was attacked again by the CPVF and Davis was reported missing in action as of Dec. 1, 1950.

Master Sergeant Finley James Davis (ASN: RA-33293511), United States Army, was held as a Prisoner of War after he was captured on 1 December 1950 during the Korean War.
He was unaccounted for after the war and is presumed to have died or been killed while in captivity.

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Davis' name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

Today, 7,701 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.

 

 

 

Captured Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
August 16
, 2017

Army Pfc. Walter W. Green,

 

Army Pfc. Walter W. Green,  Union Il., captured Entry: 60617 CAMP 5 POW CAMP PYOKTONG and killed during the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In November 1950, Green was a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, participating in combat actions against the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) in the vicinity of Unsan, North Korea.
Green was reported missing in action as of Nov. 2, 1950 when he could not be accounted for by his unit.

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Green's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from the Korean War.
A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

Captured Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
August 15
, 2017

Army Cpl. Ernest L.R. Heilman, 20

Army Cpl. Ernest L.R. Heilman, 20, Scioto, Ohio was captured during the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

On Feb. 13, 1951, Heilman was a member of Battery B, 15th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, and was declared missing in action when his unit was breaking a roadblock in the vicinity of Hoengsong, South Korea.

Pfc Heilman died in a Communist Prison camp in Sept. 13 1951.

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Heilman's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

Captured Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
August 15
, 2017

Army Pfc. James P. Shaw,

Army Pfc. James P. Shaw, captured and killed during the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In December 1950, Shaw was a member of Company G, 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, when enemy forces invaded the regiment’s positions and forced them to withdraw in North Korea. During the withdrawal, U.S. forces were under constant heavy enemy pressure and were hampered by icy roads and heavy equipment. Shaw was reported missing following an engagement which last through the night, on Dec. 3, 1950.

Pfc Shaw died in a Communist Prison camp.

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Shaw's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier killed From World War II Accounted For
August 15
, 2017

Army Pvt. Rudolph Johnson,

Army Pvt. Rudolph Johnson, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

In February 1945, Johnson was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 365th Infantry Regiment, 92nd Infantry Division, which was the only African-American combat infantry division in Europe. The unit was fighting at the Gothic Line in northern Italy, with their zone of operations consisting of two contiguous sectors- one sector along the Ligurian Sea coastline and the other in the Serchio River Valley. For six months, Johnson’s division took control of the Serchio River Valley sector. Heavy fighting took place in early February 1945, during Operation Fourth Term, when Johnson’s regiment fought for days to secure positions along the Lama di Sotto ridge against strong German counterattacks. Johnson was reported missing in action as of Feb. 6, 1945, when he could not be accounted for. His status was changed to killed in action on Feb, 21. 1945.

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Johnson's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

Captured Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
August 15
, 2017

Army Sgt. Philip J. Iyotte,

Army Sgt. Philip J. Iyotte, killed and captured during the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In February 1951, Iyotte was a member of Company E, 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, assigned under 8th Army. Iyotte was declared missing in action on Feb. 9, 1951, when he was captured by Chinese forces during Operation Thunderbolt, which took place from January 25 to February 1. Operation Thunderbolt’s objective was to conduct a reconnaissance in forces across the 8th Army front, to advance 30 miles to the south bank of the Han River. Sometime during the engagement, Iyotte was captured and moved to Camp 1 and Changsong.

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Iyotte's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier killed From World War II Accounted For
August 14
, 2017

Army Technician 4th Grade Pete M. Counter,

Army Technician 4th Grade Pete M. Counter, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 5, 1942, Counter was a member of Company C, 126th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division, when he was killed during intense engagement with Japanese forces in the vicinity of Soputa-Sanananda Track in the Australian Territory of Papua (present-day Papua New Guinea.) He was reportedly buried in an isolated grave north of Soputa.

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Counter's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Captured Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
August 14
, 2017

 

Army Sgt. Gerald J. Mueller, 21,

Army Sgt. Gerald J. Mueller, 21, Little Falls, Minnesota captured and killed during the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In February 1951, Mueller was a member of Battery D, 82nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion (Automatic Weapons,) 2nd Infantry Division, which was part of a group known as Support Force 21, providing artillery support for the Republic of Korea Army (ROKA) against the Chinese People's Volunteer Forces (CPVF.) On Feb. 11, 1951, while the ROKA was making an attack north toward Hongch'on, the CPVF launched a massive counterattack. Unable to withstand the numbers, the ROKA withdrew south, leaving Mueller's battery and the rest of SF21 behind to fight alone. The following day, SF21 began movement south, fighting through ambushes and roadblocks, eventually making it to Wonju. Mueller, who could not be accounted for, was declared missing in action as of Feb. 13, 1951.
He was taken Prisoner of War while fighting the enemy near Hoensong, South Korea on February 13, 1951 and was killed by a guard on May 3, 1951.

 

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Mueller's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

Marine killed From World War II Accounted For
August 11
, 2017

Marine Corps Pfc. George B. Murray, 20,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, unaccounted for since World War II, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Marine Corps Pfc. George B. Murray, 20, of Oceano, California, will be buried August 18, in Arroyo Grande, California. In November 1943, Murray was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Murray was killed on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943.

Despite the heavy casualties suffered by U.S. forces, military success in the battle of Tarawa was a huge victory for the U.S. military because the Gilbert Islands provided the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet a platform from which to launch assaults on the Marshall and Caroline Islands to advance their Central Pacific Campaign against Japan.

In the immediate aftermath of the fighting on Tarawa, U.S. service members who died in the battle were buried in a number of battlefield cemeteries on the island. The 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted remains recovery operations on Betio between 1946 and 1947, but Murray’s remains were not identified. All of the remains found on Tarawa were sent to the Schofield Barracks Central Identification Laboratory for identification in 1947. By 1949, the remains that had not been identified were interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP) in Honolulu.

In August and September 2010, a Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (now DPAA) recovery team conducted an archaeological mission on Betio Island. During the mission, the team received a unilateral turnover of possible human remains from the Kiribati Police. The remains were sent to the laboratory for analysis.

To identify Murray’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis, which matched a maternal family member, dental, anthropological and chest radiograph comparison analysis, which matched his records, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

 Missing Airman From World War II Accounted For
August 11
, 2017

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Clarence E. Allen, 23

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Clarence E. Allen, 23, San Francisco, CA missing from World War II, has now been accounted for.

In mid-October 1944, Allen was a member of the 395th Fighter Squadron, 368th Fighter Group, and was the pilot of a P-47 aircraft as the lead element in a dive-bombing mission near Aachen, Germany. The squadron engaged enemy aircraft in dogfights in the vicinity of Dusseldorf, and following the battle, all aircraft except Allen’s returned to the base. The squadron Mission Report indicated that a P-47 was seen crashing in the vicinity of the battle. Based on this information, Allen was declared missing in action on Oct. 12, 1944.

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Allen's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

 Soldier Missing From Korean War Accounted For
August 9
, 2017

Army Cpl. Roy J. Hopper, 33

 

Army Cpl. Roy J. Hopper, 33, Fresno County, California killed during the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In July 1950, Hopper was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion 19th Infantry Regiment. He was reportedly killed in action on July 31, 1950, when his battalion, along with another battalion, was engaged in a fighting withdrawal against North Korean forces in Chinju, South Korea. The enemy had control of the area following the battle, preventing a search for his remains. After the battle Hopper’s remains were not identified.

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Hopper's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American
Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Captured Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
August 7
, 2017

Army Pfc. Walter C. Hackenberg,

Army Pfc. Walter C. Hackenberg, killed during the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In late April 1951, Hackenberg was a member of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, along a defensive line west of Chorw'on, South Korea, when his unit was attacked by the Chinese People's Volunteer Force (CPVF) and Korean People's Army (KPA.) American troops were able to hold the lines, and when the attacks subsided, a patrol went to determine possible enemy river-crossing points. Enemy forces engaged the patrol with mortars and small arms fire, forcing the patrol to withdraw. Hackenberg could not be accounted for at the end of the battle, and he was declared missing in action as of April 25, 1951.

He was taken Prisoner of War while fighting the enemy in South Korea on April 25, 1951 and died while a prisoner on September 9, 1951. 

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Hackenberg's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
August 7
, 2017

Navy Radioman 2nd Class Walter H. Backman, 22

Navy Radioman 2nd Class Walter H. Backman, 22, Wilton, ND, killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma during World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Backman was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Backman.

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Backman's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
August 7
, 2017

Navy Radioman 2nd Class Quentin J Gifford, 22

 

Navy Radioman 2nd Class Quentin J Gifford, 22, Mankato MN, killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma during World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Gifford was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Gifford.

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Gifford's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

Captured Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
August 7
, 2017

Army Sgt. 1st Class Alfred G. Bensinger, 25

Army Sgt. 1st Class Alfred G. Bensinger, 25, Oklahoma, killed during the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In late November 1950, Bensinger was a member of Company D, 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, when his unit was fighting persistent Chinese attacks in the Ch'ongch'on River area in northwestern North Korea. The battle began on the evening of Nov. 25, 1950, when the Chinese People's Volunteer Forces initiated their Second Phase offensive along the entire 8th Army front. Bensinger's battalion was heavily engaged in the battle. When withdrawal orders were issued on November 29, the 2nd ECB provided security for the Division. The following day, the battalion was ordered to withdraw from the vicinity of Kunu-ri, when it was again engaged by enemy forces down the Main Supply Route. During this withdrawal, Bensinger was captured, and was reported missing in action as of Dec. 1, 1950.

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Bensinger's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
August 4
, 2017

Navy Fireman 1st Class Lawrence H. Fecho, 20

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman from World War II have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Navy Fireman 1st Class Lawrence H. Fecho, 20, of Willow City, North Dakota, will be buried August 13 in Bottineau, North Dakota. On Dec. 7, 1941, Fecho was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Fecho.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Fecho.

In April 2015, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. On June 15, 2015, DPAA personnel began exhuming the remains from the NMCP for analysis.

To identify Fecho’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, which matched a sister, as well as circumstantial evidence and laboratory analysis, to include dental comparisons

 

 

 

 

 

Captured Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
August 4
, 2017

Army Cpl. Sgt. Stafford L. Morris, 24,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, unaccounted-for from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Cpl. Sgt. Stafford L. Morris, 24, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, will be buried August 5 in Atlanta. In late November 1950, Morris was a member of Battery A, 503rd Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, which was located north of the town of Kujang-dong, North Korea. Due to heavy fighting and encroaching Chinese People's Volunteer Force elements from the north, American units were forced to withdraw south through an area that came to be known as "The Gauntlet." On Dec. 1, the battalion began to move down the supply route, under continuous enemy fire. The unit sustained heavy casualties during the withdrawal.

Multiple returning American POWs reported that Morris had been captured near Kunu-ri, North Korea and had died at Hofong Camp, part of Pukchin-Tarigol Camp Cluster, on Jan. 21, 1951. Based on this information, a military review board amended his status to deceased.

In April and May 2005, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (now DPAA), and a Korean People's Army Recovery Team conducted the 37th Joint Field Activity in Unsan County, North Korea. A site approximately 12 miles south of Pukchin-Tarigol camp was excavated, and human remains were recovered.

To identify Morris’ remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial and Y-chromosome DNA analysis, which matched his family, as well as anthropological analysis and circumstantial evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
August 3
, 2017

Navy Fireman 3rd Class Kenneth L. Holm, 29,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman from World War II have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Navy Fireman 3rd Class Kenneth L. Holm, 29, of Clarkfield, Minnesota, will be buried August 9 in Fort Snelling, Minnesota. On Dec. 7, 1941, Holm was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Holm.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Holm.

In April 2015, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. On June 15, 2015, DPAA personnel began exhuming the remains from the NMCP for analysis.

To identify Holm’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, which his family members, as well as circumstantial evidence and laboratory analysis, to include dental comparisons and anthropological analysis, which matched Holm’s records.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Captured Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
August 3
, 2017

 

Army Sgt. Willie Rowe, 22,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Sgt. Willie Rowe, 22, of Hampton, Virginia, will be buried August 8 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. In late November 1950, Rowe was a member of L Company, 3rd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, when his unit was ordered to advance north towards the Ch’ongch’on River region of North Korea, as part of preparations for an offensive to push the North Koreans to the Yala River. By the night of November 25, the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) had begun relentless attacks which continued throughout the night and into the next morning. After the battle, it was determined that Rowe became Missing in Action on Nov. 25, 1950.

Following the war, four returning American prisoners reported Rowe died at the Hofong Camp, part of the Pukchin-Tarigol Camp Cluster in January 1951. Based on that information, the U.S. Army declared him deceased as of Jan. 20, 1951.

In May 2005 the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (a predecessor to DPAA) Central Identification laboratory received and accessioned recovered remains from a site south of the Pukchin-Tarigol POW Camp Cluster. Currently, 11 individuals recovered from the site have been identified.

To identify Rowe’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, which matched his family members.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Missing Soldier From World War II Accounted For
August 1
, 2017

  

Army Pfc. Lloyd J. Lobdell, 24

Army Pfc. Lloyd J. Lobdell, 24, Elkhorn Wisconsin, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 8, 1941, Lobdell was a member of Company A, 192nd Tank Battalion, in the Far East, when Japanese forces invaded the Philippine Islands. Intense fighting continued until May 6. 1942, when American forces on Corregidor Island surrendered. Thousands of U.S. and Filipino service members were taken prisoner; including many who were forced to endure the Bataan Death March, en route to Japanese prisoner of war (POW) camps, including the POW camp at Cabanatuan on the island of Luzon, Philippines. Lobdell was among those reported captured after the surrender of Corregidor and who were eventually moved to the Cabanatuan POW camp. More than 2,500 POWs perished in this camp during the remaining years of the war.

After surviving the infamous Bataan Death March, they were imprisoned under harsh conditions in the notorious Cabanatuan POW camp.  Each succumbed to tropical disease and starvation on November 19, 1942 and were buried in Communal Grave number 717 with twelve other men who died that day. 

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Lobdell's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
August 1
, 2017

Navy Reserve Lt. j.g. Irvin E. Rink,

Navy Reserve Lt. j.g. Irvin E. Rink, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

On August 4, 1943, Rink was a member of Fighting Squadron Twenty Seven (VF-27), when eight pilots flying F4F-4 Wildcat aircraft took off from the Russell Islands, Solomon Islands, to escort a Catalina seaplane on a mission to Enogai Inlet, New Georgia Island. As the seaplane attempted to land at Enogai Inlet, the escort aircraft were attacked by Japanese fighter planes. Following the battle, the element returned to the Russell Islands, however Rink did not return. He was reported missing in action on August 4, 1943. Based on a lack of information regarding his whereabouts, he was declared deceased on January 8, 1946.

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released 7-10days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Rink's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

DPAA is grateful to Mark Roche, an American diver, for his assistance in this recovery.

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
August 1
, 2017

Army Cpl. Dow F. Worden, 20

Army Cpl. Dow F. Worden, 20, Morrow, Oregon, killed during the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In late September 1951, Worden was a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, which was in the vicinity of Hill 1024 in South Korea, conducting operations near an area known as Heartbreak Ridge. In the early morning hours, the Chinese launched a probing attack against Worden’s company, on the forward slope of Hill 1024. The company repelled the attacks and was relieved by the Republic of Korea Army elements and ordered to move east and attack the enemy on nearby Hill 867. American forces withdrew from the offensive after a large barrage of enemy mortar fire. After the battle, Worden could not be accounted for and was declared missing in action on Sept. 29, 1951.

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released 7-10days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Worden's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

DPAA is grateful to the South Korean government for their assistance in this recovery.

 

 

 

 

 

Captured Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
July 31
, 2017

   

Army Air Forces Pvt. William D. Gruber, 22,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that a U.S. serviceman, unaccounted-for from World War II, has been identified and is being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Air Forces Pvt. William D. Gruber, 22, of Townsend, Montana, will be buried August 5 in Boulder, Montana. On Dec. 8, 1941, Gruber was assigned to the Philippine Department, U.S. Army Forces in the Far East, when Japanese forces invaded the Philippine Islands. Gruber and his unit cared for those wounded in intense fighting until May 6, 1942, when Corregidor fell, and the Philippines fell under control of Japanese forces. Thousands of U.S. and Filipino service members were taken prisoner; including many who were forced to endure the Bataan Death March, en route to Japanese prisoner of war (POW) camps, including the POW camp at Cabanatuan on the island of Luzon, Philippines. Gruber was among those reported captured and who were eventually moved to the Cabanatuan POW camp. More than 2,500 POWs perished in this camp during the remaining years of the war.

On June 26, 1942, Gruber was admitted to the Cabanatuan Prison Camp Hospital suffering from diphtheria and malaria. He died Sept. 27, 1942. According to prison records, Gruber was buried along with fellow prisoners in a local camp cemetery in Cabanatuan.

Following the war, American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) personnel exhumed those buried at the Cabanatuan cemetery and relocated the remains to a temporary U.S. military cemetery near Manila. In late 1947, the AGRS again exhumed the remains at the Manila cemetery in an attempt to identify them. Due to the circumstances of the POW deaths and burials, the extensive commingling, and the limited identification technologies of the time, all of the remains could not be individually identified. The unidentified remains were reburied as unknowns in a permanent American Battle Monuments Commission cemetery at Fort McKinley in Manila, Philippines.

On May 11, 2016, the remains from two graves associated with Gruber’s loss were accessioned into the laboratory.

To identify Gruber’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis via Next Generation Sequencing technology (NGS), which matched his maternal family members, as well as circumstantial evidence and laboratory analysis, to include dental comparisons.

 

 

 

 

Captured Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
July 31
, 2017

Army Cpl. Richard J. Seadore, 21,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Cpl. Richard J. Seadore, 21, of Long Pine, Nebraska, will be buried August 4 in his hometown. In December 1950, Seadore was a member of Company D, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, when all units of the United Nations Command were moving south after units of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) staged mass attacks during their Second Phase Offensive. On Dec. 14, the Regiment sent out a reconnaissance patrol. While Seadore’s company did not participate in the patrol, they remained in defensive positions north of Uijong-bu, South Korea. The CPVF attacked and penetrated the company’s defensive line. As the unit prepared to move the following day, Seadore could not be located.

A list provided by the CPVF and Korean People’s Army (KPA) contained names of American prisoners of war who were released, escaped, were in custody, or who had died while in custody, reported Seadore had died. A returning American prisoner of war provided information stating that Seadore had been captured and died in April 1951 at the “Bean Camp” prisoner of war camp. The U.S. Army declared him deceased as of April 18, 1951.

Between 1990 and 1994, North Korea returned to the United States 208 boxes of commingled human remains, which were determined to contain the remains of at least 400 U.S. servicemen who fought during the war. Remains that were handed over on May 28, 1992 were reportedly recovered from Namjong-gu, Suan County, North Hwanghae Province, North Korea. The village is believed to be the location of the Suan “Bean Camp.” The remains were sent to the Central Identification Laboratory (now DPAA) on May 29, 1992 for identification. Additional remains, in conjunction with remains found during a Joint Recovery Operation in 1999 and 2000, were consolidated on the basis of shared mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA.

To identify Seadore’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mtDNA, Y-chromosome and autosomal DNA analysis, which matched his family members, as well as dental and anthropological analysis, which matched his records, and circumstantial evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Missing Airman From World War II Accounted For
July 31
, 2017

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Charles E. Carlson, 24,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from World War II, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Charles E. Carlson, 24, of Flushing, New York, will be buried August 4 in Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania. On Dec. 23, 1944, Carlson was a P-47 pilot with the 62nd Fighter Squadron, 56th Fighter Group, Eighth Air Force, and was shot down south of Bonn, Germany, during an air battle between American and German pilots. His wingman believed that Carlson had bailed from the plane; however, German officials reported finding and burying Carlson’s remains at the crash site near Buschhoven, Germany.

An investigation after the war by the American Graves Registration Command in 1948 found material evidence and eyewitness testimony linking a crash site near Buschhoven to Carlson’s plane. However, efforts to find his remains at the site were unsuccessful.

In March 2008, an independent German researcher contacted the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (now DPAA) with information regarding a plane crash near Buschhoven. He informed analysts that a local German resident had found parts of an aircraft and other material evidence consistent with a P-47 aircraft.

Between May 2008 and September 2009, JPAC historians conducted more interviews of potential eyewitnesses and research on the site of the crash. Based on information gathered during this work, JPAC investigators recommended excavation of the Buschhoven site for possible remains.

In October 2015, an independent organization, History Flight, Inc., conducted a preliminary investigation of the crash site. Through a partnership agreement with DPAA, History Flight conducted recovery efforts between Feb. 2, 2016 and May 17, 2016, where they found material evidence, aircraft wreckage and possible human remains. The remains were accessioned to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

To identify Carlson’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, which matched his records, as well as historical research and analysis.

 

 

 

 

 

Captured Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
July 27
, 2017

Army Cpl. Glen E. Kritzwiser, 19,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, unaccounted-for from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Cpl. Glen E. Kritzwiser, 19, of Piketon, Ohio, will be buried August 3 in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. In early February 1951, Kritzwiser was a member of Battery C, 15th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, when American units began supporting of the South Korean Army attacks against units of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) in an area known as the Central Corridor in North Korea. The support group, known as SF21, provided artillery fire support for the South Koreans during its attack north on Hongch’on. On the evening of Feb. 11, 1951, the CPVF launched a massive counter offensive causing the South Koreans to withdraw, leaving Kritzwiser’s unit and the rest of SF21 behind at Changbong-ni. The SF 21 marched south along Route 29, fighting through ambushes and roadblocks, to Hoengsong and eventually to the city of Wonju. Kritzwiser was reported missing in action as of Feb. 13, 1951 when he did not arrive to report in Wonju.

Several returning American prisoners of war reported that Kritzwiser had been captured by the CPVF and died in July 1951 while being held at Camp #3, a prisoner of war camp near Changsong, North Korea. Based on this information, the U.S. Army declared him deceased as of July 2, 1951.

In 1954, United Nations and communist forces exchanged the remains of war dead in what came to be called “Operation Glory.” All remains recovered in Operation Glory were turned over to the Army’s Central Identification Unit for analysis.

On Sept. 7, 1954, a set of remains reportedly recovered from a prisoner of war cemetery at Camp 1 and 3, Changsong, North Korea, were sent to the Central Identification Unit in Kokura, Japan, for attempted identification. The set of remains was designated “X-14248” and was transferred to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu and interred as a Korean War Unknown.

After a thorough historical and scientific analysis, it was determined that X-14248 could likely be identified. After receiving approval, X-14248 was disinterred on Jan. 7, 2017 and sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

To identify Kritzwiser’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental, anthropological and chest radiograph comparison analysis, which matched his records, as well as circumstantial evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
July 26
, 2017

Navy Yeoman 3rd Class Edmund T. Ryan, 21,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman unaccounted-for from World War II have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Navy Yeoman 3rd Class Edmund T. Ryan, 21, of Wilbraham, Massachusetts, will be buried August 2 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. On Dec. 7, 1941, Ryan was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Ryan.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Ryan.

In April 2015, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. On June 15, 2015, DPAA personnel began exhuming the remains from the NMCP for analysis.

To identify Ryan’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used mitochondrial DNA analysis, which matched family members, as well as circumstantial evidence and laboratory analysis, to include dental comparisons, which matched Ryan’s records.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
July 21
, 2017

Navy Fireman 1st Class Elmer T. Kerestes, 22,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman unaccounted for from World War II have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Navy Fireman 1st Class Elmer T. Kerestes, 22, of Holding Township, Minnesota, will be buried July 29 in Holdingford, Minnesota. On Dec. 7, 1941, Kerestes was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Kerestes.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Kerestes.

In April 2015, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. On June 15, 2015, DPAA personnel began exhuming the remains from the NMCP for analysis.

To identify Kerestes’ remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, which matched his family members, as well as circumstantial evidence and laboratory analysis, to include dental comparisons.

 

 

 

 

Captured Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
July 21
, 2017

 

Army Cpl. Edward L. Borders, 20,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, unaccounted-for from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Cpl. Edward L. Borders, 20, of Harrisburg, Illinois, will be buried July 29 in his hometown. In early February 1951, Borders was a member of D Battery, 82nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion (Automatic Weapons), 2nd Infantry Division, when American units began supporting South Korean Army attacks against units of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) in an area known as the Central Corridor in North Korea. D Battery was part of a group known as Support Force 21 (SF21) and provided artillery fire support for the South Korean Army during its attack north on Hongch’on. On the evening of Feb. 11, 1951, the CPVF launched a massive counter offensive against the South Koreans, who were forced to withdraw, leaving Borders’ unit and the rest of SF21 behind at Changbong-ni. The SF 21 marched south along Route 29, fighting through ambushes and roadblocks, to Hoengsong and eventually to the city of Wonju. Borders was reported missing in action as of Feb. 13, 1951 when he did not report with his unit in Wonju.

A list provided by the CPVF and Korean People’s Army (KPA) on Dec. 26, 1951, reported Borders died while a prisoner of war. Based on this information, the U.S. Army declared him deceased as of Feb. 3, 1954.

Between 1990 and 1994, North Korea returned to the United States 208 boxes of commingled human remains, which when combined with remains recovered during joint recovery operations in North Korea, account for the remains of at least 400 U.S. servicemen who fought during the war. Of the 208 boxes, 14 were reported to have been recovered from Ryongpho-ri, Suan County, North Hwanghae Province, North Korea. This village is believed to be in close proximity to the Suan Bean Camp, part of the Suan Prisoner of War Camp Complex, which was a temporary holding area for a large number of soldiers captured by the CPVF during the war.

To identify Borders’ remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mtDNA, Y-chromosome short tandem repeat (Y-SYR) and autosomal (auSTR) DNA analysis, which matched his family, as well as anthropological analysis, which matched his records, and circumstantial evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Missing From World War II Accounted For
July 21
, 2017

Marine Corps Reserve Pvt. Alberic M. Blanchette

Marine Corps Reserve Pvt. Alberic M. Blanchette, from Maine, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

In November 1943, Blanchette was assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Blanchette died sometime on the first day of battle, Nov. 20, 1943.

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Blanchette's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Missing From World War II Accounted For
July 21
, 2017

Marine Corps Pvt. Joseph C. Carbone

Marine Corps Pvt. Joseph C. Carbone, Brooklyn, NY killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

In November 1943, Carbone was assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Carbone died sometime on the first day of battle, Nov. 20, 1943.

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
July 14
, 2017

Army Pfc. Charles C. Follese, 20,

The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, killed during the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Pfc. Charles C. Follese, 20, of Minneapolis, will be buried July 25 in his hometown. On Nov. 29, 1950, Follese was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment. Follese was killed during a mission to recover casualties from a reconnaissance patrol that had been ambushed the previous day near Hajoyang-ni, North Korea. This patrol was also ambushed, following the battle, Follese could not be accounted for and he was declared killed in action on Nov. 30, 1950.

Between 1990 and 1994, North Korea returned 208 boxes of commingled human remains to the United States, which we determined to contain the remains of at least 400 U.S. servicemen who fought during the war. North Korean documents included in the repatriation indicate that some of the remains were recovered from the vicinity where Follese was believed to have died.

To identify Follese’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA),Y chromosome (Y-STR) and autosomal (auSTR) DNA analysis, which matched his family members; as well as dental and anthropological analysis, which matched his records; and circumstantial evidence.

 

 

 

 

Airmen Missing From Vietnam War Accounted For
July 14
, 2017

Air Force Maj. James B. White, 27

Air Force Maj. James B. White, 27, ST Petersburg, Fl. missing from the Vietnam War, has now been accounted for.

On Nov. 24, 1969 Capt. James B. White, a member of the 357th Tactical Fighter Squadron, was aboard an F-105D aircraft, in a flight attacking enemy troops. During the mission, weather conditions deteriorated and contact with White was lost after his first pass. On Nov. 28, an Air America helicopter sighted wreckage, thought to be White's aircraft. A Laotian ground team searched the area and found small pieces of wreckage, but noremains were recovered. White was subsequently declared missing in action.

Interment services are pending; a formal notification will be released
7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.


 

The support from the government of Laos was vital to the success of this recovery.

 

Today there are 1,598 American servicemen and civilians that are still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.

 

 

 

 

 

Airmen Missing From Vietnam War Accounted For
July 14
, 2017

Air Force Capt. Robert E. Holton, 27,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Air Force Capt. Robert E. Holton, 27, of Butte, Montana, will be buried June 22 in his hometown. On Jan. 29, 1969, Holton, a member of the 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron, was the pilot of an F-4D on an armed reconnaissance mission over southern Laos. The flight lead cleared the aircraft to engage a target, and ordnance was seen impacting the ground. Haze in the area made for difficult visibility, but immediately thereafter, aircrews saw a large fireball on the ground in the vicinity of the target. The crewmember on another U.S. aircraft radioed Holton’s aircraft but received no reply, and no parachutes were seen. Efforts to make contact with the crew continued until the remaining planes were forced to leave the area due to low fuel. Holton was subsequently declared missing in action.

Between 1994 and 2011, the Department of Defense conducted nine site visits and excavated sites in both Vietnam and Laos in its attempts to resolve this case. In 2014, residents of Boualapha District, Khammouan Province, Laos, turned over possible human remains and material evidence reportedly recovered from crash sites in the vicinity of Ban Phanop Village, the area where Holton’s aircraft was lost. In January 2017, a joint U.S./Laos team excavated a crash site associated with this loss and recovered human remains and material evidence.

To identify Holton’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental analysis, which matched his records, as well as material evidence analysis and circumstantial evidence.

 

The support from the governments of Laos and Vietnam were vital to the success of this identification.

 

 

 

 

Marine Missing From World War II Accounted For
July 14
, 2017

Marine Corps Reserve Cpl. Raymond C. Snapp,

Marine Corps Reserve Cpl. Raymond C. Snapp, from California was killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

In November 1943, Snapp was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Snapp died sometime on the first day of battle, Nov. 20, 1943.

 

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Missing From World War II Accounted For
July 14
, 2017

Marine Corps Cpl. Anthony G. Guerriero,

Marine Corps Cpl. Anthony G. Guerriero,  Boston, Massachusetts, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

In November 1943, Guerriero was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Guerriero died sometime on the second day of battle, Nov. 21, 1943.

 

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

Airmen Missing From World War II Accounted For
July 13
, 2017

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Richard M. Horwitz,

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Richard M. Horwitz, missing from World War II, has now been accounted for.

On February 28, 1945, Horwitz was a member of the 716th Bomber Squadron, 449th Bombardment Group, along with ten other airmen assigned to a B-24J Liberator aircraft, which departed Grottaglie Army Air Base, Italy, for a combat mission. The mission targeted the Isarc-Albes railroad bridge in northern Italy, which was part of Brennan Route, used by Germans to move personnel and equipment out of Italy. Following the bombing run, participating aircraft headed in the direction of their rally point, where the planes would reform and return to their originating base. When leaving the Isarco-Albes area, an aircraft was seen heading in the direction of the rally point, but skimmed the mountain tops with at least two damaged engines. The plane was last seen near Lake Wiezen in Austria. No parachutes were seen exiting the aircraft. Based on this information, Horwitz was reported missing in action.

 

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

 

Airmen Missing From Vietnam War Accounted For
July 13
, 2017

U.S. Air Force Reserve Capt. Joseph S. Smith, 25,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

U.S. Air Force Reserve Capt. Joseph S. Smith, 25, of Assumption, Illinois, will be buried July 17 in his hometown. On April 4, 1971, Smith was the pilot of a single-seat F-100D aircraft as the leader in a flight of two aircraft on a combat mission over Cambodia. While making a pass over the target, the pilot of the other aircraft noted white vapor streaming from the left wing of Smith’s aircraft. Smith’s aircraft crashed a half mile from the target. The other pilot reported that he did not see any ejection from Smith’s aircraft and no beepers were heard. The following day, an aerial search revealed aircraft wreckage over a large area, however no remains were observed. Due to intense enemy activity in the area, ground forces could not attempt a recovery operation. Smith was declared missing in action as of April 4, 1971.

U.S. and Kingdom of Cambodia teams, with the assistance of the U.S. Embassy’s POW/MIA specialists, investigated the loss from 1996 until 2016. During subsequent excavations of the crash site in Kampong Thom Province, teams recovered possible osseous remains and wreckage associated with an F-100D aircraft.

To identify Smith’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, which matched his family, as well as anthropological analysis, which matched his records, and circumstantial evidence.

 

The support from the Kingdom of Cambodia was vital to the success of this recovery.

 

 

 

 

Captured Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
July 12
, 2017

Army Sgt. William A. Larkins,

Army Sgt. William A. Larkins, captured during the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In late November 1950, Larkins was a member of Battery A, 503rd Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, fighting off persistent Chinese attacks in the Ch’ongch’on River region of North Korea. Through a series of attacks, the Chinese Communist Forces (CCF) pressed 2ID units into local withdrawals to avoid being outflanked. On the night of Nov. 25, 1950, the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) began relentless attacks which continued until the end of the month. On Dec. 1,1950, the 503rd FA BN began their movement down the Main Supply Route under continuous enemy mortar, small arms and machine gun fire, toward the town of Sunchon, where Larkins was reported missing in action.

Following the war, one returning prisoner of war reported that Larkins had been captured and had died at an unknown prisoner of war camp in January 1951. Based on this information, the U.S. Army declared him deceased on Jan. 31, 1951.

 

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
July 11
, 2017

Navy Fire Controlman 3rd Class Robert L. Pribble, 19

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman from World War II have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Navy Fire Controlman 3rd Class Robert L. Pribble, 19, of St. Petersburg, Florida, will be buried July 18 in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. On Dec. 7, 1941, Pribble was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Pribble.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Pribble.

In April 2015, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. On June 15, 2015, DPAA personnel began exhuming the remains from the NMCP for analysis.

To identify Pribble’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, which matched a cousin, as well as circumstantial evidence and laboratory analysis, to include dental comparisons.

 

 

 

 

Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
July 11
, 2017

Army Cpl. John Lane, Jr., 18,

The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, killed during the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Cpl. John Lane, Jr., 18, of El Monte, California, will be buried June 17 in Mountain Home, Tennessee. In late July 1950, Lane was assigned to Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, when the Korean People’s Army attacked the city of Chinju, South Korea. The regiment set up defensive positions before withdrawing east to regroup. Upon arrival south of Masan the battalion began accounting for its soldiers and when Lane could not be accounted for, he was reported missing in action as of July 31, 1950.

Following the war, no lists provided by the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces or KPA listed Lane as a prisoner of war. Additionally, no returning American prisoners of war were able to provide any information regarding Lane’s whereabouts. Due to the lack of information, the U.S. Army declared him deceased on Dec. 31, 1953.

In 1987 Chinju government employees recovered remains believed to be American while moving graves from an old cemetery for construction purposes. The remains were sent to the Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii and accessioned into the laboratory in June 1987.

Upon examination of the remains, it was concluded that there were two individuals. One set was identified in October 1987 as a soldier known to be missing in action in the vicinity of Chinju, the last known location of Lane.

To identify Lane’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used circumstantial and anthropological evidence, including dental and chest radiograph comparison, as well as DNA analysis, including mitochondrial DNA, which matched a niece and grand-nephew.

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Missing From World War II Accounted For
July 7
, 2017

Marine Sgt. James J. Hubert, 22,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, unaccounted for since World War II, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Marine Sgt. James J. Hubert, 22, of Duluth, Minnesota, will be buried July 15 in his hometown. In November 1943, Hubert was assigned to Company H, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Hubert was killed on Nov. 21, 1943.

Despite the heavy casualties suffered by U.S. forces, military success in the battle of Tarawa was a huge victory for the U.S. military because the Gilbert Islands provided the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet a platform from which to launch assaults on the Marshall and Caroline Islands to advance their Central Pacific Campaign against Japan.

In the immediate aftermath of the fighting on Tarawa, U.S. service members who died in the battle were buried in a number of battlefield cemeteries on the island. In 1946 and 1947, the 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted remains recovery operations on Betio, but Hubert’s remains were not recovered. On Feb. 28, 1949, a military review board declared Hubert’s remains non-recoverable.

In June 2015, a nongovernmental organization, History Flight, Inc., notified DPAA that they discovered a burial site on Betio Island and recovered the remains of what they believed were 35 U.S. Marines who fought during the battle in November 1943. The remains were turned over to DPAA in July 2015.

To identify Hubert’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used mitochondrial and Y-Short Tandem Repeat DNA analysis, which matched a sister, a nephew and a cousin; as well as circumstantial evidence and laboratory analysis, to include dental comparisons, which matched Hubert’s records.

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing From World War II Accounted For
July 7
, 2017

Army Staff Sgt. Gerald L. Jacobsen, 27,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, unaccounted for since World War II, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Staff Sgt. Gerald L. Jacobsen, 27, of Little Canada, Minnesota, will be buried July 14 in Fort Snelling, Minnesota. On July 15, 1944, Jacobsen was a member of the 134th Infantry Regiment, 35th Infantry Division, which participated in the siege of Saint-Lô, France. Jacobsen, who was acting as an artillery spotter, was manning a mortar command post near La Forge, approximately two kilometers northeast of Saint-Lô, when he and another service member went missing. The other service member’s body was later found near the command post but Jacobsen’s remains were not recovered and he was reported missing in action. The U.S. Army subsequently declared him deceased as of July 16, 1945.

On July 22, 1944, the remains of an individual, believed to be a member of the 134th Infantry Regiment, 35th Infantry Division, were recovered from the battlefields around Saint-Lô, and were interred at the La Cambe temporary cemetery in France. The remains were initially identified based on personal letters found with the body. However, further investigation showed that the individual whose letters had been found was not a casualty. Based on this information, the remains were re-examined, designated as “Unknown X-481” and reinterred. Following additional unsuccessful attempts at identification, Unknown X-481 was interred at U.S. Military Cemetery St. Laurent, now known as Normandy American Cemetery.

In July 2016, Jacobsen’s family requested X-481 be disinterred based on the presence of a laundry mark found on clothing recovered with the remains. Researchers from DPAA worked closely with the historian of the 35th Infantry Division to marshal evidence to support a recommendation to disinter X-481. Scientific analysis of data on file also found sufficient evidence to support a recommendation to disinter. After receipt of approval, the remains were disinterred from the Normandy American Ceremony on Nov. 21, 2016 and sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

Awards received; Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman Badge, American Campaign Medal, & World War II Victory Medal.

To identify Jacobsen’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) analysis, which matched a brother and a sister, as well as dental and anthropological analysis, and historical evidence.

 

 

Airman Missing From World War II Accounted For
July 7
, 2017

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. William J. Gray, Jr., 21

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from World War II, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. William J. Gray, Jr., 21, of Kirkland, Washington, will be buried July 14 in Kent, Washington. On April 16, 1945, Gray was a member of the 391st Fighter Squadron, 366th Fighter Group and was the pilot of a single seat P-47D aircraft on a dive-bombing mission in the vicinity of Lindau, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany. His flight leader reported that after Gray strafed a truck, the left wing of his aircraft dipped into the trees, causing it to crash.

In October 1948, American Graves Registration Command (AGRC) investigators located the crash site and were able to correlate the site to Gray’s aircraft based on the serial numbers of four machine guns recovered at the site, which matched four machine guns on Gray’s aircraft. However, Gray’s remains were not recovered.

During investigations conducted in the Lindau area during a 2012 field investigation, personnel from predecessor organizations of DPAA received leads about Gray’s loss. Based on information gathered during eyewitness interviews and local research, investigators recommended excavation of the Lindau site for the possible remains of Gray.

In April 2016, a DPAA recovery team excavated the crash site and recovered possible human remains. The remains were sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

To identify Gray’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, which matched his records, as well as historical research and analysis.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
July 5
, 2017

Navy Seaman 1st Class Robert Monroe “Bobby” Temple, 19

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman from World War II have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Navy Seaman 1st Class Robert Monroe “Bobby” Temple, 19, of Des Moines, Iowa, will be buried July 12 in The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, “Punchbowl,” in Honolulu. On Dec. 7, 1941, Temple was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Temple.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Temple.

In April 2015, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. On June 15, 2015, DPAA personnel began exhuming the remains from the NMCP for analysis.

To identify Temple’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, which matched a brother, a sister, and a niece, as well as circumstantial evidence and laboratory analysis, to include dental comparisons.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
July 5
, 2017

Navy Seaman First Class Paul S. Raimond, 20,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman from World War II have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Navy Seaman First Class Paul S. Raimond, 20, of Converse, Louisiana, will be buried July 11 in The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, “Punchbowl,” in Honolulu. On Dec. 7, 1941, Raimond was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Raimond.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Raimond.

In April 2015, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. On June 15, 2015, DPAA personnel began exhuming the remains from the NMCP for analysis.

To identify Raimond’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, which matched a nephew and a sister, as well as circumstantial evidence and laboratory analysis, to include dental comparisons.

 

 

 

 

 

Captured Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
July 5
, 2017

  

Army Cpl. Frank L. Sandoval, 20,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Cpl. Frank L. Sandoval, 20, of San Antonio, will be buried July 11in Fort Sam Houston, Texas. In early February 1951, Sandoval was a member of Battery A, 15th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, when his unit, as well as other American units, were in operations supporting South Korean Army attacks against the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPFV) in an area known as the Central Corridor in North Korea. The support group, known as Support Force 21 (SF21,) provided artillery fire support while located at Changbong-ni. On Feb. 11, 1951, the CPVF launched a massive counter offensive. The South Koreans withdrew, leaving SF21 in Changbong-ni. As the support group withdrew south toward Wonju, they endured continual attacks. Sandoval was reported missing in action on Feb. 13, 1951, when he did not arrive with the unit in Wonju.

Several returning American prisoners of war reported that Sandoval had been captured by the CPVF and had died in July 1951 while being held at Camp 3, a prisoner of war camp near Changsong, North Korea. Based on this information, the U.S. Army declared him deceased on July 7, 1951.

In 1954, United Nations and communist forces exchanged the remains of war dead in what came to be called “Operation Glory.” All remains recovered in Operation Glory were turned over to the Army’s Central Identification Unit for analysis. The unidentified remains were interred as unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii, known as the “Punchbowl.” One set of remains was designated “Unknown X-14211.”

After a thorough historical and scientific analysis, it was determined that X-14211 could likely be identified. After receiving approval, X-14211 was disinterred on Jan. 9, 2017 and sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

To identify Sandoval’s remains, scientists from DPAA used laboratory analysis, including dental, anthropological and chest radiograph comparison analysis, all which matched Sandoval’s records; as well as circumstantial evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Missing From World War II Accounted For
June 30
, 2017

Army Sgt. Richard G. Sowell

Army Sgt. Richard G. Sowell, Florida, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

In July 1944, Sowell was a member of 295th Joint Assault Signal Company, Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 106th Infantry, when American forces participated in the battle for the island Saipan, part of a larger operation to secure the Mariana Islands. Sowell, a spotter for the signal company, was last known to be in the vicinity of Hill 721 on the island of Saipan, which was under heavy attack by the Japanese on July 6-7, 1944. On the morning of July 7, the commanding officer of 106th Infantry reported that Sowell was killed in action.

Awards received; Purple Heart, American Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.

 

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

 

Missing From World War II Accounted For
June 30
, 2017

Army Pfc. Gerald F. Wipfli, 21

Army Pfc. Gerald F. Wipfli, 21, Wood County, Wi. missing from World War II, has now been accounted for.

In early November 1944, Wipfli was a member of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 112th Infantry, when his unit was engaged in intense combat against German forces in the town of Schmidt, Germany, within the Hürtgen Forest. Due to chaotic fighting, 112th Infantry officers were not able to accurately report the status of each soldier, and it took several days for Company I to gain accountability of their casualties. Wipfli was among 33 soldiers listed as missing in action from his company. No surviving members of his unit had information on his fate, and he was reported missing in action on Nov. 4, 1944.

 

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

 

Captured Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
June 30
, 2017

Sgt. 1st Class Max E. Harris,

Sgt. 1st Class Max E. Harris, captured during the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In late November 1950, Harris was a member of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. Approximately 2,500 U.S. and 700 South Korean soldiers assembled into the 31st Regimental Combat Team (RCT), which deployed east of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, when it was attacked by overwhelming numbers of Chinese forces. The American forces withdrew south with the Chinese attacks continuing. By December 6, the U.S. Army evacuated approximately 1,500 wounded service members; the remaining
soldiers had been either captured or killed in enemy territory. Because
Harris could not be accounted for by his unit at the end of the battle, he was reported missing in action on Dec. 12, 1950.

A returning American prisoner reported that Harris had been captured and died while en route to POW Camp 3 in September 1951. Based on this information, the U.S. Army declared him deceased on Sept. 30, 1951.

 

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

Captured Soldier From World War II Accounted For
June 30
, 2017

Army Technician 4th Grade John Kovach, Jr., 21,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that a U.S. serviceman, missing from World War II, has been identified and is being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Technician 4th Grade John Kovach, Jr., 21, of Gypsum, Ohio, will be buried July 10 in Port Clinton, Ohio. On Dec. 8, 1941, Kovach was assigned to Company C, 192nd Tank Battalion, when Japanese forces invaded the Philippine Islands. Intense fighting continued until May 6, 1942, when Corregidor fell and American forces surrendered.

Thousands of U.S. and Filipino service members were taken prisoner; including many who were forced to endure the Bataan Death March, en route to Japanese prisoner of war (POW) camps, including the POW camp at Cabanatuan on the island of Luzon, Philippines. Kovach was among those reported captured after the surrender of Corregidor and who were eventually moved to the Cabanatuan POW camp. More than 2,500 POWs perished in this camp during the remaining years of the war.

Kovach was admitted to the Cabanatuan Camp station hospital for illness, where he died on Nov. 19, 1942. According to prison records, Kovach was buried along with 13 fellow prisoners in a local camp cemetery in Cabanatuan, Grave 717.

Following the war, American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) personnel exhumed those buried at the Cabanatuan cemetery and relocated the remains to a temporary U.S. military cemetery near Manila. In late 1947, the AGRS again exhumed the remains at the Manila cemetery in an attempt to identify them. Due to the circumstances of the POW deaths and burials, the extensive commingling, and the limited identification technologies of the time, all of the remains could not be individually identified. The unidentified remains were reburied as unknowns in the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) cemetery at Fort McKinley in Manila, Philippines (known as Manila American Cemetery and Memorial.)

In 2014, the Secretary of the Army granted permission to exhume ten graves associated with the Cabanatuan Common Grave 717. On August 28, 2014, the remains were sent to the DPAA laboratory for identification.

To identify Kovach’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, which matched two sisters, as well as circumstantial evidence, dental comparisons, and anthropological analysis, which matched his records.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Missing From World War II Accounted For
June 30
, 2017

Navy Reserve Lt. William Q. Punnell,

Navy Reserve Lt. William Q. Punnell, South Dakota,  killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

On July 25, 1944, Punnell was the acting commanding officer of the VF-14 Fighter Squadron, departing from the aircraft carrier USS Wasp in his F6F-3 “Hellcat” with several other aircraft on a strafing mission against Japanese targets on the islands of the Republic of Palau. The mission was to strafe the Babelthaup (now Babeldaob) Airbase and the two Arakabesan Seaplane bases. Punnell’s aircraft encountered intense antiaircraft fire over the islands of Palau. His Hellcat was in the lead position when the tail of the plane was seen taking a direct hit. He crashed approximately 300 feet from the northern seaplane base, and his aircraft sank on impact. The other pilots on the mission did not witness Punnell bail out from his aircraft.
 

Interment services are pending

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
June 29
, 2017

Army Cpl. Thomas H. Mullins, 19

Army Cpl. Thomas H. Mullins, 19,  Rhoane, Tn.  captured during the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

On Nov. 2, 1950, Mullins was a member of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. He was reported missing in action on Nov. 2, 1950, following combat between the Chinese People's Volunteer Forces (CPVF) and his regiment, in the vicinity of Unsan, North Korea. Approximately 600 men were killed, captured or missing. Mullins was subsequently declared missing in action.

At the end of the war, during “Operation Big Switch,” where all remaining prisoners of war were returned, former prisoners were interviewed. One reported that Mullins died while being held in POW Camp 5, Pyokdong, North Korea.

Awards: Purple Heart, Combat Infantrymans Badge, Prisoner of War Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, and Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

 

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
June 29
, 2017

Army Pfc. Charlie H. Hill,

Army Pfc. Charlie H. Hill, missing from the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In late November 1950, Hill was a member of Battery D, 15th Anti-aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Self-propelled Battalion, 7th Infantry Division. Approximately 2,500 U.S. and 700 South Korean soldiers assembled into the 31st Regimental Combat Team (RCT), which was deployed east of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, when it was attacked by overwhelming numbers of Chinese forces. American forces withdrew south with the Chinese continued to attack. By December 6, the U.S. Army evacuated approximately 1,500 wounded service members; the remaining soldiers had been either captured or killed in enemy territory. Because Hill could not be accounted for by his unit after reaching Hagaru-ri, he was reported missing in action on Dec. 2, 1950.

 

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
June 29
, 2017

Army Master Sgt. George R. Housekeeper, Jr.

Army Master Sgt. George R. Housekeeper, Jr., missing from the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In late November 1950, Housekeeper was a member of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. Approximately 2,500 U.S. and 700 South Korean soldiers assembled into the 31st Regimental Combat Team (RCT), which was deployed east of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, when it was attacked by overwhelming numbers of Chinese forces. The American forces withdrew south with the Chinese attacks continuing. By December 6, the U.S. Army evacuated approximately 1,500 wounded service members; the remaining soldiers had been either captured or killed in enemy territory.
Because Housekeeper could not be accounted for by his unit at the end of the battle, he was reported missing in action on Dec. 12, 1950.

 

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
June 29
, 2017

Army Cpl. Clarence R. Skates,

Army Cpl. Clarence R. Skates, Los Angels Calf. captured during the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In November 1950, Skates was a member of Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, when the division suffered heavy losses between the towns of Kunu-ri and Sunchon, North Korea. Skates' regiment suffered many casualties, and he was reported missing in action on Nov. 30, 1950, after his unit's defensive positions were overrun by units of the Chinese People's Volunteer Forces (CPVF).

 

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

 

 

 Airmen From World War II Accounted For
June 23
, 2017

Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. Byron H. Nelson, 28,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from World War II, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. Byron H. Nelson, 28, of Primghar, Iowa, will be buried July 1 in his hometown. On April 25, 1944, Nelson was a member of the 721st Bomb Squadron, 450th Bomb Group, 15th Air Force, and was the nose gunner aboard an American B-24G Liberator bomber. While flying from Manduria, Italy, to a target area near Varese, Italy, three aircraft became separated from the formation due to dense clouds. Nelson’s aircraft was one the three that disappeared. It was later learned that eight of the 10 people in his aircraft parachuted from the bomber after being attacked by German fighters. Six crewmen were able to successfully evade capture and two were captured. A captured crewman was told by a German interrogator that two crewmen perished in the crash, one being Nelson.

On Sept. 9, 1947, the American Graves Registration Service disinterred remains from a cemetery near Fognano, Italy, where they were reportedly buried by local residents following the crash. The AGRS then moved his remains temporarily to the U.S. Military Cemetery at Mirandola on Sept. 10 as “Mirandola Unknown X-190.”

On July 24, 1948, the remains were disinterred for attempted identification. The remains were unable to be identified and were re-interred in the Florence American Cemetery on May 26, 1949.

DPAA researchers made a historical association between Mirandola Unknown X-190 and Nelson's incident based on wartime records written by the Italian Military Police in Brisighella, as well as information gathered during field investigations with local Italian citizens. Due to the historical evidence and newly available technology, the remains were disinterred in August 2015.

To identify Nelson’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA analysis, which matched a grand nephew, as well as dental and anthropological analysis, which matched his records, and circumstantial evidence.

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
June 23
, 2017

Army Sgt. James W. Sharp, 24,

The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing during the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Sgt. James W. Sharp, 24, of Mannington, West Virginia, will be buried June 29 in Grafton, West Virginia. In late November, 1950, Sharp was a member of Battery B, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 31st Regimental Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division. Approximately 2,500 U.S. and 700 South Korean soldiers assembled into the 31st Regimental Combat Team (RCT), which was deployed east of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, when it was attacked by overwhelming numbers of Chinese forces. The American forces withdrew south with the Chinese attacks continuing. By December 6, the U.S. Army evacuated approximately 1,500 wounded service members; the remaining soldiers had been either captured or killed in enemy territory. Because Sharp could not be accounted for by his unit at the end of the battle, he was reported missing in action as of Dec. 6, 1950.

Sharp’s name did not appear on any prisoner of war lists and no repatriated Americans reported Sharp as a prisoner of war. Due to the prolonged lack of evidence, the U.S. Army declared him deceased as of Feb. 17, 1954.

Although the U.S. Army Graves Registration Service hoped to recover American remains that remained north of the Korean Demilitarized Zone after the war, administrative details between the United Nations Command and North Korea complicated recovery efforts. An agreement was made and in September and October 1954, in what was known as Operation Glory, remains were returned. However, Sharp’s remains were not included and he was declared non-recoverable.

During the 25th Joint Recovery Operation in 2001, recovery teams conducted operations on the eastern bank of the Chosin Reservoir, Changjin County, North Korea, based on information provided by two North Korean witnesses. The site was approximately one kilometer from the 31st RCT’s defensive perimeter. During the excavation, the recovery team recovered possible human remains of at least seven individuals.

To identify Sharp’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used circumstantial and anthropological evidence, including dental and chest radiograph comparison, as well as DNA analysis, including mitochondrial DNA, which matched a brother and a sister.

 

 

 

 

Pilot Missing From Vietnam War Accounted For
June 22
, 2017

Air Force Col. Roosevelt Hestle, Jr. 38

Air Force Col. Roosevelt Hestle, Jr., 38, Orlando Fl. has now been accounted for.

On July 6, 1966, Hestle was a pilot assigned to the 388th Tactical Fighter Squadron, aboard the lead aircraft in a flight of four F-105s on a strike mission against surface-to-air missile sites in northern Vietnam. As they approached the target, Hestle issued a missile launch warning, and all aircraft began evasive action by diving toward the ground. As the aircraft approached the town of Thai Ngyuen, anti-aircraft began firing at them. Due to the evasive action, the other aircraft lost site of Hestle. Crews aboard one aircraft observed a large ball rising from the ground, though no crash was observed. Contact attempts were unsuccessful and no parachutes or distress signals were seen or heard. Due to hostile conditions in the area, search and rescue attempts could not be initiated and an aerial search of the area produced no results. Based on this information, Hestle was declared missing in action.
 

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
June 21
, 2017

Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Earl R. Melton, 24,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman from World War II have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Earl R. Melton, 24, of Lakewood, New Jersey, will be buried June 28, in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. On Dec. 7, 1941, Melton was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Melton.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Melton.

In April 2015, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. On June 15, 2015, DPAA personnel began exhuming the remains from the NMCP for analysis.

To identify Melton’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used mitochondrial, Y-chromosome Short Tandem Repeat and autosomal DNA analysis, which matched a niece and four nephews, as well as circumstantial evidence and laboratory analysis, to include dental comparisons, which matched Melton’s records.

 

 

 

 

 

Missing Airmen From Vietnam War Accounted For
June 21
, 2017

Air Force Col. Patrick H. Wood, 36,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Air Force Col. Patrick H. Wood, 36, of Kansas City, Missouri, will be buried June 28 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. On Feb. 6, 1967, Wood was the pilot of an HH-3E aircraft carrying three other crewmembers on a recovery mission over North Vietnam. After successfully recovering an individual from a separate incident, Wood’s aircraft was hit by enemy ground fire, which caused it to crash. Rescue aircraft flew over the area, but were only able to recover one survivor. Following the incident, the U.S. Air Force declared Wood missing in action.

Multiple joint investigations were conducted concerning the fate of these missing Americans.

During the 120th Joint Field Activity in December 2015, a team from the Vietnamese Office for Seeking Missing Persons (VNOSMP) interviewed a witness who was in possession of possible human remains. The witness led the VNOSMP team to the site where the remains were found, which correlated to the crash site of the HH-3E. After a joint forensic review of the remains, the team recommended the remains be repatriated to the U.S.

Scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used mitochondrial, Y-chromosome Short Tandem Repeat and autosomal DNA analysis, which matched his sister and son; anthropological analysis; as well as circumstantial evidence in making the identification of Wood.

The support from the government of Vietnam was vital to the success of this recovery

 

 

 

 

 Airmen Captured From World War II Accounted For
June 21
, 2017

 

Army Air Forces Pvt. Harold S. Hirschi, 29,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that a U.S. serviceman, missing from World War II, has been identified and is being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Air Forces Pvt. Harold S. Hirschi, 29, of Oklahoma City, will be buried June 28, in Andersonville, Georgia. On Dec. 8, 1941, Hirschi was assigned to Headquarters Squadron, 19th Bombardment Group, when Japanese forces invaded the Philippine Islands. Intense fighting continued until May 6, 1942, when American forces on Corregidor Island surrendered.

Thousands of U.S. and Filipino service members from Bataan and Corregidor were taken prisoner; including many who were forced to endure the Bataan Death March, en route to Japanese prisoner of war (POW) camps. Hirschi was among those reported captured after the surrender of Corregidor and who were eventually moved to the Cabanatuan POW camp. More than 2,500 POWs perished in this camp during the remaining years of the war.

Hirschi was admitted to the Cabanatuan Camp station hospital for illness, where he died on Nov. 19, 1942. According to prison records, Hirschi was buried along with 13 fellow prisoners in a local camp cemetery in Cabanatuan, Grave 717.

Following the war, American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) personnel exhumed those buried at the Cabanatuan cemetery and relocated the remains to a temporary U.S. military cemetery near Manila. In late 1947, the AGRS again exhumed the remains at the Manila cemetery in an attempt to identify them. Due to the circumstances of the POW deaths and burials, the extensive commingling, and the limited identification technologies of the time, all of the remains could not be individually identified. The unidentified remains were reburied as unknowns in a permanent American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) cemetery at Fort McKinley in Manila, Philippines (known as Manila American Cemetery and Memorial.)

In 2014, the Secretary of the Army granted permission to exhume ten graves associated with the Cabanatuan Common Grave 717. On August 28, 2014, the remains were sent to the DPAA laboratory for identification.

To identify Hirschi’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, which matched two cousins, as well as circumstantial evidence and laboratory analysis, to include anthropological analysis, which matched his records.

 

 

 

 

Missing Airmen From World War II Accounted For
June 20
, 2017

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. George W. Betchley, 21

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. George W. Betchley, 21, Yonkers New York, missing from World War II, has now been accounted for.

On March 22, 1945, Betchley was a member of the 429th Bombardment Squadron, 2nd Bombardment Group, 15th Air Force, serving as a navigator on a B-17G Flying Fortress, carrying a crew of ten on a bombing mission targeting the Ruhland oil refinery near Schwarzheide, Germany. The aircraft crashed in southwest Poland after two of its engines and the left wing were reportedly damaged by German anti-aircraft fire, and German fighters. The pilot and several crewmembers parachuted out, but only the pilot and co-pilot survived. The other eight crewmembers were not recovered following the crash. Betchley was declared missing in action as of March 22, 1945, but his status was later amended to killed in action.

Awards received; Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, American Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.
 

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

Marine Missing From World War II Accounted For
June 20
, 2017

U.S. Marine Corps Pfc. George B. Murray

U.S. Marine Corps Pfc. George B. Murray how now been accounted for.

In November 1943, Murray was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated.
Murray was killed on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943.

The support from the Republic of Kiribati was vital to the success of this recovery.

 

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
June 20
, 2017

Army Pfc. Albert E. Atkins, 21

Army Pfc. Albert E. Atkins, 21, Hamilton, N.Y. missing from the Korean War, has now been identified.

On May 23, 1951, Atkins was a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team, when his unit was attacking enemy forces near Mae-Bong, South Korea. The regiment's mission was to secure Hill 911, and as the company prepared to assault the hill, Atkins and two other soldiers from his company were reported missing in action.

Awards received;  Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, United Nations Service Medal, Republic of Korea War Service Medal, and the  Combat Infantryman Badge.
 

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

 

Marine Missing From World War II Accounted For
June 19
, 2017

Marine Corps Pfc. Ray James, 21

Marine Corps Pfc. Ray James, 21, Sylvarena, Miss. has now been accounted for.

In November 1943, James was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated.
James was killed on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943.

 

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

 Marine Missing From World War II Accounted For
June 19
, 2017

Marine Corps Pvt. Archie W. Newell,

Marine Corps Pvt. Archie W. Newell, Snohomish Washington, has now been accounted for.

In November 1943, Newell was assigned to Company C, 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Newell was killed on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943.

 

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
June 16
, 2017

Navy Seaman 1st Class George A. Coke, 18,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman from World War II have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Navy Seaman 1st Class George A. Coke, 18, of Arlington, Texas, will be buried June 24 in his hometown. On Dec. 7, 1941, Coke was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Coke.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Coke.

In April 2015, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. On June 15, 2015, DPAA personnel began exhuming the remains from the NMCP for analysis.

To identify Coke’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) which matched a cousin and Y chromosome (Y-STR) DNA analysis, which matched a nephew, as well as circumstantial evidence and laboratory analysis, to include dental comparisons and anthropological analysis, which matched Coke’s records.

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
June 16
, 2017

Army Cpl. Billie J. Jimerson, 19,

The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, who died while a prisoner of war during the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Cpl. Billie J. Jimerson, 19, of Kerens, Texas, will be buried June 23 in Portland, Oregon. In late November, 1950, Jimerson was a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, when his unit engaged with opposing forces near Anju, North Korea. He was reported missing in action as of Nov. 28, 1950, when he could not be accounted for.

Returning American prisoners of war reported that Jimerson was captured by the enemy, died in captivity and was buried at Camp 5, Pyoktong, North Korea.

In September 1954, a set of remains reportedly recovered from a prisoner of war cemetery at Camp 5 were sent to the Central Identification Unit in Japan for attempted identification and further processing. This set of remains was designated X-14400, and was determined unidentifiable in November 1955. The remains were transferred to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu and interred as a Korean War Unknown.

In February 2014 the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency requested the disinterment of Unknown X-14400 after a thorough historical and scientific analysis indicated that the remains could likely be identified. In June 2014 after receiving approval, X-14400 was disinterred from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific and accessioned into the laboratory.

To identify Jimerson’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used circumstantial and anthropological evidence, including dental and chest radiograph comparison, as well as DNA analysis, including mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which matched a sister and a nephew.

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
June 16
, 2017

Army Cpl. Leslie R. Sutton, 24,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Cpl. Leslie R. Sutton, 24, of Rochelle, Georgia, will be buried June 24 in his hometown. In late October 1950, Sutton was a member of Battery C, 99th Field Artillery Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, when his unit received orders to take over positions occupied by the 11th and 12th Republic of Korea Army Regiments in the northwest region of North Korea, in the vicinity of Unsan. Within hours of establishing the command post, elements of the supported unit, the 8th Cavalry Regiment, encountered heavy fighting with the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF). In danger of being overwhelmed by the CPVF, the regiment received an order to withdraw southeast of Unsan, Nov. 1, 1950. Many of the men were captured or killed by the CPVF, and after several days of searching adjacent units and hospitals, Sutton was reported missing in action as of Nov. 2, 1950.

During the war, Sutton was not listed on any CPVF or [North] Korean People’s Army (KPA) Prisoners of War (POWs) lists. Additionally, no returning American prisoners reported his capture. Based on that information, the U.S. Army declared him deceased as of Dec. 31, 1953.

In July 2000, a joint U.S. and KPA recovery team conducted a Joint Recovery Operation at a site near Hwaong-ri Village, Unsan County, North Korea, based on information provided by a North Korean Witness. During the excavation, the team recovered military equipment, personal effects, and human remains. The remains were accessioned to the DPAA laboratory on July 24, 2000.

To identify Sutton’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA), Y-chromosome (Y-STR) and autosomal (au-STR) DNA analysis, which matched a brother, as well as dental and anthropological analysis, which matched his records, and circumstantial evidence.

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
June 16
, 2017

Navy Gunner’s Mate 1st Class Arthur C. Neuenschwander, 33

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman from World War II have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Navy Gunner’s Mate 1st Class Arthur C. Neuenschwander, 33, of Fessenden, North Dakota, will be buried June 24 in his hometown. On Dec. 7, 1941, Neuenschwander was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Neuenschwander

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Neuenschwander.

In April 2015, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. On June 15, 2015, DPAA personnel began exhuming the remains from the NMCP for analysis.

To identify Neuenschwander’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, which matched a brother, a sister and two nephews, as well as circumstantial evidence and laboratory analysis, to include dental comparisons.

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing From World War II Accounted For
June 16
, 2017

Army Pvt. Gene J. Appleby, 30,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, unaccounted for since World War II, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Pvt. Gene J. Appleby, 30, of Columbus, Ohio, will be buried June 22 in Coshocton, Ohio. On Sept. 17, 1944, Appleby was a member of Company A, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, as part of Operation Market Garden to advance from the Netherlands into Germany. The regiment was tasked with landing at Drop Zone “T,” north of Groesbeek, Netherlands. Appleby successfully jumped and was seen on the ground by members of the unit. However, as the soldiers rallied to move toward their objective, Appleby was struck by enemy fire. The Army listed Appleby as missing in action as of Sept 17, 1944. After reviewing his case, the War Department found no further information and issued a presumptive finding of death as of Sept. 18, 1945.

On Sept. 8, 2011, the Royal Netherlands Army Recovery and Identification Unit (RIU) was notified by the Groesbeek Police of possible human remains found at the Groenendaal Farm by local residents. Officials conducted an excavation and recovered possible human remains and material evidence. The remains were transferred to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, (now DPAA,) for identification.

Historians from DPAA working on cases of missing Americans from Operation Market Garden received valuable recovery information from the RIU and traveled to the original recovery site with the local researchers who originally found the remains. With this information, the DPAA historians established a list of individuals whose circumstances of loss and last known location matched the remains. Appleby was among the possible candidates. 

To identify Appleby’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) which matched a niece and Y-chromosome (Y-STR) DNA analysis, which matched a cousin; laboratory analysis, including dental and anthropological analysis, which matched Appleby’s records; and circumstantial evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
June 12
, 2017

Army Cpl. Edward Pool, 22,

The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, killed during the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Cpl. Edward Pool, 22, of Paso Robles, California, will be buried June 19 in Portland, Oregon. In late November 1950, Pool was a member of 31st Heavy Mortar Company, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. Approximately 2,500 U.S. and 700 South Korean soldiers assembled into the 31st Regimental Combat Team (RCT), which was deployed east of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, when it was engaged by overwhelming numbers of Chinese forces. By Dec. 6, the U.S. Army had evacuated approximately 1,500 wounded service members; the remaining soldiers had been either captured or killed in enemy territory. Because Pool could not be accounted for by his unit at the end of the battle, he was reported missing in action as of Nov. 30, 1950.

Pool’s name appeared on a list provided by the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces and Korean People’s Army as a prisoner of war. Following the war, one returning American prisoner reported that Pool had died in January 1951. Based on this information, the U.S. Army declared him deceased as of Jan. 31, 1951.

Between 1990 and 1994, North Korea returned 208 boxes of commingled human remains to the United States, which we determined to contain the remains of at least 400 U.S. servicemen who fought during the war. North Korean documents included in the repatriation indicate that some of the remains were recovered from the vicinity of where Pool was believed to have died.

To identify Pool’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA), Y-chromosome (Y-STR) and autosomal (auDNA) DNA analysis, which matched a brother and a niece, as well as anthropological analysis, which matched his records, and circumstantial evidence.

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
June 9
, 2017

Navy Fireman 1st Class Charles W. Thompson, 19

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman from World War II have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Navy Fireman 1st Class Charles W. Thompson, 19, of Weaubleau, Missouri, will be buried June 17 in his hometown. On Dec. 7, 1941, Thompson was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Thompson.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identities of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unknowns in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Thompson.

In April 2015, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. On June 15, 2015, DPAA personnel began exhuming the remains from the NMCP for analysis.

To identify Thompson’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, which matched two nephews and a niece, as well as circumstantial evidence and laboratory analysis, to include dental comparisons.

Charles will be buried, with full military honors, next to his mother's grave in the Fairview-Butcher Cemetery in Butcher.

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
June 9
, 2017

Army Sgt. 1st Class Harold P. Haugland, 22

The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, killed during the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Harold P. Haugland, 22, of Belgrade, Montana, will be buried June 17 in Bozeman, Montana. In late November, 1950, Haugland was a member of Company D, 15th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division. Approximately 2,500 U.S. and 700 South Korean soldiers assembled into the 31st Regimental Combat Team (RCT), which was deployed east of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, when it was engaged by overwhelming numbers of Chinese forces. By early December, the U.S. Army evacuated approximately 1,500 wounded service members; the remaining soldiers had been either captured or killed in enemy territory. Because Haugland could not be accounted for by his unit at the end of the battle, he was reported missing in action as of Dec. 2, 1950.

Haugland’s name did not appear on any prisoner of war lists and no returning American POWs reported him as a prisoner of war. The U.S. Army declared him deceased as of Dec. 31, 1953.

Although the U.S. Army Graves Registration Service planned to recover American remains that remained north of the Korean Demilitarized Zone after the war, administrative details between the United Nations Command and North Korea complicated recovery efforts. An agreement was made and in September and October 1954, in what was known as Operation Glory, remains were returned. However, Haugland’s remains were not included and he was declared non-recoverable.

During the 36th Joint Recovery Operation in 2004, recovery teams conducted operations on the eastern bank of the Chosin Reservoir, in the vicinity of Twikkae Village, North Korea, based on information provided by a Korean witness. During the excavation, the recovery team recovered possible human remains of at least five individuals.

To identify Haugland’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used circumstantial and anthropological evidence, as well as DNA analysis, including mitochondrial (mtDNA) and Y-chromosome (Y-STR) DNA, which matched two brothers.

 

 

 

 

Fighting Tiger Pilot Missing From World War II Accounted For
June 9
, 2017

Mr. John D. Armstrong, 24,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. civilian unaccounted for since World War II, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Mr. John D. Armstrong, 24, of Hutchinson, Kansas, will be buried June 17 in his hometown. In mid-1941, Armstrong, formerly in the U.S. Navy Reserve, was recruited to be among a small group of American pilots to battle Japanese forces invading China. He was employed with the Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company (CAMCO), which was officially termed the “American Volunteer Group,” (AVG) and popularly known as the “Flying Tigers.” The AVG consisted of three fighter squadrons, each with approximately 30 Curtiss P-40 single-seat aircraft. In September 1941, Armstrong was training with other AVG pilots at Kyedaw Airfield, a British Royal Air Force airfield outside of Toungoo, Burma. Though most of the recruits were experienced pilots, none had seen combat. To prepare them, the AVG instituted an aggressive training program, encouraging their pilots to carry out mock battles. Armstrong was killed during a training flight on Sept. 8, 1941, when his plane collided with another AVG member’s aircraft in midair. Armstrong was formally buried in the Airmen’s Cemetery at St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Toungoo.

In late December 1947, an American Graves Registration Service team recovered the remains of three members of the AVG. The remains were declared unidentifiable and were temporarily interred in the U.S. Military Cemetery at Barrackpore, India in January, 1948. The unknown remains were eventually moved to Hawaii in an attempt to identify them, designated as X-633, X-634 and X-635, but identification was unsuccessful. They were reinterred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, as World War II Unknowns.

On April 11, 2016, due to advancements in forensic capabilities, unknown X-633 was disinterred and sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

To identify Armstrong’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, which matched three nieces; as well as anthropological analysis, which matched his records, and circumstantial evidence.

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
June 9
, 2017

Army Pvt. Walter F. Piper, 21,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors

Army Pvt. Walter F. Piper, 21, of Williamstown, New Jersey, will be buried June 17 in his hometown. In February 1951, Piper was a member of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, supporting Republic of Korea Army attacks against units of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) in the village of Hoengsong, an area known as the Central Corridor in South Korea. After enduring sustained enemy attacks, the American units withdrew to Wonju, South Korea. It was during this withdrawal that Piper was reported missing, as of Feb. 13, 1951.

On Dec. 26, 1951, Piper’s name appeared on a list provided by the CPVF and Korean People’s Army (KPA) of allied service members who died while in their custody. Two returning American prisoners of war reported that Piper had died while a prisoner at the Suan Prisoner of War Camp Complex in North Korea. Based off of this information, the Army declared him deceased as of June 18, 1951.

Between 1990 and 1994, North Korea returned to the United States 208 boxes of commingled human remains, which were later determined to contain the remains of at least 400 U.S. servicemen who fought during the war. On June 24, 1991, the DPRK turned over 11 boxes of remains believed to be unaccounted-for Americans from the war.

To identify Piper’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA), Y-chromosome short tandem repeat (Y-SYR) and autosomal (auSTR) DNA analysis, which matched a brother, as well as dental and anthropological analysis, which matched his records, as well as circumstantial evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
June 9
, 2017

Army Cpl. Edward L. Borders, 21,

Army Cpl. Edward L. Borders, 21, Saline Illiniois, has now been accounted for.

In early February 1951, Borders was a member of Dog Battery, 82nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion (Automatic Weapons), 2nd Infantry Division, when American units began supporting South Korean Army attacks against units of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) in an area known as the Central Corridor in North Korea. Dog Battery was part of a group known as Support Force 21 (SF21) and provided artillery fire support for the South Korean Army during its attack north on Hongch’on. On the evening of Feb. 11, 1951, the CPVF launched a massive counter offensive against the South Koreans, who were forced to withdraw, leaving Borders’ unit and the rest of SF21 behind at Changbong-ni. The SF 21 marched south along Route 29, fighting through ambushes and roadblocks, to Hoengsong and eventually to the city of Wonju. Borders was reported missing in action as of Feb. 13, 1951 when he did not report with his unit in Wonju.

Between 1990 and 1994, North Korea returned to the United States 208 boxes of commingled human remains, which when combined with remains recovered during joint recovery operations in North Korea, account for the remains of at least 400 U.S. servicemen who fought during the war. Of the 208 boxes, 14 were reported to have been recovered from Ryongpho-ri, Suan County, North Hwanghae Province, North Korea.

Corporal Borders was awarded the Prisoner of War Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

DNA and laboratory analysis were used in the identification of his remains.
 

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

Marine Missing From World War II Accounted For
June 7
, 2017

Marine Corps Pfc. Larry R. Roberts, 18,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, unaccounted for since World War II, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Marine Corps Pfc. Larry R. Roberts, 18, of Damascus, Arkansas, will be buried June 14, in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. In November 1943, Roberts was assigned to Special Weapons Group, 2nd Defense Battalion, Fleet Marine Force, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Roberts was killed on Nov. 25, 1943.

Despite the heavy casualties suffered by U.S. forces, military success in the battle of Tarawa was a huge victory for the U.S. military because the Gilbert Islands provided the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet a platform from which to launch assaults on the Marshall and Caroline Islands to advance their Central Pacific Campaign against Japan.

In the immediate aftermath of the fighting on Tarawa, U.S. service members who died in the battle were buried in a number of battlefield cemeteries on the island. In 1946 and 1947, the 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted remains recovery operations on Betio, but Roberts’ remains were not recovered. On Oct. 11, 1949, a military review board declared Roberts’ remains non-recoverable.

In June 2015, a nongovernmental organization, History Flight, Inc., notified DPAA that they discovered a burial site on Betio Island and recovered the remains of what they believed were 35 U.S. Marines who fought during the battle in November 1943. The remains were turned over to DPAA in July 2015.

To identify Roberts’ remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis, which matched a nephew, dental and anthropological analysis, which matched his records, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.

 

 

 

 

Navy Pilot Missing From Vietnam War Accounted For
June 3
, 2017

U.S. Navy Cmdr. Charles B. Goodwin, 25

U.S. Navy Cmdr. Charles B. Goodwin, 25, Haskell, TX,  has now been accounted for.

On Sept. 8, 1965, Goodwin was the pilot of an RF-8A aircraft, assigned to Detachment D, VPF-63, CVW-15, when he launched from the USS Coral Sea, for a combat photo mission over North Vietnam (now Socialist Republic of Vietnam.) At the time of the early-morning flight, numerous intense thunderstorms were reported between the USS Coral Sea and the North Vietnam. Fifteen minutes after launching, Goodwin reported that he had encountered thunderstorms en route to the target area. That was the last radio transmission from him. Search efforts over the target area and adjacent coastal waters were unsuccessful, no emergency radio signals were heard and no aircraft wreckage was sighted. Goodwin was declared missing in action as of Sept. 8, 1965.

In February 1988, a Vietnamese refugee provided information regarding the location of possible human remains and material evidence, including a military identification card for Goodwin. Between April 1993 and December 2016, multiple attempts were made by the Vietnamese Office for Seeking Missing Persons (VNOSMP) and Joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) teams to locate the crash site and remains of the pilot, without success. In December 2016, a Joint Forensic Review team received possible human remains that had been in the possession of a Vietnamese national. The remains were 
sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

DNA and laboratory analysis were used in the identification of his remains.

The support from the government of Vietnam was vital to the success of this recovery.

 

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

Navy Pilot Missing From Vietnam War Accounted For
June 3
, 2017

U.S. Air Force Reserve Capt. Joseph Smith, 25

U.S. Air Force Reserve Capt. Joseph Smith, 26, Assumption IL,  has now been accounted for.

On April 4, 1971, Smith was the pilot of a single-seat F-100D aircraft as the leader in a flight of two aircraft on a combat mission over Cambodia. While making a pass over the target, the pilot of the other aircraft noted white vapor streaming from the left wing of Smith's aircraft. Smith's aircraft crashed a half mile from the target. The other pilot reported that he did not see any ejection from Smith's aircraft and no beepers were heard. The following day, an aerial search revealed aircraft wreckage over a large area, however no remains were observed. Due to intense enemy activity in the area, ground forces could not attempt a recovery operation. Smith was declared missing in action as of April 4, 1971.

U.S. and Kingdom of Cambodia teams, with the assistance of the U.S. Embassy's POW/MIA specialists, investigated the loss from 1996 until 2016. During subsequent excavations of the crash site in Kampong Thom Province, teams recovered possible osseous remains and wreckage associated with an F-100D aircraft.

DNA and laboratory analysis was used in the identification of his remains.

The support from the Kingdom of Cambodia was vital to the success of this recovery.
 

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
May 31
, 2017

Army Sgt. Edward Saunders, 27,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Sgt. Edward Saunders, 27, of Baltimore, will be buried June 7 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. In February 1951, Saunders was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. His unit was attached to the Republic of Korea Army’s 16th Regiment to provide support during a planned offensive, when they were attacked by the Chinese People’s Volunteer Force (CPVF) on the night of February 11 and 12. Both units retreated east, joining U.S. units at Saemal, South Korea. The regiment continued to fight the CPVF along the withdrawal route to Hoensong. By the end of the battle, only six soldiers remained. It was during this battle that Saunders became missing in action.

Following the war, one returning American prisoner of war reported that he and Saunders had been captured on Feb. 12, 1951, and that Saunders died sometime in August 1951 in Koksan, North Korea. Based on this information, the U.S. Army declared him deceased as of Aug. 31, 1951.

Between 1990 and 1994, North Korea returned to the United States 208 boxes of commingled human remains, which when combined with remains recovered during joint recovery operations in North Korea, account for the remains of at least 400 U.S. servicemen who fought during the war. North Korean documents included in the repatriation indicated that some of the remains were recovered from the area where Saunders was believed to have died.

To identify Saunders’ remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA), Y- chromosome (Y-STR) and autosomal (auSTR) DNA analysis, which matched a brother; as well as laboratory analysis, including dental, chest x-ray and anthropological analysis, which matched his records; and circumstantial evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
May 30
, 2017

Army Pfc. Robert E. Mitchell, 19,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Pfc. Robert E. Mitchell, 19, of Searcy, Arkansas, will be buried June 3 in Beebe, Arkansas. On Sept. 6, 1950, Mitchell was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, when his unit was attacking enemy forces of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) that had penetrated the Naktong Bulge portion of the Pusan Perimeter near Am-sin, South Korea. Following the series of attacks, Mitchell could not be accounted for and was reported missing in action.

During the war, Mitchell was not listed on any Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces or KPA’s prisoner of war lists.

In February and March 1953, an American Graves Registration Service team searched the last-known location for Mitchell, with negative results. Based on the lack of information, the AGRS declared Mitchell non-recoverable.

Additionally, following the war, during “Operation Little/Big Switch,” when the prisoners of war were returned, no repatriated Americans were able to provide any information on Mitchell. Based on the lack of information, the U.S. Army declared Mitchell deceased as of Dec. 31, 1953.

On July 10, 1952, the 565th Graves Registration Company recovered remains from a shallow grave near Hwasan-dong, South Korea, approximately 3.5 miles from where Mitchell was last seen. A local resident reported that he had buried the remains in a foxhole around Sept. 30, 1950. These remains, designated X-5698, were not able to be identified and were interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Although the U.S. Army Graves Registration Service planned to recover American remains that remained north of the Korean Demilitarized Zone after the war, administrative details between the United Nations Command and North Korea complicated recovery efforts. An agreement was made and in September and October 1954, in what was known as Operation Glory, remains were returned. However, Mitchell’s remains were not included and he was declared non-recoverable.

In late 2014, DPAA disinterred Unknown X-5698 Tanggok, based on research and a tentative name association. Unknown X-5698 was disinterred from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu and accessioned to the DPAA laboratory on May 16, 2016.

To identify Mitchell’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, which matched a sister and a nephew, as well as laboratory analysis, including dental, anthropological and chest radiograph comparison analysis, which matched his records, and circumstantial evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
May 22
, 2017

Army Pfc. Thomas C. Stagg, 21,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, killed during the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Pfc. Thomas C. Stagg, 21, of Jefferson, Alabama, will be buried May 29 in Birmingham, Alabama. On Nov. 29, 1950, Stagg was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment, on a reconnaissance patrol. The patrol encountered an enemy ambush near Hajoyang-ni, North Korea. During the battle, Stagg was killed in action and his body could not be recovered

Between 1990 and 1994, North Korea returned 208 boxes of commingled human remains to the United States, which we determined to contain the remains of at least 400 U.S. servicemen who fought during the war. North Korean documents included in the repatriation indicate that some of the remains were recovered from the vicinity where Stagg was believed to have died.

To identify Stagg’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, which matched a niece and nephew, as well as anthropological analysis and dental analysis, which matched his records, and circumstantial evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
May 22
, 2017

Army Pfc. Everett E. Johnson, 21,

The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, killed during the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Pfc. Everett E. Johnson, 21, of Cincinnati, will be buried May 29 in Madisonville, Ohio. On Sept. 3, 1950, Johnson was a member of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division located near Taegu, South Korea. Johnson’s company was cut off by enemy penetrations and withdrew to join the rest of the battalion. During the course of the enemy attack, Johnson was killed by enemy fire.

In May 1951, an unidentified set of remains, previously recovered from a mass grave near Pultang, South Korea, was buried in the Tanggok United Nations Military Cemetery and labeled “Unknown X-1072.” No identification of X-1072 could be made, and the remains were interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii as an Unknown.

In Dec. 2014, the Department of Defense approved the disinterment of “Unknown X-1072.” The remains were disinterred May 16, 2016 were sent to the laboratory for analysis.

To identify Johnson’s remains, scientists from DPAA used circumstantial and anthropological evidence, as well as dental and chest radiograph comparison analysis, which matched his records.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Navy Pilot Missing From Vietnam War Accounted For
May 22
, 2017

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Frederick P. Crosby, 31,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, killed in the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Frederick P. Crosby, 31, of Lockport, New York, will be buried May 28 in San Diego, California. On June 1, 1965, Crosby was the pilot of an RF-8A aircraft on a bomb damage assessment mission over Thanh Hoa Province, North Vietnam. His aircraft was hit by enemy ground fire while flying at high speed and low altitude over the target area, and crashed. Due to the location of the crash site in hostile territory, the Navy was unable to conduct search operations. The Navy declared Crosby deceased as of June 1, 1965.

After three joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) investigations and witness interviews dating back to 1993, a joint U.S./S.R.V. team excavated a site between October and December 2015, and recovered possible osseous remains and material evidence from an F-8-type aircraft.

In the identification of Crosby, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA analysis, which matched a sister, as well as anthropological analysis and circumstantial evidence.
 

The support from the government of Vietnam was vital to the success of this recovery.

 

 

 

 

 

Navy Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
May 19, 2017

Navy Fireman 3rd Class Glaydon I.C. Iverson, 24

 

Navy Fireman 3rd Class Glaydon I.C. Iverson, missing from World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Iverson was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Iverson. No single vessel at Pearl Harbor, with the exception of the USS Arizona, suffered as many fatalities.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Iverson.

In April 2015, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. On June 15, 2015, DPAA personnel began exhuming the remains from the NMCP for analysis.

DNA analysis and circumstantial evidence were used in the identification of his remains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
May 19
, 2017

Navy Musician 1st Class Elliot D. Larsen, 25,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman from World War II have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Navy Musician 1st Class Elliot D. Larsen, 25, of Monroe, Utah, will be buried May 26 in his hometown. On Dec. 7, 1941, Larsen was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Larsen. No single vessel at Pearl Harbor, with the exception of the USS Arizona, suffered as many fatalities.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Larsen.

In April 2015, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. On June 15, 2015, DPAA personnel began exhuming the remains from the NMCP for analysis.

To identify Larsen’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, which matched a sister and niece, as well as circumstantial evidence and laboratory analysis, to include dental comparisons.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
May 19
, 2017

Navy Coxswain Verne F. Knipp, 22,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman from World War II have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Navy Coxswain Verne F. Knipp, 22, of Salida, Colorado, will be buried May 26, in Auburn, California. On Dec. 7, 1941, Knipp was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Knipp. No single vessel at Pearl Harbor, with the exception of the USS Arizona, suffered as many fatalities.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Knipp.

In April 2015, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. On June 15, 2015, DPAA personnel began exhuming the remains from the NMCP for analysis.

To identify Knipp’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA), Y chromosome (Y-STR) and autosomal (auSTR) DNA analysis, which matched two sisters, a nephew and a niece, as well as circumstantial evidence and laboratory analysis, to include dental comparisons, which matched Knipp’s records.

 

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war.

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Missing From World War II Accounted For
May 19
, 2017

Marine Corps Reserve Cpl. Henry Andregg, Jr.

Marine Corps Reserve Cpl. Henry Andregg, Jr., Chattanooga, Tenn, has now been accounted for.

In November 1943, Andregg was assigned to Company C, 2nd Amphibious Tractor Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Andregg died sometime on the first day of battle, Nov.20, 1943.

The remains were exhumed from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu in October 2016.

Laboratory analysis was used in the identification of his remains.

 

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

 

Marine Missing From World War II Accounted For
May 19
, 2017

Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Sam J. Kourkos

Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Sam J. Kourkos, Montgomery Kansas, has now been accounted for.

In November 1943, Kourkos was assigned to Company M, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Kourkos died sometime on the second day of battle, Nov.21, 1943.

The remains were exhumed from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu in October 2016.

Laboratory analysis was used in the identification of his remains.

 

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

 

Missing From World War II Accounted For
May 15
, 2017

Army Staff Sgt. Michael Aiello, 25

Army Staff Sgt. Michael Aiello, 25,  Sangamon County, Illinois, missing from World War II, has now been accounted for.

In September 1944, Aiello was a member of Company G, 401st Glider Infantry Regiment (GIR), which was attached to the 325th GIR for Operation Market Garden. American and German forces battled in a dense forest in the Netherlands, known as Kiekberg Woods. The battle, which lasted four days, was comprised of ferocious attacks and counterattacks by both sides and resulted in many American losses, including Aiello.

On May 31, 2016, based on research and analysis, remains possibly corresponding to Aiello were disinterred from the Ardennes American Cemetery and sent to the DPAA Laboratory for identification.

Laboratory analysis were used in the identification of his remains.

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
May 15
, 2017

Army Cpl. Glen E. Kritzwiser,

Army Cpl. Glen E. Kritzwiser, Pike Ohio, missing from the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In early February 1951, Kritzwiser was a member of Battery C, 15th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, when American units began supporting Republic of Korea Army (ROKA) attacks against units of the Chinese People's Volunteer Forces (CPVF) in an area known as the Central Corridor in North Korea. The support group, known as SF21, provided artillery fire support for the ROKA during its attack north on Hongch'on. On the evening of Feb. 11, 1951, the CPVF launched a massive counterattack against the ROKA. The ROKA withdrew, leaving Kritzwiser's unit and the rest of SF21 behind at Changbong-ni. The SF 21 marched south along Route 29, fighting through ambushes and roadblocks, to Hoengsong and eventually to the city of Wonju. Kritzwiser was reported missing in action as of Feb. 13, 1951 when he did not arrive to report in Wonju.

Glen Kritzwiser was captured during the Korean War and interned as a Prisoner of War. He was not among those returned at the wars end, and is listed as Missing in Action.

On January 7, 2017, based on research and analysis, remains possibly corresponding to Kritzwiser were disinterred and sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

Laboratory analysis were used in the identification of his remains.

 

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
May 15
, 2017

Army Cpl. Frank L. Sandoval,

 

Army Cpl. Frank L. Sandoval, Bexar, Texas, missing from the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In early February 1951, Sandoval was a member of Battery A, 15th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, when his unit, as well as other American units, were in operations supporting Republic of Korea Army (ROKA) attacks against the Chinese People's Volunteer Forces (CPFV) in an area known as the Central Corridor in North Korea. The support group, known as Support Force 21 (SF21,) provided artillery fire support while located at Changbong-ni. On Feb. 11, 1951, the CPVF launched a massive counter offensive. The ROKA withdrew, leaving SF21 in Changbong-ni. As the support group withdrew south toward Wonju, they endured continual attacks. Sandoval was reported missing in action as of Feb. 13, 1951, when he did not arrive with the unit in Wonju, was presume Died in Captured.
On January 9, 2017, based on research and analysis, remains possibly corresponding to Sandoval were disinterred and sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

Laboratory analysis were used in the identification of his remains.

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
May 15
, 2017

Army Cpl. John Lane,

Army Cpl. John Lane, missing from the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In late July 1950, Lane was assigned to Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, when the Korean People's Army attacked the city of Chinju, South Korea. The regiment set up defensive positions before withdrawing east to regroup. Upon arrival south of Masan the battalion began accounting for its soldiers and when Lane could not be accounted for, he was reported missing in action as of July 31, 1950.

Remains were disinterred by the Chinju Sanitation Department in 1987 and sent to the Central Identification Laboratory for identification.

Recent technology in DNA and laboratory analysis were used in the
identification of his remains.

 

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
May 15
, 2017

Army Cpl. Richard Seadore, 24

Army Cpl. Richard Seadore, 24 Brown Nebraska, missing from the Korean War, has now been accounted for.
Richard Seadore was captured during the Korean War and interned as a Prisoner of War. He was not among those returned at the wars end, and is listed as Missing in Action.

In December 1950, Seadore was a member of Company D, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, when all units of the United Nations Command were moving south after units of the Chinese People's Volunteer Forces (CPVF) staged mass attacks during their Second Phase Offensive. On Dec. 14, the Regiment sent out a reconnaissance patrol. While Seadore's company did not participate in the patrol, they remained in defensive positions north of Uijong-bu, South Korea. The CPVF attacked and penetrated the company's defensive line. As the unit prepared to move the following day, Seadore could not be located and was he was reported absent without leave (AWOL.) His status was later amended to missing in action.

Remains were handed over to the agency on May 28, 1992 and sent to the Central Identification Laboratory (now DPAA) for analysis.

Recent technology advancements in DNA and laboratory analysis were used in the identification of his remains.

 

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
May 12
, 2017

Army Pfc. Manuel M. Quintana, 19,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Pfc. Manuel M. Quintana, 19, of Klondyke, Arizona, will be buried May 19 in Boulder City, Nevada. In late July 1950, Quintana was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, when his unit was ordered to move toward Hadong. The regiment unexpectedly encountered enemy forces, who quickly overpowered the American forces. Following the battle, Quintana could not be accounted for and was declared missing in action as of July 27, 1950.

Following the war, no returning American prisoners of war were able to provide any information concerning Quintana’s status.

In December 1950, a set of unidentified remains was recovered from a grave near Chinuju-Hadong Highway. Those remains were buried in the Masan United Nations Military Cemetery as Unknown X-183. In 1951, the graves at Masan cemetery were exhumed and transferred to the U.S. Army’s Central Identification Unit (CIU) in Kokura, Japan, for identification.

Several attempts were made to associate X-183 with unresolved casualties, however with limited technology the remains could be attributed to 41 possibilities. In September 1955 it was determined the remains were “unidentifiable” and were transferred to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii, known as the “Punchbowl.”

In December 2014, a family member requested the disinterment of Unknown X-183 based on documents identifying another soldier with tentative association. In May 2016, the grave was exhumed and sent to the DPAA laboratory for identification.

To identify Quintana’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, which matched a sister and nephew, as well as circumstantial evidence and laboratory analysis, to include dental comparisons.

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing From Vietnam War Accounted For
May 11
, 2017

Air Force Col. William E. Campbell, 37

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Air Force Col. William E. Campbell, 37, of McAllen, Texas, will be buried May 18 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. On Jan. 29, 1969, Campbell was a member of the 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron as an aircraft commander in a flight of two F-4Ds on an armed reconnaissance mission over southern Laos. Campbell was cleared to engage a target, and his ordnance was seen impacting the ground. Haze in the area made for difficult visibility but immediately thereafter, aircrews saw a large fireball on the ground in the vicinity of the target. The crewmember on another U.S. aircraft radioed the missing aircraft but received no reply, and no parachutes were seen. Efforts to make contact with Campbell continued until the remaining planes were forced to leave the area due to low fuel. Campbell was subsequently declared missing in action.

Between 1994 and 2011, the Department of Defense conducted nine investigations and excavated a site in both Vietnam and Laos in its attempts to resolve this case. In 2014, residents of Boualapha District, Khammouan Province, in Laos turned over possible human remains and material evidence reportedly recovered from crash sites in the vicinity of Ban Phanop Village, the area where Campbell’s aircraft was lost.

To identify Campbell’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, which matched a maternal cousin, as well as dental analysis, which matched his records, and circumstantial evidence.

The support from the governments of Laos and Vietnam were vital to the success of this identification.

 

 

 

 

 

Missing From World War II Accounted For
May 11
, 2017

Army Pfc. Lonnie B.C. Eichelberger, 18.

Army Pfc. Lonnie B.C. Eichelberger, 18, Dallas Texas, missing from World War II, has now been identified.

In February 1942, Eichelberger was a member of Company I, 371st Infantry Regiment, 92nd Infantry Division. In an era of racial segregation, the 92nd ID was the only African-American division to fight in Europe. The division fought at the westernmost portion of the Allied line in northern Italy from November 1944 until April 1945. As part of Operation Fourth Term, Eichelberger's regiment fought in the hills near the town of Strettoia, Italy. His regiment suffered heavy losses while attacking German defenses. Following the battle, Eichelberger could not be accounted for and was declared missing in action on Feb. 10, 1945.

Remains were disinterred from the Florence American Cemetery on June 29, 2016.

Laboratory analysis was used in the identification of his remains.

Eichelberger's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with other MIAs from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

Interment services are pending.

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
May 5
, 2017

Army Cpl. George A. Perreault, 20

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Cpl. George A. Perreault, 20, of Burlington, Vermont, will be buried May 13 in his hometown. On Feb. 5, 1951, Perreault was a part of Support Force 21 and assigned to Headquarters Battery, 15th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, which was supporting Republic of Korean Army (ROKA) attacks against units of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) in the area known as the Central Corridor in South Korea. On the evening of February 11, the CPVF launched a massive counterattack against the ROKA regiment. The ROKA withdrew, leaving American units to fight alone at Changbong-ni, until they were forced to withdraw too. After enduring a sustained enemy attack, the Support Force abandoned Hoengsong and moved toward Wonju. Perreault never reported to Wonju and he was reported missing in action on Feb. 13, 1951.

A list provided by the CPVF and Korean People’s Army on Dec. 26, 1951 stated that Perreault died as a prisoner of war, though the information could not be confirmed. Additionally, no returning American prisoners of war immediately following the 1953 Operation Big Switch debriefings could provide any information on him. Based on the lack of information of his status, the U.S. Army declared him deceased as of Jan. 18, 1954.

Between 1990 and 1994, North Korea returned to the United States 208 boxes of commingled human remains, which when combined with remains recovered during joint recovery operations in North Korea, account for the remains of at least 600 U.S. servicemen who fought during the war. North Korean documents included in the repatriation indicated that some of the remains were recovered from the area where Perreault was believed to have died.

To identify Perreault’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) and autosomal (auSTR) DNA analysis, which matched a sister and two nieces; as well as anthropological analysis, which matched his records; and circumstantial evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
May 5
, 2017

 

Army Cpl. Louis A. Damewood, 21,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Cpl. Louis A. Damewood, 21, of Carroll County, Maryland, will be buried May 12 in Suffolkk, Virginia. On February 13, 1951, Damewood was a member of Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, when he was reported missing in action. The unit was attacking a road block set up by opposing forces near Hoengsong, South Korea, when he was declared missing.

In 1953, a returning American prisoner of war reported that Damewood had died in Changsong prisoner of war camp in June 1951. Based on this information, the U.S. Army declared him deceased as of June 13, 1951.
DAMEWOOD, Louis A. CH Cpl RA13174220 HQ Co 38th Inf Carroll MD POW

In 1954, United Nations and communist forces exchanged the remains of war dead in what came to be called “Operation Glory.” All remains recovered in Operation Glory were turned over to the Army’s Central Identification Unit for analysis. The unidentified remains were interred as unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii, known as the “Punchbowl.” One set of remains was designated “Unknown X-14160.”

On Nov. 6, 2013, the remains designated as X-14160 were exhumed and sent to the central identification laboratory for analysis.

To identify Damewood’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental, chest radiograph comparison and anthropological analyses, which matched his records, as well as circumstantial evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
May 5
, 2017

Navy Fireman 1st Class William H. Kennedy, 24

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman from World War II have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Navy Fireman 1st Class William H. Kennedy, 24, of Titonka, Iowa, will be buried May 12 in his hometown. On Dec. 7, 1941, Kennedy was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Kennedy. No single vessel at Pearl Harbor, with the exception of the USS Arizona, suffered as many fatalities.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Kennedy.

In April 2015, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. On June 15, 2015, DPAA personnel began exhuming the remains from the NMCP for analysis.

To identify Kennedy’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, which matched a niece and a great grand nephew, as well as circumstantial evidence and laboratory analysis, to include dental comparisons.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
May 5
, 2017

Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Harry H. Gaver, Jr., 24

 

The remains of Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Harry H. Gaver, Jr., 24, Los Angeles, CA.  killed in the attack on the USS Oklahoma during World War II, have now been identified.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Gaver was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Gaver. No single vessel at Pearl Harbor, with the exception of the USS Arizona, suffered as many fatalities.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu'uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Gaver.

In April 2015, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. On June 15, 2015, DPAA personnel began exhuming the remains from the NMCP for analysis.

DNA analysis and circumstantial evidence were used in the identification of his remains.

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing From Vietnam War Accounted For
May 4
, 2017

Marine Corps Reserve 1st Lt. William C. Ryan, Jr., 25

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Marine Corps Reserve 1st Lt. William C. Ryan, Jr., 25, of Hoboken, New Jersey, will be buried May 10 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. On May 11, 1969, Ryan was the radar intercept officer of an F-4B aircraft, assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Force 115, Marine Aircraft Group 13, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force Pacific, on a combat mission over Savannakhet Province, Laos. While pulling out of a bombing pass, the aircraft was hit by enemy fire. The pilot lost control and called several times for Ryan, but received no response. The pilot ejected before the aircraft crashed, and other members of the flight only witnessed one parachute leave the aircraft. The location of the crash site precluded a search and recovery effort, but the pilot was rescued. Ryan was declared deceased as of May 11, 1969.

From January 1990 until May 2012, joint teams from the U.S., the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Vietnamese Office for Seeking Missing Persons interviewed numerous witnesses to the crash, gathering information regarding Ryan’s loss.

From May 2012 until January 2016, joint teams made six trips to complete a difficult excavation of a crash site associated with Ryan’s loss, near Ban Alang Noi, recovering life support items, aircraft wreckage and possible human remains. On Feb. 17, 2016, the remains were sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

To identify Ryan’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental comparisons, including isotope analysis, which matched his records, as well as circumstantial evidence.

The support from the government of Laos was vital to the success of this recovery.

 

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
April 27, 2017

Army Cpl. Freddie L. Henson, 19,

Army Cpl. Freddie L. Henson, 19, of Klamath Falls, Oregon, will be buried May 4 in Houston. In late November 1950, Henson was a member of Battery A, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division. Approximately 2,500 U.S. and 700 South Korean soldiers assembled into the 31st Regimental Combat Team (RCT), which was deployed east of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, when it was engaged by overwhelming numbers of Chinese forces. By Dec. 5, only 385 of the approximately 3,200 Americans and South Koreans assigned to the 31st RCT were still fit for duty. As the 57th FA BN accounted for its men from the battles, Henson was reported missing as of Dec. 6.

Henson’s name did not appear on any prisoner of war lists and no repatriated Americans were able to provide any information concerning Henson as a prisoner of war. Due to the prolonged lack of evidence, the U.S. Army declared him deceased as of Dec. 31, 1953.

Although the U.S. Army Graves Registration Service hoped to recover American remains that remained north of the Korean Demilitarized Zone after the war, administrative details between the United Nations Command and North Korea complicated recovery efforts. An agreement was made and in September and October 1954, in what was known as Operation Glory, remains were returned. However, Colley’s remains were not included and he was declared non-recoverable.

During the 36th Joint Recovery Operation in 2004, recovery teams conducted operations on the eastern bank of the Chosin Reservoir, Changjin County, North Korea, based on information provided a Korean witness. The site was in the vicinity of Twikkae Village. During the excavation, the recovery team recovered possible human remains of at least five individuals.

To identify Henson’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) and Y chromosome (Y-STR) DNA analysis, which matched a brother and a sister, as well as circumstantial and anthropological evidence, which matched his records.

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Missing From World War II Accounted For
 April 21, 2017

Marine Corps 2nd Lt. George S. Bussa, 29,

Marine Corps 2nd Lt. George S. Bussa, 29, Chicago, Illinois has now been accounted for.

In November 1943, Bussa was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Bussa died sometime on the first day of battle, Nov.
20, 1943.

The remains were turned over to DPAA in July 2015.

Laboratory analysis was used in the identification of his remains.

(No further information at this time)

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
April 21, 2017

Navy Fireman 3rd Class Robert N. Walkowiak, 20

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman from World War II have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Navy Fireman 3rd Class Robert N. Walkowiak, 20, of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, will be buried April 28 in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. On Dec. 7, 1941, Walkowiak was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Walkowiak. No single vessel at Pearl Harbor, with the exception of the USS Arizona, suffered as many fatalities.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Walkowiak.

In April 2015, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. On June 15, 2015, DPAA personnel began exhuming the remains from the NMCP for analysis.

To identify Walkowiak’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, which matched a niece, as well as circumstantial evidence and laboratory analysis, to include dental comparisons.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
April 20, 2017

Navy Ensign Verdi D. Sederstrom, 25,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman from World War II have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Navy Ensign Verdi D. Sederstrom, 25, of Montevideo, Minnesota, will be buried April 26, in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. On Dec. 7, 1941, Sederstrom was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Sederstrom. No single vessel at Pearl Harbor, with the exception of the USS Arizona, suffered as many fatalities.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Sederstrom.

In April 2015, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. On June 15, 2015, DPAA personnel began exhuming the remains from the NMCP for analysis.

To identify Sederstrom’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used mitochondrial DNA analysis, which matched two nieces and a nephew, as well as circumstantial evidence and laboratory analysis, to include dental comparisons, which matched Sederstrom’s records.

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
April 19, 2017

Army Pvt. Walter F. Piper

Army Pvt. Walter F. Piper,  Philadelphia, PA. has now been accounted for.

Piper, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, was reported missing in action, Feb. 13, 1951 in North Korea.

Interment services are pending.
(No further information at this time)

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
April 17, 2017

Seaman 1st Class Milton R. Surratt, 21,

 

Seaman 1st Class Milton R. Surratt, 21, Greenville County, South Carolina,  has now been accounted for.

Surratt, assigned to the USS Oklahoma, was killed Dec. 7, 1941 in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

The Oklahoma was moored in Battleship Row on 7 December 1941, when the Japanese attacked. Oklahoma took three torpedo hits almost immediately after the first Japanese bombs fell. Within 12 minutes after the attack began, she had rolled over until halted by her masts touching bottom, her starboard side above water, and a part of her keel exposed.

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
April 14, 2017

Army Pfc. Kenneth R. Miller, 23,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Pfc. Kenneth R. Miller, 23, of East Cleveland, Ohio, will be buried April 21 in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. On April 23, 1951, Miller was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, when his unit was forced to withdraw from their position while fighting the Chinese Communist Forces (CCF). Miller was reported missing in action following the withdrawal.

The Army Graves Registration Service attempted to account for the losses suffered during the battle, but searches yielded no results for Miller.

Repatriated American prisoners of war reported that Miller died while in captivity at POW Camp 1, Changsong, North Korea in September 1951. Based on this information, the U.S. Army declared Miller deceased as of Sept. 22, 1951.

In 1954, United Nations and communist forces exchanged the remains of war dead in what came to be called “Operation Glory.” All remains recovered in Operation Glory were turned over to the Army’s Central Identification Unit for analysis. The remains they were unable to identify were interred as unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii, known as the “Punchbowl.”

In 1999, due to advances in technology, the Department of Defense began to re-examine records and concluded that the possibility for identification of some of these unknowns now existed. The remains designated X-14138 were exhumed on August 20, 2015, so further analysis could be conducted.

To identify Miller’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used anthropological, dental and chest radiograph comparison analysis; mitochondrial DNA analysis, which matched an uncle and a cousin; as well as circumstantial and material evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
April 14, 2017

Navy Fireman 1st Class Michael Galajdik, 25,

 

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman from World War II have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Navy Fireman 1st Class Michael Galajdik, 25, of Joliet, Illinois, will be buried April 22 in Elwood, Illinois. On Dec. 7, 1941, Galajdik was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Galajdik. No single vessel at Pearl Harbor, with the exception of the USS Arizona, suffered as many fatalities.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Galajdik.

In April 2015, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. On June 15, 2015, DPAA personnel began exhuming the remains from the NMCP for analysis.

To identify Galajdik’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, which matched two nieces and a nephew, as well as circumstantial evidence and laboratory analysis, to include dental comparisons.

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
April 14, 2017

Army Pfc. Richard A. Lucas

Army Pfc. Richard A. Lucas has now been accounted for.

Lucas, of Company C, 1st Battalion 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, was reported Missing in Action, Nov. 26, 1950, in North Korea.

Interment services are pending.

(No further information at this time)

 

 

 

Missing Airmen From World War II Accounted For
 April 14, 2017

Army Air Forces Pvt. Harold S. Hirschi, 18,

Army Air Forces Pvt. Harold S. Hirschi, 18, has now been accounted for.


Pvt . Harold S. Hirschi, 18, Oklahoma City, a prisoner of the Japanese since the fall of Bataan, died at a prison camp in the Philippines according to a War Department.
 

Hirschi, of Headquarters Squadron, 19th Bombardment Group, died Nov. 19, 1942 in the Philippines.
 

Interment services are pending.

(No further information at this time)

 

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
April 14, 2017

Army Cpl. Leslie R. Sutton,

 

Army Cpl. Leslie R. Sutton, Rochelle, GA. has now been accounted for.

Sutton, of Battery C, 99th Field Artillery Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division was reported missing in action, Nov. 2, 1950, in North Korea.

Interment services are pending.

(No further information at this time)

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
April 13, 2017

 

Army Sgt. 1st Class Richard G. Cushman, 19,

Army Sgt. 1st Class Richard G. Cushman, 19, Bingham, Idaho has now been accounted for.

Cushman, of Company A, 72nd Medium Tank Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, was reported missing in action Dec. 5, 1950 in North Korea.
Richard Cushman was captured during the Korean War and interned as a Prisoner of War. He was not among those returned at the war's end, and is listed as Missing in Action.

DPAA appreciates the Korean People's Army, as well as Korean witnesses Mr. Man Hyon Ho and Mr. Anh Il Chang, for their assistance and partnership in this recovery effort.

Silver Star to Sergeant First Class Richard G. Cushman , United States Army, for gallantry in action as a member of Company A, 72d Tank Battalion, 2d Infantry Division, in action against an armed enemy from 1 to 4 September 1950 in the vicinity of Yongsan, Korea. He also received the Prisoner of War Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, United Nations Service Medal, and Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

 

Missing Airmen From World War II Accounted For
 April 12, 2017

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Marvin B. Rothman, 21,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from World War II, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Marvin B. Rothman, 21, of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, will be buried April 19 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. On April 11, 1944, Rothman was assigned to the 311th Fighter Squadron, 58th Fighter Group, and was the pilot of a single-seat P-47D Thunderbolt, on a bombing escort mission with 15 other Thunderbolts to Wewak, Territory of New Guinea, when he was attacked by enemy fighter aircraft. When the escort flight returned from the mission, Rothman and two other P-47D pilots were reported missing. The War Department declared Rothman deceased as of Feb. 6, 1946.

In September 1946, a U.S. infantry officer informed the American Graves Registration Service in Finschhafen, New Guinea, that an Australian War Graves team had recovered remains of a suspected American airman from the wreckage of an aircraft with a partial serial number correlating to Rothman’s plane.

In November 1946, AGRS personnel examined the remains and subsequently tried to confirm the identity based on dental records. However, the dental charts were incomplete and an identification could not be established.

Based on the lack of conclusive evidence, in January 1950, an AGRS board declared Rothman to be non-recoverable.

In July 2004, a contractor for the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command investigated a crash site found by local residents of Suanum Village, East Sepik Province, Paupa New Guinea, finding material evidence an aircraft data plate matching the serial number of Rothman’s plane. A U.S. recovery team returned to the site in August 2009 and recovered possible human remains and other artifacts.

To identify Rothman’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological and circumstantial evidence, as well as dental analysis, which matched Rothman’s records.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soldiers Missing From Vietnam War Accounted For
April 10, 2017

                                              

Capt. John A. House, II; 28             Lance Cpl. John D. Killen, III;19                Cpl. Glyn L. Runnels, Jr. 21

The remains of Marine Corps Capt. John A. House, II; 28, Pelham, NY.     Lance Cpl. John D. Killen, III; 19, Des Moines IA.    and Cpl. Glyn L. Runnels, Jr., 21, Birmingham AL, have now been accounted for.

House was assigned to HHM-265 Marine Aircraft Group 16, and Killen and Runnels were assigned to Company A, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, when their aircraft crashed in Vietnam, June 30, 1967.

Two additional service members were previously identified from this crash, Marine Lance Cpl. Merlin R. Allen and Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Michael B. Judd. Their remains were returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
April 10, 2017

Navy Reserve Ensign William M. Thompson,

 

Navy Reserve Ensign William M. Thompson, Mountain Lakes, NJ  has now been accounted for.

Thompson, assigned on the OKLAHOMA, BB-37, battleship, aircraft torpedo attack, sunk, raised and scrapped;
415 men killed, 32 wounded, 32 trapped survivors rescued from upturned hull; 429 men in USNM log.

The Oklahoma was moored in Battleship Row on 7 December 1941, when the Japanese attacked. Oklahoma took three torpedo hits almost immediately after the first Japanese bombs fell. Within 12 minutes after the attack began, she had rolled over until halted by her masts touching bottom, her starboard side above water, and a part of her keel exposed.

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
April 10, 2017

3rd Class Don Ocle Neher

Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Don Ocle Neher, from Wichita,  Kansas has now been accounted for.

Aassigned to the USS Oklahoma, was killed Dec. 7, 1941 during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Mate 3rd Class Don O. Neher was on the OKLAHOMA, BB-37, battleship, aircraft torpedo attack, sunk, raised and scrapped;
415 men killed, 32 wounded, 32 trapped survivors rescued from upturned hull; 429 men in USNM log.

The Oklahoma was moored in Battleship Row on 7 December 1941, when the Japanese attacked. Oklahoma took three torpedo hits almost immediately after the first Japanese bombs fell. Within 12 minutes after the attack began, she had rolled over until halted by her masts touching bottom, her starboard side above water, and a part of her keel exposed.

Interment services are pending.

 

 

 

 

 

Missing Solider From World War II Identified
 
April 7, 2017

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Ewart T. Sconiers, 29

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Ewart T. Sconiers, 29, from DeFuniak Springs, Florida missing from World War II, has now been identified.

On Oct. 21, 1942, Sconiers was a member of the 414th Bombardment Squadron, 97th Bombardment Group, serving as the bombardier on the B-17F Flying Fortress, during a mission to bomb the German U-boat pens at Lorient, France. During the attack, the aircraft received severe damage, but the entire crew parachuted safely, landing in water near Brest, France, where they were picked up by a French fishing vessel and turned over to German forces as prisoners of war. The Americans were sent to Dulag Luft in Oberusal, Germany for interrogation, and on Nov. 11, 1942, Sconiers was transferred to Stalag Luft II in Sagan, Germany (present-day Zagan, Poland), where he remained until Jan 9, 1944.

Sconiers was reported to have died Jan. 24, 1944.

In 2015, during an independent investigation, a headstone with Sconiers name was identified in Poland. The remains were disinterred in 2016 and sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

Laboratory analysis and circumstantial evidence were used in the identification of his remains.

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
April 6, 2017

Machinist's Mate 1st Class Fred M. Jones, 30

Remains of Machinist Mate First Class Fred M. Jones, 30 of Port Huron, Michigan killed in the attack on the USS Oklahoma during World War II, have now been identified.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Jones was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Jones. No single vessel at Pearl Harbor, with the exception of the USS Arizona, suffered as many fatalities.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu'uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Jones.

In April 2015, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. On June 15, 2015, DPAA personnel began exhuming the remains from the NMCP for analysis.

DNA analysis and circumstantial evidence were used in the identification of his remains.

 

 

 


 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
April 6, 2017

Army Cpl. Daniel F. Kelly

Army Cpl. Daniel F. Kelly, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, missing from the Korean War, has now been identified.

In late November 1950, Kelly was a member of C Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, when his unit was ordered to advance as part of preparations for an offensive to push the North Koreans to the Yalu River. By the night of November 25, the Chinese People's Volunteer Forces (CPVF) had begun relentless attacks which continued throughout the night and into the next morning. After the battle, it was determined that Kelly became Missing in Action on Nov. 26, 1950.

In 2002, a joint U.S. and Korean People's Army recovery team conducted operations in North Korea, recovering possible remains.

Laboratory analysis and circumstantial evidence were used in the identification of his remains.

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Missing From World War II Identified
 
April 5, 2017

Marine Corps Pfc. James O. Whitehurst, 20,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, unaccounted for since World War II, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Marine Corps Pfc. James O. Whitehurst, 20, of Ashford, Alabama, will be buried April 12, in Cowarts, Alabama. In November 1943, Whitehurst was assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Whitehurst died on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943.

Despite the heavy casualties suffered by U.S. forces, military success in the battle of Tarawa was a huge victory for the U.S. military because the Gilbert Islands provided the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet a platform from which to launch assaults on the Marshall and Caroline Islands to advance their Central Pacific Campaign against Japan.

In the immediate aftermath of the fighting on Tarawa, U.S. service members who died in the battle were buried in a number of battlefield cemeteries on the island. In 1946 and 1947, the 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted remains recovery operations on Betio, but Whitehurst’s remains were not recovered.

In June 2015, a nongovernmental organization, History Flight, Inc., notified DPAA that they discovered a burial site on Betio Island and recovered the remains of what they believed were 35 U.S. Marines who fought during the battle in November 1943. The remains were turned over to DPAA in July 2015.

To identify Whitehurst’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, which matched his records, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Missing From World War II Identified
 
April 4, 2017

Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Jack J. Fox

Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Jack J. Fox, unaccounted for from World War II, has now been identified.

In November 1943, Fox was assigned to Company L, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Fox died sometime on the third day of battle, Nov. 22, 1943.

In November 1946, the 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company began disinterment to bring the remains to Oahu for identification at the Central Identification Laboratory. In 1949 and 1950, the remains that could not be identified were interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific ("Punchbowl") in Honolulu.

In October 2016, set of remains were exhumed from the Punchbowl and sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

Laboratory analysis and circumstantial evidence were used in the identification of his remains.

 

 

 

 

Missing From World War II Identified
 
April 4, 2017

Army Pfc. Reece Gass, 21

Army Pfc. Reece Gass, 21, from Chattanooga, TN unaccounted for from World War II, has now been identified.

On Jan. 14, 1945, Gass was a member of Company E, 33rd Armored Regiment, 3rd Armored Division, moving from the Lomre area toward Cherain, Belgium, in a three-pronged advance against enemy forces. As fighting drove them back, five tanks from the regiment were lost, including at least two from Gass' company. Gass was reported to have been killed in action after his tank was hit by enemy fire.

In May 2016, DPAA disinterred Unknown X-5867 in the Luxembourg American Cemetery and sent the remains to the DPAA laboratory for identification.

Laboratory analysis and circumstantial evidence were used in his identification.

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Missing From World War II Identified
 
April 4, 2017

Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Jack J. Fox,

Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Jack J. Fox, unaccounted for from World War II, has now been identified.

In November 1943, Fox was assigned to Company L, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Fox died sometime on the third day of battle, Nov. 22, 1943.

In November 1946, the 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company began disinterment to bring the remains to Oahu for identification at the Central Identification Laboratory. In 1949 and 1950, the remains that could not be identified were interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific ("Punchbowl") in Honolulu.

In October 2016, set of remains were exhumed from the Punchbowl and sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

Laboratory analysis and circumstantial evidence were used in the identification of his remains.

 

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
April 3, 2017

Army Master Sgt. Joseph Durakovich, 30,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Master Sgt. Joseph Durakovich, 30, of Gary, Indiana, will be buried April in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. In late November 1950, Durakovich was a member of Company G, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, establishing a defensive position in Pongmyong-ni east of Kuni-ri, North Korea, when they were attacked by the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF). The Americans were continually attacked as they withdrew along the main supply route to Samso-ri, and they encountered a roadblock they could not break through. Following the battle, Durakovich could not be accounted for and was reported missing in action on Nov. 28, 1950.

Durakovich’s name did not appear on any POW list provided by the CPVF or the North Korean People’s Army, and no returning American POWs provided any information concerning Durakovich as a possible prisoner of war. Based on this information, a military review board amended his status to deceased in 1953.

In August and September 2002, a Joint U.S. and Korean People’s Army recovery team conducted a Joint Recovery Operation at a site in Ung Bong, Village, North Korea, based on information provided by two Korean witnesses. The site was approximately 30 kilometers from where Durakovich was last seen. During the excavation, the team recovered material evidence and possible human remains.

To identify Durakovich’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used mitochondrial and Y-chromosome short tandem repeat DNA analysis, which matched a niece and grandson, as well as dental and anthropological analysis, which matched his records, and circumstantial evidence.

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
March 30, 2017

Army Sgt. Homer R. Abney, 24,

 

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Sgt. Homer R. Abney, 24,, 24, of Dallas, will be buried April 7 in his hometown. In late November, 1950, Abney was a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, when his unit was fighting units of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces in North Korea. By the early morning of Nov. 30, the road from Kunu-ri to Sunch’on was heavily fortified with a series of enemy roadblocks, later named “The Gauntlet.” The regiment sustained more casualties than any other unit during the battle, and it was following that battle that Abney was declared missing.

The CPVF and North Korean People’s Army periodically provided lists of prisoners of war during the war, but none listed Abney. Following the war, three returning American prisoners reported that Abney died at Hofong Camp in March 1951. Based on this information, the U.S. Army declared him deceased as of March 31, 1951.

In April and May 2005, a Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (now DPAA) and Korea People’s Army Recovery Team, conducted the 37th Joint Field Activity, visiting a site near Pukchin-Tarigol Prisoner of war camp. Possible human remains were found, but the condition of the site indicated it was a second burial site.

To identify Abney’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA analysis, which matched a sister and maternal niece, as well as anthropological analysis, which matched his records and circumstantial evidence.

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing From Vietnam War Accounted For
March 30, 2017

Air Force Capt. Robert R. Barnett, 32,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Air Force Capt. Robert R. Barnett, 32, of Gladewater. Texas, will be buried April 7, 2017 in Austin, Texas. On April 7, 1966, Barnett was a member of the 8th Bomb Squadron, and was the pilot of a B-57B aircraft on a strike mission over Laos. While making a dive-bombing attack, the aircraft reportedly crashed, disintegrated and burned. No parachutes were seen and the hostile threat in the area prevented a search and rescue or ground inspection of the site. Following the crash, Barnett was declared killed in action.

In January and May 2005, a joint U.S./Lao People’s Democratic Republic (L.P.D.R.) team visited the site of the crash. In late 2014, and early 2015, three excavations of the site were conducted, recovering possible human remains, life support items and material evidence. The remains were sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

To identify Barnett’s remains, scientists from DPAA used circumstantial evidence and dental comparisons, which matched his records.

The support from the government of Laos was vital to the success of this recovery.

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
March 30, 2017

Army Cpl. William R. Sadewasser,

Army Cpl. William R. Sadewasser, unaccounted for from the Korean War, has now been identified.

In late November, 1950, Sadewasser was a member of Headquarters Battery, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division. Approximately 2,500 U.S. and 700 South Korean soldiers assembled into the 31st Regimental Combat Team (RCT), which was deployed east of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, when it was engaged by overwhelming numbers of Chinese forces. By Dec. 6,
the U.S. Army evacuated approximately 1,500 wounded service members; the remaining soldiers had been either captured or killed in enemy territory. Because Sadewasser could not be accounted for by his unit at the end of the battle, he was reported missing in action as of Nov. 28, 1950.

During the 32nd Joint Recovery Operation in 2004, recovery teams conducted operations on the eastern side of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, on Hill 1221. During the excavation, the recovery team recovered possible human remains of at least 11 individuals.

Laboratory analysis and circumstantial evidence were used in the identification of his remains.

 

 

 

 

Missing  From Korean War Accounted For
March 30, 2017

Army Cpl. James T. Mainhart, 19,

The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, killed during the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Cpl. James T. Mainhart, 19, of Butler, Pennsylvania, will be buried April 8 in his hometown. In late November 1950, Mainhart was a member of Company I, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. Approximately 2,500 U.S. and 700 South Korean soldiers assembled into the 31st Regimental Combat Team (RCT), which was deployed east of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, when it was engaged by overwhelming numbers of Chinese forces. By Dec. 6, the U.S. Army evacuated approximately 1,500 wounded service members; the remaining soldiers had been either captured or killed in enemy territory. When the unit withdrew from the east side of the Chosin Reservoir. Mainhart’s body could not be evacuated. He was reported killed in action as of Nov. 30, 1950.

Mainhart’s name did not appear on any prisoner of war lists and no repatriated Americans were able to provide any information concerning Mainhart as a prisoner of war. Due to the prolonged lack of evidence, the U.S. Army declared him deceased as of Nov. 30, 1950.

Although the U.S. Army Graves Registration Service hoped to recover American remains that remained north of the Korean Demilitarized Zone after the war, administrative details between the United Nations Command and North Korea complicated recovery efforts. An agreement was made and in September and October 1954, in what was known as Operation Glory, remains were returned. However, Mainhart’s remains were not included and he was declared non-recoverable.

In September and October 2004, personnel from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (now DPAA), conducted the 36th Joint Recovery Operation with the Korean People’s Army in the vicinity of the Chosin River. During the mission, a witness statement reported that remains believed to be American had been found and reburied. Recovery Team 2 found a site that contained material evidence and possible remains of at least five individuals.

To identify Mainhart’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA), Y-chromosome (Y-STR) and autosomal (auDNA) DNA analysis, which matched a brother and nephew, as well as anthropological analysis, which matched his records, and circumstantial evidence.

 

 

 

 

Civilian Missing From World War II Identified
 
March 30, 2017

Mr. Peter W. Atkinson, 25,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. civilian, unaccounted for since World War II, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Mr. Peter W. Atkinson, 25, of Berkley Springs, West Virginia, will be buried April 8 in Martinsburg, West Virginia. In mid-1941, Atkinson, formerly in the U.S. Army Air Corps Reserve, was recruited to be among a small group of American pilots to battle Japanese forces invading China. He was employed with the Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company (CAMCO), which was officially termed the “American Volunteer Group,” (AVG) and popularly known as the “Flying Tigers.” The AVG consisted of three fighter squadrons, each with approximately 30 Curtiss P-40 single-seat aircraft. In September 1941, Atkinson was training with other AVG pilots at Kyedaw Airfield, a British Royal Air Force airfield outside of Toungoo, Burma. Though most of the recruits were experienced pilots, none had seen combat. To prepare them, the AVG instituted an aggressive training program, encouraging their pilots to carry out mock battles. Atkinson was killed during a training flight on Oct. 25, 1941, when his plane was reported to have disintegrated in a dive. He was reportedly buried in the Airmen’s Cemetery at St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Toungoo.

In late December 1947, an American Graves Registration Service team recovered the remains of three members of the AVG. The remains were declared unidentifiable and were temporarily interred in the U.S. Military Cemetery at Barrackpore, India in January, 1948. The remains were eventually moved to Hawaii in an attempt to identify them, designated as X-633, X-634 and X-635, but identification was unsuccessful. They were reinterred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, as World War II Unknowns.

On April 11, 2016, due to advancements in forensic capabilities, X-635 was disinterred and sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

To identify Atkinson’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, which matched a sister and four nephews; as well as dental and anthropological analysis, which matched his records, and circumstantial evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
March 30, 2017

Navy Seaman 1st Class Murry R. Cargile, 21,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman from World War II have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Navy Seaman 1st Class Murry R. Cargile, 21, of Robersonville, North Carolina, will be buried April 7 in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, in Honolulu. On Dec. 7, 1941, Cargile was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Cargile. No single vessel at Pearl Harbor, with the exception of the USS Arizona, suffered as many fatalities.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Cargile.

In April 2015, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. On June 15, 2015, DPAA personnel began exhuming the remains from the NMCP for analysis.

To identify Cargile’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used mitochondrial and Y-chromosome Short Tandem Repeat DNA analysis, which matched two brothers and a sister, as well as circumstantial evidence and laboratory analysis, to include dental comparisons, which matched Cargile’s records.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
March 30, 2017

Navy Seaman 2nd Class Vernon N. Grow, 25,