RECENTLY FOUND HEROES

 

from ALL PAST WARS

 

 

HONOR THE DEAD BY HELPING THE LIVING”

Today, the DPAA is focused on the research, investigation, recovery, and identification
of the approximately 34,000 (out of approximately 83,000 missing DoD personnel)
believed to be recoverable, who were lost in conflicts from World War II to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

"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.

 

 

 

Search underway for Lakewood, Ohio airman of World War II

Search underway for Lakewood, Ohio airman of World War II.
Divers of the U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency and Civil Defense of Grado, Italy,
prepare for an exploratory dive on the sunken B-24 bomber. 

This B-24 Liberator is the same type of airplane that
Lakewood, Ohio airman Thomas McGraw was flying in when it was shot down and crashed off the coast of Italy during World War II.

A Missing Air Crew Report details the last flight of the B-24 and nose gunner Thomas McGraw of Lakewood, Ohio.
B-24 located in Adriatic; Crewmanis bones sought Ught Lakewood Manis remains crewman Omber crew,am2-2k-28 bold Header from A1.
 

A skull fragment was recovered at the site of a wrecked B-24 bomber
off the coast of Italy that may contain the remains of
Thomas McGraw, of Lakewood, Ohio.

An underwater view of the crash site of a B-24 off Grado, Italy.

 

 

 

FINDING ENSIGN HAROLD P. DeMOSS IN THE MUCK AND MIRE

“Seeing those photos was so overwhelming that I cried like a baby”
said DeMoss’ niece, Judy Ivey. “To see this actually taking place
is not anything I ever really expected.”

Anine-person military team has been digging up mud four days a week
in the Koolau range in search of a missing World War II pilot whose
fighter crashed in cloud cover during a night training flight.

A bucket-and-pulley system was set up to move excavated
material to a spot where it can be bundled in tarps for
helicopter transport to Wheeler Army Airfield.

NOTE: The Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery said in a 1948 letter
to the family that “an attempt to recover the remains was
considered impracticable” because the site was 7 miles
from a traveled highway in the mountains.

 

 

 

 

 

On Feb. 25, 1944, Duran wasn’t supposed to be on the doomed B-24H Liberator, nicknamed “Knock it Off.”
Normally a nose turret gunner, Duran was the substitute tail turret gunner on the flight, replacing the usual tail gunner who had frostbite.

 

The earth by the headstone next to the church in this tiny mountain village was full of rocks.

 

Two days of digging under a hot sun had yielded buckets of gravel, stones the size of men’s fists and many piles of dirt – but no bones.
After 73 years, Sgt. Alfonso O. Duran was still missing.

The family feels a sense of closure regardless of the outcome, Duran said.
“What a difference it would have made to my father and to my aunt,”
she said, “to know he had died and somebody had buried him and tended the grave.”

 

 

 

Members of the recovery team attach a POW flag to the wreckage of the
Tulsamerican, a B-24 Liberator piloted by, Lt. Eugene P. Ford, a Derry Township, Pa. native,
when it crashed into the Adriatic Sea in 1944.

 

 


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 California BB-44

A number of other boats were sunk in the attack, but later recovered and repaired.
The USS 
California (BB-44) lost 100 crew members that morning, after the ship suffered extensive flooding damage when hit by two torpedoes on the port side.
Both torpedoes detonated below the armor belt causing virtually identical damage each time.
A 250 kg bomb also entered the starboard upper deck level, which passed through the main deck and exploded on the armored second deck,
setting off an anti-aircraft ammunition magazine and killing about 50 men.

After three days of flooding, the California settled into the mud with only her superstructure remaining above the surface.
She was later re-floated and dry-docked at Pearl Harbor for repairs. USS 
California served many missions throughout the war,
and was eventually decommissioned in February, 1947.

 

 

 

USS Cassin DD-372

On the morning of December 7, 1941, Japanese bombs fell and torpedoes slashed through the waters of Pearl Harbor,
causing a devastating amount of damage to the vessels lined up in Battleship Row in in the dry docks nearby.
Each of the seven battleships moored there suffered some degree of damage, some far worse than others.
The USS 
Arizona (BB-39) and the USS Oklahoma (BB-37) were completely destroyed. Though the Maryland (BB-46) was believed by Japan to also have been sunk, she ultimately survived and became one of the first ships to return to the war.
During the attack on Pearl Harbor, ships like the USS 
Cassin (DD-372), a Mahan-class destroyer, suffered what was originally thought to be fatal damage.
While she was extensively damaged during the attack, she was resurrected and went on to return to service during the remainder of World War II.

 

 

 

USS West Virginia BB-48

The sunken battleship USS West Virginia (BB-48) at Pearl Harbor after her fires were out, possibly on 8 December 1941.
USS Tennessee (BB-43) is inboard. A Vought OS2U Kingfisher floatplane (marked “4-O-3”) is upside down on West Virginia’s main deck.
A second OS2U is partially burned out atop the Turret No. 3 catapult. 

In the aftermath of the attacks on Pearl Harbor during World War Two stories emerged of sailors who were trapped in the sunken battleships, some even survived for weeks.

Those who were trapped underwater banged continuously on the side of the ship so that anyone would hear them and come to their rescue.
When the noises were first heard many thought it was just loose wreckage or part of the clean-up operation for the destroyed harbor.

However the day after the attack, crewmen realized that there was an eerie banging noise coming from the forward hull of the USS West Virginia, which had sunk in the harbor.

t didn’t take long for the crew and Marines based at the harbor to realize that there was nothing they could do. They could not get to these trapped sailors in time.
Months later rescue and salvage men who raised the USS West Virginia found the bodies of three men who had found an airlock in a storeroom but had eventually run out of air.

Survivors say that no one wanted to go on guard duty anywhere near the USS West Virginia since they would hear the banging of trapped survivors all night long,
but with nothing that could be done.

When salvage crews raised the battleship West Virginia six months after the Pearl Harbor attacks,
they found the bodies of three sailors huddled in an airtight storeroom —
and a calendar on which 16 days had been crossed off in
red pencil.

 

 

 

 

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 Oglala CM-4

The minelayer Oglala technically didn't suffer a hit on December 7, but a torpedo passed under it and hit the USS Helena
The blast from that crippled the old 
Oglala which had been built as a civilian vessel in 1906.
The crewmembers took their guns to the Navy Yard Dock and set them up to provide more defenses.
They also set up a first aid station that saved the lives of West Virginia crewmembers.

The ship suffered horribly, eventually capsizing and sinking until just a few feet of the ship's starboard side remained above water.
It was declared lost, and the Navy even considered blowing it up with dynamite to clear the dock it had sunk next to.
But the decision was made that it could destroy the dock, so the Navy had to refloat it. At that point, it made sense to dry dock and repair it.

None of the crew of Oglala were killed in the attack, although three received injuries. 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

DPAA Makes 200th Identification from USS Oklahoma Unknown Remains.
Arlington, Virginia, March 8, 2019

 


Sean Patterson, Armed Forces Medical Examiner System Department of Defense DNA Quality Management Section DNA Analyst,
replaces U. S. Navy Fireman 1st Class Billy James Johnson's picture background, signifying him as an identified service member who was previously missing in action.
Johnson marks the 200th service member to be identified following the December 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor
attack where 429 U.S. Sailors and Marines were killed on the USS Oklahoma (BB-37). 

A series of large posters hang in the conference room of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency laboratory located at Offutt Air Base, Nebraska.
The heading on each of the posters states “USS OKLAHOMA.” Underneath the headings are neat rows of printed rectangular frames. 
Each one represents a person who was unaccounted for when the USS Oklahoma was sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Thanks to the work of Dr. Brown’s team, the remains of 200 previously unknown crewmen from the USS Oklahoma
have now been returned to their families for proper burial and their families have those long-awaited answers.

The story of the USS Oklahoma’s lost crewmen is an evolving history lesson that began on what
President Franklin D. Roosevelt called

“a date that will live in infamy.”

 

LIST OF USS OKLAHOMA IDENTIFICATIONS FROM MICHIGAN:
(Please note that in some USS Oklahoma identifications,
the primary next of kin has yet to be notified,
and therefore the names will not be released at this time.)

*Ensign William M. Finnegan, 44, of Bessmer, Mich.

*Seaman 1st Class Robert W. Headington, 19, of Bay City, Michigan

*Machinist's Mate 1st Class Fred M. Jones, 31, of North Lake, Michigan

*Fireman 3rd Class Gerald G. Lehman, 18, of Hancock, Michigan

*Fireman 2nd Class Lowell E. Valley, 19, of Ontonagon, Michigan

It is through this effort that the accounting community
has been able to honor the sacrifices of the USS Oklahoma Sailors and Marines
and their families who pushed for the fullest possible accounting of their loved ones.

 

 

 

Ford Island is seen in this aerial view during the Japanese attack on Pearl harbor December 7, 1941 in Hawaii.
(The photo was taken from a Japanese plane.)

 

 

Remember the fallen: In all, 429 people on board the battleship were killed in the attack.
Only 35 were identified in the years immediately after.

 

 

Battleship USS Oklahoma unturned hull at the bottom of Pearl Harbor
after the devastating Japanese bombing attack on Dec. 7, 1941.

 

                                                                                                                      

 

 

                                                                                                   The North Texans of Pearl Harbor
                                                                                                      

                                                                                       Their obituaries tell of lives cut short – and of lives well lived.

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Memorial at Pearl Harbor

 

 

 

 

 

THE KOREAN WAR, 1950-1957

 

 

 

 

 

Service Personnel Not Recovered Following WWII from MICHIGAN - 2465
 

Service Personnel Not Recovered Following Korea from MICHIGAN - 340
 

Service Personnel Not Recovered Following Cold War from MICHIGAN - 4
 

Service Personnel Not Recovered Following Viet Nam from MICHIGAN - 48
 

 


 

RECENTLY FOUND
 HEROES in 2019

 

 

Soldier Killed During the Korean War Accounted For
June 14
, 2019

Army Sgt. 1st Class Elden C. Justus, 23

 Army Sgt. 1st Class Elden C. Justus, 23, of Eureka, California, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for on April 16, 2019.

In late November 1950, Justus 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 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.
When Justus 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.


From April 28 to May 10, 2004, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, a predecessor to DPAA, conducted joint recovery operations with the North Korean People’s Army (KPA,) in the vicinity of the Chosin River.
The recovery team excavated two sites, recovering the remains of at least five individuals. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea,) unilaterally turned over the remains to the UNC Military Armistice Commissioned,
where they were subsequently accessioned to the laboratory.


To identify Justus’ remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as material evidence. Additionally,
scientists from the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and autosomal DNA (auSTR) analysis.

 

Today, 7,632 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.

 

 

 

 

 Sailor Killed  From Vietnam War Accounted For
June 13, 2019

Air Force Col. Roy A. Knight, Jr. 36

Air Force Col. Roy A. Knight, Jr., 36,  Millsap, Texas . was killed during the Vietnam War, was accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

In May 1967, Knight was a pilot with the 602nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, assigned to Udorn Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand. On May 19, 1967,
Knight was the flight leader for a flight of two A-1E aircraft on a strike mission in northern Laos, when his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire, severing the right wing.

No parachute was observed prior to the aircraft crashing and bursting into flames. Additionally, no beeper signals were heard. While search and rescue efforts were initiated, an organized search
could not be conducted due to intensity of hostile ground fire in the area. The Air Force declared Knight deceased in September 1974. 

 

 

Today there are 1,588 American servicemen and civilians that are still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
June 13
, 2019

Navy Seaman 1st Class Frank A. Hryniewicz, 20

Navy Seaman 1st Class Frank A. Hryniewicz, 20, of Three Rivers, Massachusetts, killed during World War II, was accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Hryniewicz was assigned to the battleship 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 Hryniewicz. 

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 Hryniewicz.

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 Punchbowl for analysis.

To identify Hryniewicz’ remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used Y-chromosome DNA (Y-STR) analysis.

 

Currently there are 72,702 service members still unaccounted for from World War II.

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
June 12
, 2019

Navy Seaman 1st Class Millard Burk, Jr., 19

Navy Seaman 1st Class Millard Burk, Jr., 19, of Pikeville, Kentucky, killed during World War II, was accounted for.


On Dec. 7, 1941, Burk was assigned to the battleship 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 Burk. 

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 Burk.

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 Punchbowl for analysis.

To identify Burk’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence. Additionally, scicentists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis. 

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier killed From World War II Accounted For
June 12
, 2019

Army Pvt. Ballard McCurley, 34

Army Pvt. Ballard McCurley, 34, Pauls Valley, Oklahoma was killed during World War II, was accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

In November 1944, McCurley was a member of Company M, 3rd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, during the Battle of the Hürtgen Forest of Germany.

On Nov. 29, 1944, his battalion went to a reserve position in the woods west of the town of Hürtgen.

He and other Soldiers in his unit were ordered to clear a field of tree stumps so vehicles could drop off rations and supplies. According to witnesses, while clearing out a tree stump, McCurley inadvertently set off an enemy anti-personnel mine and he was killed instantly.

His remains were not recovered or identified immediately after his loss.

 

 

 

 

Soldier killed From World War II Accounted For
June 10
, 2019

Army Pfc. Dewey W. Harris, 23,

Army Pfc. Dewey W. Harris, 23, of Cherryville, Missouri, killed during World War II, was accounted for.

In November 1944, Harris was a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on Nov. 14, 1944, after fierce combat in the Hürtgen Forest, near the village of Simonskall, in Germany. Due to ongoing combat operations and extensive land mines throughout the forest, American forces were unable to search for him. On Nov. 15, 1945, the War Department declared him deceased.

After the war, the American Graves Registration Command extensively searched the Hürtgen Forest for Harris’ remains. Unable to make a correlation with any remains found in the area, his remains were declared non-recoverable.

In 1946, following demining operations, a set of remains was recovered from near where Harris was last seen alive. The remains, unable to be identified, were designated Unknown X-2702, and buried at United States Military Cemetery Neuville, present day Ardennes American Cemetery, in Belgium.

Based upon the original recovery location of X-2702, DPAA analysts determined that there was a likely association between the remains and Harris. In August 2018, the Department of Defense and American Battle Monuments Commission disinterred X-2702 and accessioned the remains to the DPAA laboratory for identification.

To identify Harris’ remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Killed During the Korean War Accounted For
June 10
, 2019

Army Cpl. Robert L. Bray, 19

Army Cpl. Robert L. Bray, 19, from Ross County, Ohio was killed during the Korean War, was accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

In July 1950, Bray was a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Regiment.

He was reported missing in action on July 20, 1950, when he could not be accounted for following his unit fighting in a defensive action against enemy forces near Taejon, South Korea.

With no information concerning his whereabouts, the Army declared him deceased as of Dec. 31, 1953.

 

 

 

 

Soldier killed From World War II Accounted For
June 7
, 2019

Army Cpl. Ralph L. Bennett, 22

Army Cpl. Ralph L. Bennett, 22, of Ames, Iowa, killed during World War II, was accounted for.


In June 1944, Bennett was a member of Headquarters Company, 209th Engineer Combat Battalion, as an engineer in the China-Burma-India Theater. On June 13, 1944, Bennett’s battalion fought in the siege of Myitkyina, Burma, after successfully taking the airfield west of Myitkyina from Japanese control. Bennett was reported to have been killed during the battle.

The remains of servicemen killed during the battle were buried in at least eight different temporary cemeteries and numerous isolated burial locations. Eventually, all known burials were concentrated into the U.S. Military Cemetery at Myitkyina, including the remains of those who were not identified. In January and February 1946, all of the remains at the U.S. Military Cemetery were disinterred and transferred to the U.S. Military Cemetery at Kalaikunda, India. The exhumation of the U.S. Military Cemetery at Kalaikunda was conducted in September and October 1947.

One set of remains, designated Unknown X-48 Kalaikunda, was reportedly disinterred on Oct. 21, 1947 and transferred to Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, where they were unable to be identified. They were subsequently buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, in March 1949.

On July 16, 2018, DPAA disinterred Unknown X-48 Kalaikunda from the Punchbowl and accessioned the remains into the laboratory.

To identify Bennett’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence. Additionally, the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier killed From World War II Accounted For
June 7
, 2019

Army 1st Lt. Seymour P. Drovis, 24

Army 1st Lt. Seymour P. Drovis, 24, of Cook County, Illinois, killed during World War II, was accounted for.


In July 1944, Drovis was a member of Company A, 105th Infantry Regiment, 27th Infantry Division, engaged against enemy forces in Achugao Village, Saipan Island, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The division sustained heavy casualties during one of the largest Japanese “banzai” attacks of WWII. A soldier reported seeing Drovis fatally shot on July 7, 1944. 

In September 2013, two Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command anthropologists (JPAC, a predecessor to DPAA) recovered possible osseous remains and material evidence from a burial feature on Saipan. The location correlates to where Drovis’ unit fought during the banzai attack. The remains were recovered by JPAC Central Identification Laboratory anthropologists and by a Japanese non-governmental organization, Kuenti, working in conjunction with the Japanese government, and in cooperation with a local archeological firm, Swift and Harper Archaeological Research and Consulting, and the Japanese Historic Preservation Office. The remains were subsequently sent to the DPAA laboratory for identification.

To identify Drovis’ remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier killed From World War II Accounted For
June 7
, 2019

Army Pvt. Harry W. Wilder, 21

Army Pvt. Harry W. Wilder, 21, of Denver, killed during World War II, was accounted for.


In November 1944, Wilder was a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on Nov. 14, 1944, after fierce combat in the Raffelsbrand sector of the Hürtgen Forest, near the village of Simonskall, in Germany. Due to ongoing combat operations and extensive land mines throughout the forest American forces were unable to search for him. When the war ended, Wilder was among more than two dozen Soldiers still missing in the Raffelsbrand sector. On Nov. 15, 1945, the War Department declared him deceased.

After the war, the American Graves Registration Command extensively searched the Hürtgen Forest for Wilder’s remains. Unable to make a correlation with any remains found in the area, he was declared non-recoverable.

In April 1947, following demining operations, a set of unidentified remains was recovered from the Raffelsbrand sector of the Hürtgen Forest. The remains were sent to the central processing point at Neuville, Belgium. They were unable to be identified, were designated X-5392, and buried as an unknown Soldier at Neuville American Cemetery.

Based upon the original recovery location of X-5392, a DPAA historian determined that there was a likely association between the remains and Wilder. In April 2018, the Department of Defense and American Battle Monuments Commission disinterred X-5392 and accessioned the remains to the DPAA laboratory for identification.

To identify Wilder’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
June 6
, 2019

Navy Signalman 3rd Class William J. Shanahan, 23

Navy Signalman 3rd Class William J. Shanahan, 23, Cedar Rapids, IA killed during World War II, was accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

On Dec. 7, 1941, Shanahan was assigned to the battleship 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 Shanahan.

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
June 6
, 2019

Baker 2nd Class David L. Kesler, 23,

Baker 2nd Class David L. Kesler, 23, of Berthoud, Colorado, killed during World War II, was accounted for.


On Dec. 7, 1941, Kesler was assigned to the battleship 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 Kesler. 

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 Kesler.

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 Punchbowl for analysis.

To identify Kesler’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Killed During the Korean War Accounted For
June 6
, 2019

Army Cpl. William S. Smith

Army Cpl. William S. Smith, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

On. Sept. 1, 1950, Smith was a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, when he was reported missing in action
after an enemy assault on his unit's position along the Naktong River, near Yongasn, South Korea. 

 

 

 

 

Marine killed From World War II Accounted For
June 5
, 2019

Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. William E. Brandenburg, 19

Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. William E. Brandenburg, 19, of New Miami, Ohio. Brandenburg was accounted for.


In November 1943, Brandenburg was a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, 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. Brandenburg died on the third day of the battle, Nov. 22, 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. Reports indicate that Brandenburg was buried in the Central Division Cemetery, later renamed to Cemetery #26. The 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted remains recovery operations on Betio between 1946 and 1947, but Brandenburg’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), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, including one set, designated Tarawa Unknown X-074.

In October 2016, DPAA disinterred Tarawa Unknown X-074 from the NMCP for identification.

To identify Brandenburg’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis, anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
June 4
, 2019

Navy Seaman 1st Class Ralph H. Keil, 20

Navy Seaman 1st Class Ralph H. Keil, 20, Prairie Home, Missouri was killed during World War II, was accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

On Dec. 7, 1941, Keil was assigned to the battleship 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 Keil.

 

 

 

 

 

Airmen killed From World War II Accounted For
June 4
, 2019

Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. Charles G. Ruble,

 

Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. Charles G. Ruble, Randolph County, Indiana was killed during World War II, was accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

In September 1944, Ruble was a member of the 99th Troup Carrier Squadron, 441st Troup Carrier Group, serving as an aerial engineer aboard a C-47A aircraft, nicknamed the "Celia L."

On Sept. 17, 1944, the Celia L, which operated out of U.S. Army Air Forces Station 490 Langar, Nottinghamshire, England, was carrying a crew of five and transporting 10 paratroopers from the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment,
 approaching a drop-zone near Groesbeek, Netherlands.

The plane was seen taking direct anti-aircraft fire to the wing. While the paratroopers successfully exited the plane, the five crewmembers were still onboard.

Three crewmembers survived, but two, including Ruble, could not be accounted for, and were believed to have been killed in the crash.

Charles G Ruble is buried or memorialized at Tablets of the Missing at Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands. 

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Killed During the Korean War Accounted For
June 4
, 2019

Army Pvt. Edward M. Morrison,

Army Pvt. Edward M. Morrison, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

In July 1950, Morrison was a member of 1st Platoon, Company B, 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division.

His unit was holding a defensive position north of P'yongt'aek, South Korea, when he was killed by small arms fire on July 6, 1950. Morrison was the first casualty of his company during its second engagement in the war.

His remains could not be recovered following the battle.

 

 

 

 

Soldier Killed During the Korean War Accounted For
June 4
, 2019

Army Master Sgt. James G. Cates,

Army Master Sgt. James G. Cates,  Neshoba, Mississippi was killed during the Korean War, was accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

In late 1950, Cates was a member of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division.

He was reported missing in action on Dec. 3, 1950, following combat actions against enemy forces in the vicinity of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea.

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier killed From World War II Accounted For
June 3
, 2019

Army Pfc. Hulett A. Thompson, 24

Army Pfc. Hulett A. Thompson, Carroll, 24, Georgia killed during World War II, was accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

In June 1944, Thompson served as an infantryman assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5307th Combat Unit (Provisional,) also referred to as Task Force Galahad, or Merrill's Marauders, in the China-Burma-India region.

On June 30, 1944, Thompson's unit fought in the siege of Myitkyina, Burma. He was reportedly killed in action and his remains could not be recovered.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Colorado Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
June 3
, 2019

Navy Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Harold L. Dick, 22

Navy Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Harold L. Dick, 22, Moniteau, Missouri was killed during World War II, was accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

On July 24, 1944, Dick was aboard the battleship USS Colorado, which was moored approximately 3,200 yards from the shore of Tinian Island, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Early in the morning, the USS Colorado, along with the light cruiser Cleveland and destroyers Remey and Norman Scott, commenced firing toward the island.

Within two hours, a concealed Japanese shore battery opened fire on the USS Colorado and the USS Norman Scott.

The first hit on the USS Colorado resulted in a heavy explosion, and the ship sustained extensive fragmentation damage.

From the attack, four crewmen were declared missing in action, and 39 personnel were killed, including Dick. Dick and the other casualties were subsequently interred in the 4th Marine Division Cemetery on Saipan.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
May 29
, 2019

Navy Seaman 1st Class Oris V. Brandt, 20,

Navy Seaman 1st Class Oris V. Brandt, 20, of Kentland, Indiana, killed during World War II, was accounted for.


On Dec. 7, 1941, Brandt was assigned to the battleship 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 Brandt.

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 Brandt.

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 Punchbowl for analysis.

To identify Brandt’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), Y-chromosome DNA (Y-STR) and autosomal DNA (auSTR) analysis.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
May 29
, 2019

Navy Seaman 2nd Class Ray H. Myers, 19

Navy Seaman 2nd Class Ray H. Myers, 19, of Central City, Iowa, killed during World War II, was accounted for.


On Dec. 7, 1941, Myers was assigned to the battleship 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 Myers.

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 Myers.

Between June and November 2015, DPAA personnel exhumed the USS Oklahoma Unknown remains from the Punchbowl for analysis.

To identify Myers’ remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

 

 

 

 

Marine killed From World War II Accounted For
May 28
, 2019

Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. John T. Burke,

Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. John T. Burke, N.C. was killed during World War II, was accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

In November 1943, Burke was a member of Company B, 1st 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, while the Japanese were virtually annihilated.

Burke died on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943.

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Killed During the Korean War Accounted For
May 28, 2019

Army Cpl. Earl H. Markle, 19

Army Cpl. Earl H. Markle, 19, Spring Grove, Pennsylvania killed during the Korean War, was accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

In late 1950, Markle was a member of Company M, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, engaged against enemy forces near Unsan, North Korea.

He was listed as Missing in Action while fighting the enemy near Unsan, North Korea on November 2, 1950.

When he could not be accounted for by his unit following the attack, He was presumed dead on December 31, 1953.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Twin Sailors killed From World War II Accounted For
May 24
, 2019

                      

U.S. Navy Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Leo Blitz, 20       U.S. Navy Fireman 1st Class Rudolph Blitz, 20

U.S. Navy Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Leo Blitz, and U.S. Navy Fireman 1st Class Rudolph Blitz, 20, Lincoln, NE twins were killed during World War II, were accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

On Dec. 7, 1941, the Blitz’s were assigned to the battleship 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 the Blitz twins. 

On Christmas Day 1941, family members learned that Rudolph had died and Leo was missing. The Navy never gave them anymore information about the fate of the twins or returned their remains.
The twin brothers enlisted in the Navy together on 4 May,1938.
A family friend Hanson served on a boiler crew with Rudolph and was with him when several torpedoes struck the USS Oklahoma in the first few minutes of the attack.
Rudolph was worried about his brother Leo, who was on duty in the forward dynamo room, where large electrical generators that kept the battleship running were controlled.
Hanson and Rudolph headed for topside, then Hanson lost Rudolph.
Rudolph went to the forward room where Leo was. Hanson never saw him again. Hanson did survive the attack and the war.
The twin brothers died together with 427 of their shipmates onboard the USS Oklahoma (BB-37) on 7 December, 1941.

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
May 24
, 2019

Navy Seaman 1st Class Edward Wasielewski

Navy Seaman 1st Class Edward Wasielewski, Plymouth, MI was killed during World War II, was accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

He had enlisted in the Navy. Served during World War II. He had the rank of Enlisted. Occupation or specialty was Seaman First Class. Service number was 3114243. Served with USS Oklahoma.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Wasielewskiwas assigned to the battleship 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 Wasielewski.

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Killed During the Korean War Accounted For
May 23, 2019

Army Cpl. Billy J. Butler,

Army Cpl. Billy J. Butler, Kerr County, Texas, was killed during the Korean War, was accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

In late 1950, Butler was a member of Company C, 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, engaged in combat operations against the enemy near Kujang, North Korea.

 On Nov. 28, 1950, his unit’s defensive positions were attacked and he was captured by the Chinese People’s Volunteer Force (CPVF.)

On May 15, 2001, the Korean War Project announced Finding The Families, an Internet based initiative to find several thousand families of servicemen Missing In Action from the Korean War.

As tensions heat and cool on the Korean peninsula, many remains of servicemen lost in the Korean War will eventually be repatriated to the United States.

DNA samples are needed from these families in order to make it possible to attempt to identify remains found in the future. 

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier killed From World War II Accounted For
May 23
, 2019

Army Pfc. John W. Hayes, 24,

Army Pfc. John W. Hayes, 24, of Estelline, Texas, killed during World War II, was accounted for.


In early 1945, Hayes was a member of Company M, 3rd Battalion, 335th Infantry Regiment, 84th Infantry Division, serving in the European Theater during World War II. On Jan. 4, 1945, Hayes was killed in action near Mâgôster, Belgium, when, according to witnesses, an 88-millimeter shell from a German tank struck his foxhole. Following the war, American graves registration teams had no record of Hayes’ remains being recovered. On Sept. 6, 1951, the War Department declared his remains non-recoverable.

Following the close of hostilities in Europe in 1945, an unidentified set of remains, designated Unknown X-134 Fosse, were recovered near Soy, Belgium, approximately three miles from Mâgôster. The remains could not be identified and were interred Nov. 4, 1948, at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial, in Hombourg, Belgium.

Following thorough analysis of military records and American Graves Registration Command documentation by DPAA historians and scientists, Unknown X-134 Fosse, was determined to have a likely association with Hayes. Unknown X-134 Fosse was disinterred in July 2018 and sent to DPAA for analysis.

To identify Hayes’ remains, scientists from DPAA anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence. Additionally, the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Killed During the Korean War Accounted For
May 23, 2019

Army Pfc. Roger L. Woods, 18

Army Pfc. Roger L. Woods, 18, West Union, Ohio killed during the Korean War, was accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

Private First Class Rogers Lee Woods entered the U.S. Army from Ohio and was a member of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. He went missing in action near Kochang on July 29, 1950, though exact details surrounding his loss are unknown. He was not reported as a prisoner of war, nor was he identified among the remains returned to the U.S. following the war.

 

 

 

 

 

Airmen killed From World War II Accounted For
May 22
, 2019

U.S. Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. William J. McGowan, 24

U.S. Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. William J. McGowan, 24, Benson, Minnesota  was killed during World War II, was accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

Lt. William “Bill” J. McGowan was a pilot during World War II. The P-47 he was flying on D-Day, June 6, 1944 was shot down while on a low-level strafing and bombing mission south of the landing beaches in Normandy, France.


In 1944, McGowan was a pilot, serving with the 391st Fighter Squadron, 366th Fighter Group, 9th U.S. Air Force. On June 6, 1944, he was killed when his P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft crashed while on a mission near the city of Saint-Lô, France.

He did not survive the crash,  Buried at Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France.  Plot: Garden of the Missing Army-Army Air Forces Tablet 32, Veteran 14.

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Killed During the Korean War Accounted For
May 15, 2019

Army Cpl. Charles S. Lawler,

Army Cpl. Charles S. Lawler, from Michigan was killed during the Korean War, was accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

Army, Cpl charles S. Lawler of Michigan, Company M, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Lost on 11/02/1950—Accounted for on 05/13/2019—Unsan, North Korea

In early November 1950, Lawler was a member of Company M, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, engaged against enemy forces near Unsan, North Korea.

He was reported missing in action on Nov. 2, 1950, when he could not be accounted for by his unit.

 

 

 

 

Soldier killed From World War II Accounted For
May 15
, 2019

Army Pvt. Roy Brown, Jr.

Army Pvt. Roy Brown, Jr. killed during World War II, was accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

On Dec. 2, 1942, Brown was a member of Company I, 126th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division, when he was reported missing in action following engagement with enemy forces along the Soputa-Sananda Track,
 while defending a position known as the Huggins Roadblock, near Buna, Papua New. Guinea.

 

 

 

 

 

Airmen killed From World War II Accounted For
May 15
, 2019

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Toney W. Gochnauer, 26

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Toney W. Gochnauer, 26, Amarillo, Potter County, Texas killed during World War II, was accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

In January 1944, Gochnauer was a member of the 425th Bombardment Squadron, 308th Heavy Bombardment Group, 14th Air Force, as a copilot of a B-24J bomber aircraft.

The aircraft disappeared on Jan. 25, 1944, while on a flight from Kunming, China, to Chabua, India. Following the aircraft's takeoff, no communication could be established and the crew did not reach its destination.

The eight crewmembers and four passengers were subsequently declared missing in action.

 

 

 

 

Soldier killed From World War II Accounted For
May 13
, 2019

Army Pfc. Dale W. Ross, 22

Army Pfc. Dale W. Ross, 22, of Ashland, Oregon, killed during World War II, was accounted for.


In January 1943, Ross was a member of Company E, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, serving in the Pacific Theater. He was reported missing in action on Jan. 14, 1943, following a patrol in the vicinity of Hill 27, Mount Austen, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. A search was conducted, but fellow Soldiers were unable to locate his remains. On July 14, 1949, based on a lack of information, the U.S. Army determined Ross to be non-recoverable.

In 2012, predecessor organizations to DPAA conducted investigations and interviews in Mbarana Village, a village situated near the Gifu battlefield, where Ross was believed to have died. Between 2012 and 2015, several investigation and recovery operations were conducted in Mbarana, and possible human remains were located along the steep hillside surface of Hill 27.

In 2017, Pacific Wrecks, Inc., a partnership organization, contacted DPAA regarding possible remains found along Hill 27. DPAA excavated the site with support from local civilians, recovering additional remains. The remains were consolidated with the remains found in 2015, and sent to the laboratory for analysis.

The decorations earned by PFC Dale W. Ross include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.

To identify Ross’ remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence. Additionally, the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used Y-chromosome DNA (Y-STR) analysis.

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Killed During the Korean War Accounted For
May 13, 2019

Army Sgt. George R. Schipani,

Army Sgt. George R. Schipani, 19, of Somerville, Massachusetts, was accounted for.

In late 1950, Schipani was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, when his unit took part in the Battle of Unsan, North Korea. Early in the morning of Nov. 2, 1950, Schipani’s battalion was struck by enemy units of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces. After several days of intense fighting, survivors escaped to friendly lines. Schipani was reported missing in action as of Nov. 2, 1950.

At the end of the war, returning American prisoners stated that Schipani had been captured and marched to Pyoktong, Prisoner of War Camp 5, and died in February or March 1951. Based on this information, the Army declared Schipani deceased as of March 31, 1951.

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. Remains that were unable to be identified were buried as Unknowns in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, including a set of remains designated Unknown X-13448 Op Glory.

In July 2018, DPAA disinterred Unknown X-13448 Op Glory from the Punchbowl, and sent the remains to the laboratory for analysis.

To identify Schipani’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental, anthropological and chest radiograph comparison analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.

DPAA is grateful to Department of Veterans Affairs for their partnership in this mission.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Brothers killed From World War II Accounted For
May 13
, 2019

                          

Seaman 2nd Class Calvin H. Palmer,23        Seaman 2nd Class Wilferd D. Palmer, 22

Navy brothers, Seaman 2nd Class Calvin H. Palmer, 23 and Seaman 2nd Class Wilferd D. Palmer, Andes, 22 from Richland County, Montana, killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, were accounted for.

Calvin and Wilfred Palmer were among a surprisingly large number of brothers assigned to the USS Oklahoma.

On Dec. 7, 1941, the Palmers were assigned to the battleship 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 the Palmer brothers. 

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 the brothers.

Between June and November 2015, DPAA personnel exhumed the USS Oklahoma Unknown remains from the Punchbowl for analysis.

To identify the Palmers’ remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and analysis. 

DPAA is grateful to the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of the Navy for their partnership in this mission.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Marine killed From World War II Accounted For
May 8
, 2019

Marine Corps Reserve Pvt. Ted Hall, 24,

Marine Corps Reserve Pvt. Ted Hall, 24, of Kansas City, Missouri, killed during World War II, was accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Hall was assigned to the battleship 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 Hall.

Ted Hall awoke hungry, as usual, on December 7. No matter how bad the food was, he never missed a meal, said Lowery, whose own opinion was that sometimes I didn't feel the food was worth it. Hall gave Lowery a couple of shakes, asking about breakfast, but Lowery was only vaguely aware of his friend's presence. I didn't even open my eyes, he said, and drifted back to sleep as Hall went down to the galley. Suddenly, everything was shaking. There was a loud noise. Somebody said we were having practice bombing. The first reactions were some expletives of profanity. The call to battle stations and the shuddering impact of the first of nine torpedoes convinced the Marines that this was no drill. Lowery and the rest of the men in the Marine compartment scattered to their battle stations; few made it, and many were never seen again. Much later, Lowery learned that his decision to sleep in had probably saved his life. Ted went down to breakfast that morning, he said. I was told he was down there when one of the torpedoes hit and one of the gear lockers turned over on him. He was crushed.

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 Hall.

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 Punchbowl for analysis.

To identify Hall’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis and circumstantial evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used Y-chromosome DNA (Y-STR) analysis.

 

 

 

 

 

Marine killed From World War II Accounted For
May 8
, 2019

Marine Corps Platoon Sgt. George E. Trotter,

Marine Corps Platoon Sgt. George E. Trotter, Missouri killed during World War II, was accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

In November 1943, Trotter was a member of Company E, 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, while the Japanese were virtually annihilated.

Trotter died on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943.

 

 

 

 

 

Marine killed From World War II Accounted For
May 8
, 2019

Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Wesley L. Kroenung, 24

Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Wesley L. Kroenung, 24, South Pasadena, California was killed during World War II, was accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

In November 1943, Kroenung was a photographer with Headquarters Company, Headquarters and Service Battalion, Fifth Amphibious Corps, temporarily assigned to the 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, while the Japanese were virtually annihilated.

Kroenung died on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943. He was reportedly buried in the 2nd Marine Division Cemetery #4.

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier killed From World War II Accounted For
May 3
, 2019

 

Army Sgt. Cread E. Shuey, 23

Army Sgt. Cread E. Shuey, 23, of Norton, Kansas, killed during World War II, was accounted for.

On Dec. 8, 1941, Shuey was a member of Battery G, 60th Coast Artillery Regiment, serving in the Philippines, when Japanese forces invaded the Philippine Islands. Intense fighting continued until the surrender of the Bataan peninsula on April 9, 1942, and of the Corregidor Island on May 6, 1942. 

Thousands of U.S. and Filipino service members were taken prisoner and sent to prisoner of war camps. Shuey was among those reported captured after the surrender of Corregidor and held at the Cabanatuan POW camp.
More than 2,500 POWs perished in this camp during the remaining years of the war. 
According to prison and historical records, Shuey died on Sept. 27, 1942, and was buried along with fellow prisoners in the local Cabanatuan camp cemetery. 

DPAA is grateful to the American Battle Monuments Commission for their partnership in this mission.

Shuey’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission Site site along with others missing from WWII. Although interred as an "unknown" in Manila American Cemetery, Shuey’s grave was meticulously cared for over the past 70 years by the American Battle Monuments Commission. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

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 present-day Manila American Cemetery and Memorial.


In May 2016, the Secretary of the Army granted permission to exhume six graves associated with the Cabanatuan Common Grave 439. On May 11, 2016, the remains were sent to DPAA for identification. 

To identify Shuey’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

 

 

 

 

Soldier  From World War II Accounted For
May 1
, 2019

Army Cpl. Ralph L. Bennett, 24

Army Cpl. Ralph L. Bennett, 24, Rock County, Wisconsin killed during World War II, was accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law.

In June 1944, Bennet was a member of Headquarters Company, 209th Engineer Combat Battalion, as an engineer in the China-Burma-India Theater.

On June 13, 1944, Bennet’s battalion fought in the siege of the Myitkyina, Burma, after successfully taking the airfield west of Myitkyina from Japanese control. Bennett was reported to have been killed during the battle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
May 1
, 2019

Navy Fireman 3rd Class Jasper L. Pue,

Navy Fireman 3rd Class Jasper L. Pue, killed during World War II, was accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

On Dec. 7, 1941, Pue was assigned to the battleship 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 Pue. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Airmen  From World War II Accounted For
April 29, 2019

Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. Vincent J. Rogers, Jr. 21

Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. Vincent J. Rogers, Jr., 21, Snyder, N.Y. killed during World War II, was accounted for.


On Jan. 21, 1944, Rogers was an assistant radio operator for the 38th Bombardment Squadron, (Heavy), 30th Bombardment Group, stationed at Hawkins Field, Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands, when his B-24J bomber crashed in shallow water shortly after take-off. 

The squadron's physician witnessed the crash and immediately waded into the water. He was able to rescue three members of the 10-man crew. The other seven crew members perished in the crash. Their remains were subsequently recovered from the wreckage and buried on the island in a temporary cemetery.

Following the war, the U.S. Army’s 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company (AGRC) conducted remains recovery operations on Betio between 1946 and 1947. Those efforts led to the recovery and identification of three of the seven deceased crew members from the B-24J. The AGRC also consolidated all the remains from isolated burial sites into a single cemetery called Lone Palm Cemetery. The remains of the other four crewmembers from the B-24J bomber were believed to be among those moved, however Rogers’ remains were not identified and he was declared non-recoverable. Those Tarawa remains that could not be identified were interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

On April 3, 2017, DPAA disinterred Tarawa Unknown X-012 from the Punchbowl. Also in 2017, History Flight, Inc., through a partnership with DPAA uncovered a series of coffin burials in Cemetery #33. Based on scientific analysis, the X-012 remains were consolidated with remains recovered from Cemetery #33.

To identify Rogers’ remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis. Additionally, the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used Y-chromosome DNA (Y-STR) analysis.

 

                                                                             In this 1944 photo provided by the U.S. Army, a member of the military stands near a B-24 bomber that crashed shortly after take-off
                                                                                                                                  from an airfield on the Tarawa atoll in the Gilbert Islands in the Pacific Ocean
                                                                                                  during World War II. U.S. military officials say the remains of Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. Vincent J. Rogers Jr.



On Jan. 21, 1944, Rogers was a radio operator for the 38th Bombardment Squadron, (Heavy), 30th Bombardment Group, stationed at Hawkins Field, Helen Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands,
when the B-24J bomber he was a passenger in crashed shortly after take-off. 


DPAA is grateful to History Flight, Inc. for their partnership in this recovery mission.

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing During the Korean War.
April 29, 2019

Army Pfc. Herschel M. Riggs, 18

Army Pfc. Herschel M. Riggs,  18, of Rio Grande City, Texas, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for.

In July 1950, Riggs was an infantryman with Headquarters Company, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, involved in combat actions against North Korean forces near Taejon, South Korea. Riggs was declared missing in action on July 16, 1950, when he could not be accounted for by his unit. Following numerous battlefield searches, the American Graves Registration Service was unable to locate Riggs’ remains and he was declared deceased on July 31, 1953. 

In October 1950, a set of remains found at Choch’iwon, and designated X-155 Taejon, were sent to the Central Identification Unit in Kokura Japan for possible identification. The remains, unable to be identified, were subsequently buried in the National Memorial of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. 

After thorough historical and scientific analysis, it was determined that X-155 Taejon could likely be identified. On Oct. 16, 2017, X-155 was disinterred and sent to the laboratory for analysis.

To identify Riggs’ remains, scientists from DPAA used dental, anthropological and chest radiograph comparison analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence. Additionally, the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis.
In July 1950, Riggs was an infantryman with Headquarters Company, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, involved in combat actions against North Korean forces near Taejon, South Korea.

As the regiment began withdrawing south to Taejon, the North Koreans pushed deep into their defensive lines and set up a roadblock en route to Taejon. When retreating American convoys could not break through the roadblock, soldiers were forced to leave the road and attempt to make their way in small groups across the countryside.

 Of the 900 soldiers in the 19th Infantry when the Battle of Kum River started, only 434 made it to friendly lines.

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing During the Korean War.
April 26, 2019

Army Pfc. Sterling Geary, Jr., 24

Army Pfc. Sterling Geary, Jr., 24, Cooper, Texas was killed during the Korean War, was accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

In November 1950, Geary was a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, which was engaged in battle with the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces in North Korea.

He was taken Prisoner of War while fighting the enemy in North Korea on November 27, 1950 and died while a prisoner on March 27, 1951.

He was declared missing in action on Nov. 27, 19510 when he could not be accounted for by his unit following fighting at Hill 234, and Tong-dong Village, North Korea.

 

 

 

 

 

USS West Virginia Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
April 19
, 2019

Navy Fireman 3rd Class Harold K. Costill, 21

Navy Fireman 3rd Class Harold K. Costill, 21,  Clark County, IN, killed during World War II, was accounted for.

(Official DoD release will be updated following Primary Next of Kin briefing.)

On Dec. 7, 1941, Costill was assigned to the battleship USS West Virginia, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft.

The USS West Virginia sustained multiple torpedo hits, but timely counter-flooding measures taken by the crew prevented it from capsizing, and it came to rest on the shallow harbor floor.

The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 106 crewmen, including Costill.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
April 16
, 2019

Navy Seaman 2nd Class Richard J. Thomson, 19

Navy Seaman 2nd Class Richard J. Thomson, 19, League City Texas was killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, was accounted for on March 14, 2019.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Thomson 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 Thomson.

In 2015, DPAA disinterred remains from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

DPAA is grateful to the Department of Veterans Affairs for their partnership in this mission.

Thomson's name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, 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 killed From World War II Accounted For
April 16
, 2019

Army Pfc. Raymond H. Middlekauff, 30

Army Pfc. Raymond H. Middlekauff, 30, Baltimore, Maryland was killed during World War II, was accounted for.

He enlisted in the Army on January 17, 1944 in Baltimore, Maryland. He was noted as being employed as a Foremen and also as Married.

In late 1944, Middlekauff was a member of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, which was engaged in battle against German forces near the town of Grosshau, in the Hürtgen Forest in Germany. He was reported missing in action as of Dec. 4, 1944, when his company reorganized after a severe counterattack and he could not be accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing During the Korean War.
April 16, 2019

Army Capt. Rufus J. Hyman, 23

Army Capt. Rufus J. Hyman, 23, of Memphis, Tenn. killed during the Korean War, was accounted for.

In July 1950, Hyman was an infantry officer with Company A, 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, engaging in combat actions against the North Korean People’s Army in the vicinity of Kwonbin-ni, South Korea.

 Hyman was declared missing in action on July 30, 1950.

In July 1951, a Search and Recovery Team from the American Registration Service Group recovered an isolated burial in the vicinity of where Hyman was last seen. The remains were designated X-1575 Tanggok and were sent to the Central Identification Unit in Japan for identification. Unable to be identified, the remains were sent to the National Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, and buried as an Unknown.

On Oct. 30, 2017, DPAA disinterred Unknown X-1575 from the Punchbowl for identification.

To identify Hyman’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
April 16
, 2019

Navy Seaman 1st Class Ernest R. West,

Navy Seaman 1st Class Ernest R. West, 23, Runnells, IA was killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, was accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, West 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 West.

In 2015, DPAA disinterred remains from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

DPAA is grateful to the Department of Veterans Affairs for their partnership in this mission.

West's name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, 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 During the Korean War.
April 16, 2019

Army Cpl. Carlos E. Ferguson, 20

Army Cpl. Carlos E. Ferguson, 20, of Dawson, West Virginia, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for.

In May 1951, Ferguson was a member of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, engaged in combat against the Korean People’s Army and the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces. The battle, fought near Kangye, South Korea, from May 16-20, was named the “Battle of the Soyang River.” Ferguson was reported missing in action on May 18, 1951.

On June 16, 1951, a set of remains located in the vicinity of where Ferguson was lost, arrived at the Central Identification Unit in Kokura, Japan. The remains, designated X-1356 Tanggok, could not be identified, and were transferred to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, where they were buried as an Unknown.

In October 2018, DPAA disinterred Unknown X-1356 Tanggok from the Punchbowl, and sent the remains to the laboratory for analysis.

To identify Ferguson’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental, anthropological and chest radiograph comparison analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

Airmen  From World War II Accounted For
April 8, 2019

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Walter B. Stone, 24

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Walter B. Stone, 24, of Andalusia, Alabama, killed during World War II, was accounted for.

In October 1943, Stone served as a pilot in the 350th Fighter Squadron, 353rd Fighter Group, VIII U.S. Fighter Command. On Oct. 22, 1943, Stone was killed when his P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft crashed in northern France during a bomber escort mission. Because France was enemy-occupied territory at the time of the crash, search and recovery operations were not possible.

In 1990, a French excavation group, called Association Maurice Choron (AMC,) carried out a limited excavation of the site in the forest near La Wattine, France, where Stone was believed to have crashed. Aircraft wreckage that matched Stone’s aircraft was located and a field investigation was recommended.

In April and May 2017, a DPAA Recovery Team excavated a site based on information from a local resident. During the excavation, an identification tag for Stone was located, as well as remains. The remains were sent to the laboratory for identification.

In 2018, in a contract with the University of Wisconsin, the site excavation was completed, with additional remains consolidated with the previously located remains.

To identify Stone’s remains, scientists from DPAA used circumstantial and material evidence.

DPAA is grateful to the University of Wisconsin, Mayor Jean-Pierre Leclerq, Mayor Jean-Claude Hiraut, Mr. Marceau Goblet, Mr. Jocelyn Leclercq and the Association Maurice Choron (now disbanded,) including Mr. Jean-Pierre Duriez, and the government of France, including the Direction Régionale des Affaires Culturelles, the Office National des Forets, the Gendarmerie
Nationale, and the townships of Mentque-Nortbécourt and Tournehem-sur-la-Hem for their partnership in this mission.

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. Currently there are 72,731 service members still unaccounted for from World War II.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
April 1
, 2019

Navy Seaman 1st Class Herbert J. Poindexter, Jr., 24

Navy Seaman 1st Class Herbert J. Poindexter, Jr., 24, of Jacksonville, Florida, killed during World War II, was accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Poindexter was assigned to the battleship 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 Poindexter. 

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, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Poindexter.

Between June and November 2015, DPAA personnel exhumed the USS Oklahoma Unknown remains from the Punchbowl for analysis.

To identify Poindexter’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis. Additionally, the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier From World War II Accounted For
April 1, 2019

Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. Alfred R. Sandini, 25

Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. Alfred R. Sandini, 25, of Marlborough, Massachusetts, killed during World War II, was accounted for.

In February 1944, Sandini was a member of 22nd Bombardment Squadron, 341st Bombardment Group, and served as a radio gunner aboard a B-25C aircraft. On Feb. 15, 1944, the aircraft he was aboard crashed, most likely due to enemy anti-aircraft fire, near the Do Len Bridge in Thanh Hoa Province, French Indochina, now known as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

In November 2016, DPAA personnel began analyzing Unknown X-114 Schofield Mausoleum #2 for possible disinterment. The remains were initially recovered in northern French Indochina and interred at the American Military Cemetery in Kunming, China.

In August 2018, Unknown X-114 Schofield Mausoleum #2 was disinterred and the remains were sent to the laboratory for analysis.

To identify Sandini’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
April 1
, 2019

Navy Machinist’s Mate 1st Class George Hanson, 32

Navy Machinist’s Mate 1st Class George Hanson, 32, of Laramie, Wyoming, killed during World War II, was accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Hanson was assigned to the battleship 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 Hanson.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crewmen, 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 Hanson.

Between June and November 2015, DPAA personnel exhumed the USS Oklahoma Unknown remains from the Punchbowl for analysis.

To identify Hanson’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Sailor Killed  From Vietnam War Accounted For
March 27, 2019

Navy Reserve Journalist 3rd Class Raul A. Guerra, 24

Navy Reserve Journalist 3rd Class Raul A. Guerra, 24, of Montebello, California, killed during the Vietnam War, was accounted for.

On Oct. 8, 1967, Guerra was a passenger on board an E-1B Tracer, en route from Chu Lai Air Base to the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany, on which he was stationed. Approximately ten miles northwest of Da Nang, South Vietnam, radar contact with the aircraft was lost, and adverse weather hampered subsequent search efforts. Several days later, aircraft wreckage was spotted along a mountainside, approximately 11 miles northwest of Da Nang. Because of the location and very steep terrain, a ground recovery could not be conducted. Guerra, as well as the four other servicemen on board, were declared killed in action.

DPAA’s predecessor commands, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC,) the Joint Task Force- Full Accounting (JTF-FA,) and the Joint Casualty Resolution Center (JCRC,) interviewed numerous Vietnamese individuals over the years regarding the crash. Between 1993 and 2003, JTF-FA and JPAC teams investigated the incident on 13 Joint Field Activities.

On July 9, 2004, during the 79th JFA, a joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam team located the crash site, recovering aircraft wreckage and material evidence.

On Aug. 15, 2005, the JPAC Central Identification Laboratory received possible human remains from the crash site. On June 12, 2007, four service members were identified.
They were: Navy Aviation Electronics Technician Roald R. Pineau, Navy Lt. j.g. Norman L. Roggow, Lt. j.g. Donald F. Wolfe, and Lt. j.g. Andrew G. Zissu. However, relevant family reference samples for Guerra could not be obtained so a DNA match could be made.


To identify Guerra’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and isotopic analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.

 

Today there are 1,589 American servicemen and civilians that are still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing During the Korean War.
March 26, 2019

Army Cpl. Benjamin W. Scott, 19

Army Cpl. Benjamin W. Scott, 19, of Alamo, Mississippi, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for.

In July 1950, Scott was a member of Company M, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, engaging in combat actions against the North Korean forces in the vicinity of Choch’iwon, South Korea.
Scott was declared missing in action on July 12, 1950.


In May 1952, remains were found in the vicinity of where Scott was last seen. The remains were designated X-5556 Tanggok and were sent to the Central Identification Unit in Japan for identification.
Unable to be identified, the remains were sent to the National Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, and buried as an Unknown.


On Oct. 30, 2017, DPAA disinterred Unknown X-5556 from the Punchbowl for identification.

To identify Scott’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

 

 

 

 

Marine killed From World War II Accounted For
March 25
, 2019

 

Marine Corps Capt. Lester A. Schade, 27

Marine Corps Capt. Lester A. Schade, 27, of Abbotsford, Wisconsin, killed during World War II, was accounted for.

In April 1942, Schade, a member of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, when he was captured by enemy forces and held as a prisoner of war in the Philippine Islands. On Dec. 14, 1944, more than 1,600 Allied prisoners were loaded aboard a Japanese transport en route to Japan. The ship was attacked by American carrier planes, killing a number of American prisoners. Survivors were transported aboard two other ships to Formosa, present day Taiwan, where they were loaded onto another ship, Enoura Maru, which was also attacked by American carrier planes. According to records Schade was aboard the Enoura Maru when it was attacked Jan. 9, 1945, and was listed as missing, presumed dead as a result of the incident.

While survivors of the Enoura Maru bombing reported that the bodies of the men killed on the ship were cremated by the Japanese and buried at Takao Harbor, historical evidence indicates that not all the remains were cremated. One survivor stated that the Japanese suspended the cremation prior to completion. 

The American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) recovered remains from graves and a cemetery around Takao in May and June 1946. The remains, which could not be identified were interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, including one set, designated Formosa X-546A.

On Oct. 31, 2017, following thorough historical research and analysis by DPAA historians, X-546A was disinterred from the Punchbowl for analysis. 

To identify Schade’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as historical and material evidence.

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
March 22
, 2019

Navy Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class Roman W. Sadlowski, 21

Navy Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class Roman W. Sadlowski, 21, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, killed during World War II, was accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Sadlowski was assigned to the battleship 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 Sadlowski.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crewmen, 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 Sadlowski.

Between June and November 2015, DPAA personnel exhumed the USS Oklahoma Unknown remains from the Punchbowl for analysis.

To identify Sadlowski’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing During the Korean War.
March 21, 2019

Army Sgt. Frank J. Suliman, 20

Army Sgt. Frank J. Suliman, 20, of New Brunswick, New Jersey, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for.

In late 1950, Suliman was a member of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, fighting against members of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) in North Korea. On Dec. 1, 1950, the convoy of trucks Suliman was riding in was halted by a roadblock south of Kunuri, North Korea, and the Soldiers were commanded to abandon the vehicles and attempt to get through the road block on foot.

 Fellow Soldiers reported that Suliman was captured and taken to the CPVF prisoner of war camp at Pukchin-Tarigol, North Korea, where he reportedly died in March 1951.

On June 12, 2018, President Donald Trump met with North Korea Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore, The leaders signed a joint statement, including a commitment to recover the remains of American service members lost in North Korea.

On July 27, 2018, North Korea turned over 55 boxes, purported to contain the remains of American service members killed during the Korean War. The remains arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on Aug. 1, 2018, and were subsequently accessioned into the DPAA laboratory for identification.
To identify Suliman’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and autosomal DNA (auSTR) analysis.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
March 21
, 2019

Navy Water Tender 1st Class Edwin B. McCabe, 27

Navy Water Tender 1st Class Edwin B. McCabe, 27, of Newport, North Carolina, killed during World War II, was accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, McCabe was assigned to the battleship 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 McCabe.

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, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including McCabe.

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 Punchbowl for analysis.

To identify McCabe’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and autosomal DNA (auSTR) analysis.

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
March 20
, 2019

Navy Seaman 2nd Class Richard J. Thomson

Navy Seaman 2nd Class Richard J. Thomson, killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, was accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Thomson 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 Thomson.

In 2015, DPAA disinterred remains from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

DPAA is grateful to the Department of Veterans Affairs for their partnership in this mission.

Thomson's name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, 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 During the Korean War.
March 19, 2019

Army Cpl. James C. Rix, 18

Army Cpl. James C. Rix, 18, of Alamo, Georgia, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for.

In November 1950, Rix was a member of Company E, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. He was killed in action on Nov. 30, 1950, during heavy fighting between the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) and the 7th Cavalry Regiment in the vicinity of North Pyongan Province, North Korea. His remains were interred at the United Nations Military Cemetery (UNMC) Pyongyang, on Dec. 2, 1950.

In 1954, the United Nations Command (UNC) and North Korea, along with the CPVF, reached an agreement regarding the recovery and return of war dead. The agreement, known as Operation Glory (OPGLORY,) resulted in the turnover of 4,200 sets of remains to the UNC, including more than 400 sets reportedly disinterred from Pyongyang. One set of remains, designated X-16680 OPGLORY could not be identified, and were subsequently interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu (known as the Punchbowl), as an Unknown.

In June 2017, DPAA disinterred Unknown X-16680 OPGLORY for identification.

To identify Rix’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis. 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
March 18
, 2019

Navy Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class William A. Klasing, 19

Navy Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class William A. Klasing, 19, of Trenton, Illinois, killed during World War II, was accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Klasing was assigned to the battleship 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 Klasing.

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 Klasing.

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 Punchbowl for analysis.

To identify Klasing’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used Y-chromosome DNA (Y-STR) analysis.

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing During the Korean War.
March 18, 2019

Army Cpl. Stephen P. Nemec, 21

Army Cpl. Stephen P. Nemec, 21, of Cleveland, Ohio, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for.

In late 1950, Nemec was a member of Company A, 1st Battalion 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, engaged in heavy fighting against the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) at Turtle Head’s Bend, near the village of Unsan, North Korea. According to historical reports, Nemec was killed in action on Nov. 2, 1950, and was buried at United Nation’s Military Cemetery (UNMC) Pyongyang.

As the United Nations’ situation in North Korea worsened, circumstances forced the closing of the cemetery on Dec. 3, 1950, and those buried there could not be recovered.

Following the war, during the exchange of war dead known as “Operation Glory,” UN forces returned approximately 14,000 sets of remains to the Chinese and North Koreans, and received more than 4,000 sets of remains from isolated burials, POW camp cemeteries and temporary UN cemeteries, including UNMC Pyongyang. The remains were turned over to the Central Identification Unit in Kokura, Japan.

No remains could be associated with Nemec, and all unidentified remains, including a set designated “X-16718” were interred as Korean War unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

On March 26, 2018, DPAA disinterred “X-16718” from the Punchbowl and sent the remains to the laboratory for analysis.

To identify Nemec’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental, anthropological, and chest radiograph comparison analysis which; as well as circumstantial evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

Pilot Missing From World War II Accounted For
March 12
, 2019

U.S. Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Howard T. Lurcott, 26

U.S. Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Howard T. Lurcott, 26, of Philadelphia, killed during World War II, was accounted for.

On Jan. 21, 1944, Lurcott was a member of the 38th Bombardment Squadron, 30th Bombardment Group, stationed at Hawkins Field, Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands, when the B-24J bomber aircraft he was piloting crashed into Tarawa lagoon shortly after takeoff. Lurcott and the nine other servicemen aboard the aircraft were killed.

Rescue crews recovered the remains of five individuals, however Lurcott was not among those recovered. The three identified sets of remains and two unidentified sets were reportedly interred in Cemetery No. 33 on Betio Island, one of several cemeteries established on the island after the U.S. seized the island from the Japanese in November 1943.

Following the war, the U.S. Army’s 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted remains recovery operations on Betio between 1946 and 1947. Using U.S. Marine Corps records, they began the task of consolidating all the remains from isolated burial sites into a single cemetery called Lone Palm Cemetery. The remains of the B-24J crew were believed to be among those moved, however Lurcott’s remains were not identified and he was declared non-recoverable.

In 2017, History Flight, Inc., a non-profit organization, through a partnership with DPAA, uncovered a series of coffin burials from Cemetery #33, which were subsequently accessioned into the DPAA laboratory for analysis. On Dec. 20, 2018, one set of remains was identified as U.S. Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. Carl M. Shaffer, a crewmember on Lurcott’s plane.

To identify Lurcott’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

 

 

 

 

 

Airmen  Missing From World War II Accounted For
March 12
, 2019

U.S. Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. Carl M. Shaffer, 22

U.S. Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. Carl M. Shaffer, 22, of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, killed during World War II, was accounted for.

On Jan. 21, 1944, Shaffer was a member of the 38th Bombardment Squadron, 30th Bombardment Group, stationed at Hawkins Field, Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands, when the B-24J bomber aircraft he was aboard crashed into Tarawa lagoon shortly after takeoff. Shaffer and the nine other servicemen aboard the aircraft were killed.

Rescue crews recovered the remains of five individuals, however Shaffer was not among those recovered. The three identified sets of remains and two unidentified sets were reportedly interred in Cemetery No. 33 on Betio Island, one of several cemeteries established on the island after the U.S. seized the island from the Japanese in November 1943.

Following the war, the U.S. Army’s 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted remains recovery operations on Betio between 1946 and 1947. Using U.S. Marine Corps records, they began the task of consolidating all the remains from isolated burial sites into a single cemetery called Lone Palm Cemetery. The remains of the B-24J crew were believed to be among those moved, however Shaffer’s remains were not identified and he was declared non-recoverable.

In 2017, History Flight, Inc., a non-profit organization, through a partnership with DPAA, uncovered a series of coffin burials from Cemetery #33, which were subsequently accessioned into the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

To identify Shaffer’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
March 12
, 2019

Navy Seaman 1st Class Joseph K. Maule. 18

Navy Seaman 1st Class Joseph K. Maule, 18, born in Bloomfield, Nebraska, was accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Maule was assigned to the battleship 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 Maule.

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 Maule.

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 Punchbowl for analysis.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing From World War II Accounted For
March 11
, 2019

Army Pfc. William F. Delaney, 24

Army Pfc. William F. Delaney, 24, of Kingston, Tennessee, killed during World War II, was accounted for.

On Nov. 22, 1944, Delaney served with Company A, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, when his battalion launched a massive firing demonstration against a large pocket of German defenders near the town of Grosshau, in the Hürtgen Forest in Germany. During the battle, an enemy artillery shell struck Delaney’s foxhole, and he died before he could be medically evacuated. Due to ongoing combat operations, his remains were not recovered at that time.

Following the close of hostilities in Europe in 1945, Delaney was among the hundreds of soldiers still missing from combat in the Hürtgen Forest. Between 1947 and 1950, American Graves Registration Command (AGRC) investigative teams traveled to Grosshau to search for Delaney’s remains. Various graves registration units recovered dozens of unidentified remains from the Hürtgen Forest. Those that could not be identified were designated as Unknowns. In December 1950, after all efforts to recover or identify his remains proved unsuccessful, the War Department declared him non-recoverable.

In 1947, a set of remains was recovered by the AGRC from District #135, a section of the forest west of Grosshau. According to records, local citizen Siegfried Glassen first discovered the remains and concluded they were of an American soldier who had been killed by artillery fire. The remains were sent to the AGRC central identification point in Neuville Belgium. After efforts to identify the remains were unsuccessful, the remains, designated X-5425 Neuville, were declared unidentifiable and interred at Neuville (today’s Ardennes American Cemetery.)

Following thorough analysis of military records and AGRC documentation by DPAA historians and scientists, which suggested a likely association between X-5425 Neuville and Delany, the remains were disinterred in June 2017 and the remains were sent to DPAA for analysis.

To identify Delaney’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
March 11
, 2019

Navy Fireman 3rd Class Willard I. Lawson, 25

Navy Fireman 3rd Class Willard I. Lawson, 25, of Butler County, Ohio, killed during World War II, was accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Lawson was assigned to the battleship 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 Lawson.

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 Lawson.

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 Punchbowl for analysis.

To identify Lawson’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

 

 

 

 

 

Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
March 7
, 2019

Navy Reserve Seaman 2nd Class Deward W. Duncan, Jr., 19

Navy Reserve Seaman 2nd Class Deward W. Duncan, Jr., 19, of Monroe, Georgia, killed during World War II, was accounted for.

In January 1944, Duncan was assigned to Aviation, Construction, Ordnance, Repair, Navy Fourteen, Standard Landing Craft Unit 4, when a Japanese air raid on Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands, dropped a bomb near his tent. Duncan was killed January 12, 1944 and was reportedly buried the same day in Cemetery #33.

In 1946, the 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company (604th GRC) centralized all of the American remains found on Tarawa to Lone Palm Cemetery for later repatriation; however, almost half of the known casualties were never found. Duncan’s remains were among those not recovered. On Feb. 28, 1949, a military review board declared Duncan’s remains non-recoverable.

In 2017, History Flight, Inc., notified DPAA that they discovered a burial site on Betio Island and recovered the remains of what they believed to be missing American service members who had been buried in Cemetery #33. The remains were turned over to DPAA in 2018.

To identify Duncan’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.

DPAA is grateful to History Flight, Inc., for their partnership in this mission.

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. Currently there are 72,741 service members (approximately 26,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable) still unaccounted for from World War II. Duncan’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with the others killed or lost in WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing During the Korean War.
March 7, 2019

Army Cpl. John G. Krebs, 19

Army Cpl. John G. Krebs, 19, of Sterling, Illinois, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for.

On July 11, 1950, Krebs was a member of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, engaged in combat operations against the North Korean People’s Army south of Chonui, South Korea, when he was declared missing in action.

In February 1951, the American Graves Registration Services recovered five sets of remains from northwest of Chonui in the village of Kujong-ni. Two sets of remains were identified; the other three were unidentifiable and designated as Unknowns and buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, known as the Punchbowl.

In December 1953, Krebs was declared deceased.

In September 2018, Unknown X-491 Tanggok was disinterred from the Punchbowl and sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

To identify Krebs’ remains, scientists from DPAA used dental, anthropological and chest radiograph comparison analysis, as well as and circumstantial and material evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

Hope fades for Soldier Missing During the Korean War.
March 7, 2019

Army Leonard Jack Mathers, 19,

Army Leonard Jack Mathers, 19, Dunkirk, N.Y. was listed as missing in action during combat in North Korea on Nov. 28, 1950.
He went missing on Nov. 28, 1950, when his 25th Infantry Division unit was attacked north of Pyongyang. Eleven months later, his cousin was killed in action. 

More than 65 years ago, the Army sent it back to the Mathers' home in Dunkirk, where Kubera's mother, Antoinette Mathers, refused to open it.
The foot locker belonged to her son Leonard, best known as "Jack," and Antoinette prayed he would come home and open it himself. For years, it stayed locked as a testament of faith.

 

 

 

 

 

USS West Virginia Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
March 5
, 2019

Navy Fireman 1st Class Angelo M. Gabriele, 21

Navy Fireman 1st Class Angelo M. Gabriele, 21, of Trenton, New Jersey, killed during World War II, was accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Gabriele was assigned to the battleship USS West Virginia, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS West Virginia sustained multiple torpedo hits, but timely counter-flooding measures taken by the crew prevented it from capsizing, and it came to rest on the shallow harbor floor. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 106 crewmen, including Gabriele. 

During efforts to salvage the USS West Virginia, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crewmen, representing at least 66 individuals. Those who could not be identified, including Gabriele, were interred as unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. 

From June through October 2017, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, in cooperation with cemetery officials, disinterred 35 caskets, reported to be associated with the USS West Virginia, from the NMCP and transferred the remains to the laboratory for identification.

To identify Gabriele’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y-chromosome DNA (Y-STR) analysis. 

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
March 5
, 2019

Navy Ensign Charles M. Stern, Jr., 26

Navy Ensign Charles M. Stern, Jr., 26 Navy Ensign Charles M. Stern, Jr., 26, of Albany, New York, killed during World War II, was accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Stern was assigned to the battleship 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 Stern. 

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, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Stern.

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 Punchbowl for analysis.

To identify Stern’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used Y-chromosome DNA (Y-STR) analysis.

 

 

 

 

 

Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
March 5
, 2019

Navy Reserve Aviation Machinist’s Mate 1st Class John O. Morris, 22

Navy Reserve Aviation Machinist’s Mate 1st Class John O. Morris, 22, of Seattle, killed during World War II, was accounted for.

In late 1943, Morris was a member of Carrier Aircraft Service Unit (CASU) 17. In November 1943, American units 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. Following the battle, the majority of units withdrew from the island, leaving only the chaplains and a defense garrison, including a series of U.S. Navy Construction Battalion, Seabee, units. CASU 17 was among those stationed on the island.

On Dec. 16, 1943, Morris was killed during the test-firing of a machine gun. The weapon accidentally discharged, killing Morris. He was buried on the island, in Cemetery #33.

In the 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 Morris’ remains were not identified and he was declared non-recoverable.

In 2018, members of History Flight, Inc., a non-profit organization, uncovered a coffin burial in Cemetery #33 on Betio, and transferred the remains to DPAA.

To identify Morris’ remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
March 5
, 2019

Navy Seaman 1st Class Hale McKissack, 37

Navy Seaman 1st Class Hale McKissack, 37, of Talpa, Texas, killed during World War II, was accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, McKissack was assigned to the battleship 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 McKissack. 

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 McKissack.

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 Punchbowl for analysis.

To identify McKissack’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis. 

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Killed During the Korean War Accounted For
March 5, 2019

Army Master Sgt. Charlie J. Mares, 30,

Army Master Sgt. Charlie J. Mares, 30, of Waelder, Texas, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for.

In July 1950, Mares was a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, engaged in combat against the Korean People’s Army. Mares was reported missing in action following the battle, fought near Kwonbin-ni, South Korea, on July 31, 1950.

In May 1951, a set of remains located in the vicinity of where Mares was lost, arrived at the Central Identification Unit in Kokura, Japan. The remains, designated X-1273 Tanggok, could not be identified, and were transferred to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, where they were buried as an Unknown.

In October 2018, DPAA disinterred Unknown X-1273 from the Punchbowl, and sent the remains to the laboratory for analysis.

To identify Mares’ remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological and chest radiograph comparison analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.

DPAA is grateful to the Department of Veterans Affairs for their partnership in this mission.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
March 5
, 2019

Navy Fire Controlman 3rd Class Victor P. Tumlinson, 18

Navy Fire Controlman 3rd Class Victor P. Tumlinson, 18, Willacy, Texas killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, was accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Tumlinson 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 Tumlinson.

Fire Controlman Petty Officer Third Class Victor Patrick Tumlinson, who joined the U.S. Navy in Texas, was serving aboard the Oklahoma at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack. His remains could not be identified following the incident and he is still unaccounted-for. Today, Petty Officer Tumlinson is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

In 2015, DPAA disinterred remains from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

DPAA is grateful to the Department of Veterans Affairs for their partnership in this mission.

Tumlinson's name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Civilian Killed  From Vietnam War Accounted For
March 4
, 2019

Mr. Edward J. Weissenback, 29

Mr. Edward J. Weissenback, 29, of Richmond Hill, Queens, New York, killed during the Vietnam War, was accounted for.

On Dec. 27, 1971, Weissenback, an employee of Air America Incorporated, was a crewman aboard an Air America C-123K from Udorn Airfield, Kingdom of Thailand, headed for Xianghon District, Xaignabouli Province, Laos. The aircraft was on a routine resupply mission for U.S. Agency for International Development and was last heard from when they were northeast of Sayaboury. Laos. Search and rescue efforts were continued through Dec. 31, 1971, but no sign of the aircraft or the four crewmembers were found. Weissenback was subsequently reported missing. 

In October 1997, a Joint U.S./Lao People’s Democratic Republic (L.P.D.R.) team interviewed witnesses in Ban Donkeo, Houn District, Oudomxai Province. The individuals led the team to the crash site, approximately 400 meters north of the village. The team recovered various pieces of aircraft wreckage.

Edward accepting a job with Air America. He left for Laos two weeks after his wedding. He worked as an Air Freight Specialist (Kicker) until April 1969, when he returned to Redmond and smoke jumping for the summer. We then returned to SOC/SOU for each of us to finish up our last year of college. Edward jumped again at Redmond in 1970 and had a terrible accident when his parachute malfunctioned and he drifted into a large tree.

Subsequent field operations in December 2014 and May 2017 led investigators to additional witnesses and a possible burial site.

In October and November 2017, as well as July and August 2018, Joint U.S./L.P.D.R. recovery teams excavated the crash site, recovering possible human remains, personal effects, life support items and aircraft wreckage. The remains were accessioned to the DPAA laboratory for identification. On Sept. 25, 2018, the pilot, George L. Ritter, was accounted for. On Dec. 20, 2018, co-pilot Roy F. Townley was accounted for.

He spent the rest of that summer working at the base with a badly injured back, and he missed out on a great jump season.
Edward was recalled by Air America, got a doctor to sign off on his physical (taking the back brace off on his way into the doctor’s office), and we left for Laos in September 1970. Edward, unfortunately, became a civilian MIA when the plane on which he was working was shot down on December 27, 1971 over a section of northern Laos controlled by the Chinese, who were building a road across northern Laos near the Chinese border.

To identify Weissenback’s remains, DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.
DPAA is grateful to the government and the people of Laos for their partnership in this mission.

 

 

 

 

 

Civilian Killed  From Vietnam War Accounted For
March 4
, 2019

Mr. Roy F. Townley, 52

 Mr. Roy F. Townley, 52, of Ontario, California, killed during the Vietnam War, was accounted for.

On Dec. 27, 1971, Townley, an employee of Air America Incorporated, was co-piloting an Air America C-123K from Udorn Airfield, Kingdom of Thailand, headed for Xianghon District, Xaignabouli Province, Laos. The aircraft was on a routine resupply mission for U.S. Agency for International Development and was last heard from when they were northeast of Sayaboury. Laos. Search and rescue efforts were continued through Dec. 31, 1971, but no sign of the aircraft or the four crewmembers were found. Townley was subsequently reported missing. 

In October 1997, a Joint U.S./Lao People’s Democratic Republic (L.P.D.R.) team interviewed witnesses in Ban Donkeo, Houn District, Oudomxai Province. The individuals led the team to the crash site, approximately 400 meters north of the village. The team recovered various pieces of aircraft wreckage.

Subsequent field operations in December 2014 and May 2017 led investigators to additional witnesses and a possible burial site.

In October and November 2017, as well as July and August 2018, Joint U.S./L.P.D.R. recovery teams excavated the crash site, recovering possible human remains, personal effects, life support items and aircraft wreckage. The remains were accessioned to the DPAA laboratory for identification. On Sept. 25, 2018, the pilot, George L. Ritter, was accounted for. On Dec. 20, 2018, crewman Edward J. Weissenback was accounted for.

To identify Townley’s remains, DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
March 1
, 2019

Navy Fireman 1st Class Billy J. Johnson, 22

Navy Fireman 1st Class Billy J. Johnson, 22, Caney KY, killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, was accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Johnson 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 Johnson.

In 2015, DPAA disinterred remains from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

DPAA is grateful to the Department of Veterans Affairs for their partnership in this mission.

Johnson's name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Civilian Killed  From Vietnam War Accounted For
March 1
, 2019

Mr. George L. Ritter, 49

Mr. George L. Ritter, 49, of Philadelphia, killed during the Vietnam War, was accounted for.

On Dec. 27, 1971, Ritter, an employee of Air America Incorporated, was piloting an Air America C-123K from Udorn Airfield, Kingdom of Thailand, headed for Xianghon District, Xaignabouli Province, Laos. The aircraft was on a routine resupply mission for U.S. Agency for International Development and was last heard from when they were northeast of Sayaboury. Laos. Search and rescue efforts were continued through Dec. 31, 1971, but no sign of the aircraft or the four crewmembers were found. Ritter was subsequently reported missing.

In October 1997, a Joint U.S./Lao People’s Democratic Republic (L.P.D.R.) team interviewed witnesses in Ban Donkeo, Houn District, Oudomxai Province. The individuals led the team to the crash site, approximately 400 meters north of the village. The team recovered various pieces of aircraft wreckage.

Subsequent field operations in December 2014 and May 2017 led investigators to additional witnesses and a possible burial site.

In October and November 2017, as well as July and August 2018, Joint U.S./L.P.D.R. recovery teams excavated the crash site, recovering possible human remains, personal effects, life support items and aircraft wreckage. The remains were accessioned to the DPAA laboratory for identification. On Dec. 20, 2018, co-pilot Roy F. Townley and crewman Edward J. Weissenback were accounted for.

Townley and Weissenback were known to have been captured alive. Records state that a Pathet Lao communication was intercepted in August 1972 stating that they had downed and captured all the crew.

To identify Ritter’s remains, DPAA used dental analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

Over 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S. Government since 1975. A Pentagon panel concluded in 1986 that there were at least 100 men still alive.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
February 28
, 2019

Navy Seaman 2nd Class David B. Edmonston, 22

Navy Seaman 2nd Class David B. Edmonston, 22, Portland, Oregon, killed during World War II, was accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Edmonston was assigned to the battleship 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 Edmonston.

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, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Edmonston.

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 Punchbowl for analysis.

To identify Edmonston’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor killed From World War II Accounted For
February 26
, 2019

Navy Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class Archie T. Miles, 22

Navy Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class Archie T. Miles, 22, of Elmwood, Illinois, killed during World War II, was accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Miles was assigned to the battleship 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 Miles. 

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