RECENTLY FOUND HEROES

 

from ALL PAST WARS

 

 

HONOR THE DEAD BY HELPING THE LIVING”

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

"Returning with Honor"
March 03, 2017

KHAMMOUANE, Laos --

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Disappearance of two Madison airmen in 1953 remains a mystery

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

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

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

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 


 

 

USS Arizona BB-39

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

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

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

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma BB-37 

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

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

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

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

The upturned hull of USS Oklahoma can be seen in the bottom right corner of the photograph.

 

USS Oklahoma Memorial at Pearl Harbor

 

 

 

THE KOREAN WAR, 1950-1957

 

 

 

 

 

Service Personnel Not Recovered Following WWII from MICHIGAN - 2472
 

Service Personnel Not Recovered Following Korea from MICHIGAN - 342
 

Service Personnel Not Recovered Following Cold War from MICHIGAN - 4
 

Service Personnel Not Recovered Following Viet Nam from MICHIGAN - 49
 

 


 

RECENTLY FOUND
 HEROES in 2017

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
December 13, 2017

Navy Storekeeper 1st Class John W. Craig,

Navy Storekeeper 1st Class John W. Craig, killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Craig 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 Craig.

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

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

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Craig’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.

 

Currently there are 73,008 service members still unaccounted for from World War II.

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
December 13, 2017

Navy Mess Attendant 2nd Class Archie Callahan, Jr.

Navy Mess Attendant 2nd Class Archie Callahan, Jr., Newark, NJ,  killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Callahan 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 Callahan.

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

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

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Callahan’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 Captured in Korean War Accounted For
December 13, 2017

Army Sgt. 1st Class Milton M. Beed,

Army Sgt. 1st Class Milton M. Beed, captured during the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In February 1951, Beed was a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, supporting Republic of Korea Army attacks against units of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) in the village of Hoengsong, an area known as the Central Corridor in South Korea. After enduring sustained enemy attacks, the American units withdrew to Wonju, South Korea. It was during this withdrawal that Beed was reported missing, as of Feb. 12, 1951.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Beed’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with the others who are missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

Today, 7,675 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.

 

 

Airman Killed in World War II Accounted For
December 13, 2017

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Robert R. Keown,

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Robert R. Keown, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

On April 16, 1944, Keown was the pilot of one of four P-38s of the 36th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group, participating in a mission to escort a B-25 medium bomber on an aerial search near the mouth of the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea. Keown’s aircraft, alongside the other three aircraft on the escort mission, encountered heavy overcast conditions after charting their course home. After rerouting, they experienced heavy rain and turned toward the open ocean. Keown and his wingman became separated from the other aircraft. His last known location was listed as more than a mile north of Yalu Point. None of the four aircraft returned from the mission.

In 1999, the Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery turned over remains to the Central Identification Laboratory after receiving information from Mr. Soka Dodon and Mr. John Bonding.

DPAA is grateful to Mr. Soka Dodon, Mr. John Bonding, the Papua New Guinea Government and Pacific Wrecks, Inc., for their partnerships in this recovery.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
December 13, 2017

Navy Seaman 1st Class James C. Solomon, 23

Navy Seaman 1st Class James C. Solomon, 23, Hughes County Oklahoma, killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Solomon 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 Solomon.

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

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

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Solomon’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.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
December 8, 2017

Navy Seaman 2nd Class George J. Wilcox, Jr. 19

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a recently accounted-for U.S. serviceman from World War II are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Navy Seaman 2nd Class George J. Wilcox, Jr. 19, of Byram, Mississippi, will be buried December 16 in Evansville, Indiana. On Dec. 7, 1941, Wilcox 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 Wilcox.

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 Wilcox.

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 Wilcox’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) and Y-chromosome (Y-STR) DNA analysis, which matched his family, as well as circumstantial evidence and dental comparisons and anthropological analysis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Captured in Korean War Accounted For
December 8, 2017

Army Pfc. Albert E. Atkins, 20,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from the Korean War, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Pfc. Albert E. Atkins, 20, of Belvidere, New Jersey will be buried December 15 in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. On May 23, 1951, Atkins was a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team, when his unit was attacking enemy forces near Mae-Bong, South Korea. The regiment’s mission was to secure Hill 911, and as the company prepared to assault the hill, Atkins and two other soldiers from his company were reported missing in action.
Several returned American POWs reported that Lejeune had in fact been captured and died in a North Korean POW camp in February or March 1951.


On Sept. 17, 1966, two South Koreans provided information regarding three side-by-side graves in the vicinity of Kwandra-ri, South Korea. A U.S. Army Graves Registration team recovered the remains and sent them to the Central Identification Unit in Yokohama, Japan for analysis. Two of the remains were individually identified as members of Atkins’ company, but the third, X-6385, could not be identified and was interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

After a thorough historical and scientific analysis of information associated with X-6385 it was determined that the remains could likely be identified. After receipt of approval, the remains were disinterred from the NMCP on Nov. 1, 2005 and sent to the laboratory for analysis.

To identify Atkins’ remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, involving Next-Generation Sequencing, which matched his family, as well as dental and anthropological analysis, which matched his records, and circumstantial evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Captured in Korean War Accounted For
December 8, 2017

 

Army Sgt. Kermit J. Lejeune, 23,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from the Korean War, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Sgt. Kermit J. Lejeune, 23, of Church Point, Louisiana, will be buried December 14 in his hometown. In late November 1950, Lejeune was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, engaged in combat operations against the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) in the vicinity of Unsan County, North Pyongan County, North Korea. Lejeune was reported missing in action on Nov. 28, 1950.
Several returned American POWs reported that Lejeune had in fact been captured and died in a North Korean POW camp in February or March 1951.


Although the U.S. Army Graves Registration Service hoped to recover American remains that remained north of the Korean Demilitarized Zone after the war, administrative details between the United Nations Command and North Korea complicated recovery efforts. An agreement was made and in September and October 1954, in what was known as Operation Glory, remains were returned. However, Lejeune’s remains were not included, and he was declared non-recoverable. The remains that could not be identified were sent to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu to and were buried as Unknowns. One set of remains was designated Unknown X-14739.

After a thorough historical and scientific analysis of information associated with X-14739 it was determined that the remains could likely be identified. After receipt of approval, the remains were disinterred from the Punchbowl on Sept. 19, 2013 and sent to the Central Identification Laboratory (now DPAA) for analysis.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Killed in World War II Accounted For
December 6
, 2017

Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Albert Strange, 18,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Albert Strange, 18, of Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, will be buried December 13, in Cave City, Kentucky. In November 1943, Strange was assigned to 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, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated.
Strange died on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943.


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

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

In May 2017, DPAA, through a partnership with History Flight, Inc., returned to Betio to conduct excavations of osseous remains through various advanced investigative techniques. The remains were sent to DPAA for analysis.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
December 4, 2017

Navy Reserve Aviation Radioman 2nd Class Albert P. Rybarczyk, 21

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Navy Reserve Aviation Radioman 2nd Class Albert P. Rybarczyk, 21, of St. Joseph, Michigan, will be buried December 11 in his hometown. On Sept. 8, 1944, Rybarczyk was a member of the Navy Torpedo Squadron Eighteen (VT-18), USS Intrepid, on a bombing mission against Japanese positions on Babelthuap Island, Palau. As the aircraft reached the target area, the pilot began a dive near Bokerugeru Point and the crew released its 2,000-pound bomb. While attempting to pull out of the dive, the bomb hit an ammunition dump and exploded. The explosion tore the tail from the aircraft, causing it to crash off-shore. Rybarczyk was reported missing in action.

After combat operations in the area ceased, the American Graves Registration Service- Philippine Command travelled to Palau to investigate and attempt to recover missing service members. No record of the crash site was found.

In 2005, BentProp Project, a nonprofit NGO of volunteers who work with DPAA in the Republic of Palau, located a piece of the starboard wing of an aircraft near Bokerugeru Point. Subsequent investigations located the main body of the aircraft offshore.

In 2014, possible human remains were located within the main body of the aircraft, and sent to the Central Identification Laboratory for analysis.

In April 2015, a DPAA Underwater Recovery Team excavated the site and recovered additional remains and material evidence.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Killed in World War II Accounted For
December 1
, 2017

Marine Corps Reserve Pvt. Emil F. Ragucci,

Marine Corps Reserve Pvt. Emil F. Ragucci, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

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


In September 2013, through a partnership with History Flight, Inc., JPAC (a predecessor to DPAA) received remains from a burial site on Tarawa.

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

Interment services are pending; more information will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Ragucci's name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the Punchbowl along with the other MIAs from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Killed in World War II Accounted For
December 1
, 2017

Marine Corps Pfc. Lyle E. Charpilloz,

Marine Corps Pfc. Lyle E. Charpilloz, Medford, Oregon. killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

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


In May 2014, through a partnership with History Flight, Inc., DPAA received remains from a burial site on Tarawa. In October 2016, DPAA disinterred remains from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

DPAA is grateful to History Fight, Inc. and the Department of Veterans Affairs for their partnerships in this mission.

Interment services are pending; more information will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Charpilloz' name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the Punchbowl along with the other MIAs from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
December 1, 2017

Navy Fireman 1st Class Samuel W. Crowder, 35,

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

Navy Fireman 1st Class Samuel W. Crowder, 35, of Louisville, Kentucky will be buried December 9 in his hometown. On Dec. 7, 1941, Crowder 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 Crowder.

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 Crowder.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Killed in World War II Accounted For
December 1
, 2017

Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Sam J. Kourkos, 20,

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

Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Sam J. Kourkos, 20, of Independence, Kansas, will be buried December 9 in his hometown. In November 1943, Kourkos was assigned to Company M, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated.
Kourkos died sometime on the second day of battle, Nov. 21, 1943.


The battle of Tarawa was a huge victory for the U.S. military because the Gilbert Islands provided the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet a platform from which to launch assaults on the Marshall and Caroline Islands to advance their Central Pacific Campaign against Japan.

In the immediate aftermath of the fighting on Tarawa, U.S. service members who died in the battle were buried in a number of battlefield cemeteries on the island. In May 1946, the 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company of the American Graves Registration Services (AGRS) had recovered 532 sets of remains from burial sites across the Tarawa Atoll and interred them in Lone Palm Cemetery. The remains that could not be identified were designated as “Unknowns.”

In November 1946, the U.S. Army began disinterment to bring the remains to Oahu for identification at the Central Identification Laboratory. In 1949 and 1950, the remains that could not be identified were interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP – also known as the “Punchbowl”) in Honolulu.

In October 2016, due to recent advances in forensic technology, DPAA began the exhumation of unknown remains associated with Tarawa from NMCP and sent the remains to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

To identify Kourkos’ remains, scientists from DPAA examined circumstantial evidence and conducted laboratory analyses, including dental, anthropological and chest radiograph comparisons, which matched his records.

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Killed in World War II Accounted For
December 1
, 2017

Marine Corps Pvt. Archie W. Newell, 22,

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

Marine Corps Pvt. Archie W. Newell, 22, of Aberdeen, South Dakota, will be buried December 8, in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. In November 1943, Newell was assigned to Company C, 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated.
Newell was killed on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943.


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

In the immediate aftermath of the fighting on Tarawa, U.S. service members who died in the battle were buried in a number of battlefield cemeteries on the island. The 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted remains recovery operations on Betio between 1946 and 1947, but Newell’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, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

In October 2016, DPAA disinterred Tarawa Unknown X-044 from the Punchbowl and sent to the laboratory for analysis.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
November 29, 2017

Navy Radioman 3rd Class Howard W. Bean, 27,

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

Navy Radioman 3rd Class Howard W. Bean, 27, of Everett, Massachusetts, will be buried December 6 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. On Dec. 7, 1941, Bean 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 Bean. 

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 Bean.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Killed in World War II Accounted For
November 29, 2017

Marine Corps Pfc. Donald R. Tolson, 20,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Marine Corps Pfc. Donald R. Tolson, 20, of Bakersfield, California, will be buried December 2, in Kansas City, Missouri In November 1943, Tolson was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated.
Tolson was killed on the first day of battle, Nov. 20, 1943.


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

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

From February to July 2017, DPAA, through a partnership with History Flight, Inc., returned to Betio to conduct excavations of osseous remains through various advanced investigative techniques. The remains were sent to DPAA for analysis.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Killed in World War II Accounted For
November 29, 2017

Marine Corps Reserve 1st Sgt. David H. Quinn, 24

Marine Corps Reserve 1st Sgt. David H. Quinn, 24,  Hillsborough County, New Hampshire killed during World War II, has now been accounted for. 

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


In October 2016, Quinn was disinterred from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

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

Interment services are pending; more information will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Quinn's name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the Punchbowl along with the other MIAs from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

Airman Killed in World War II Accounted For
November 28, 2017

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Robert L. Mains, 27,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Robert L. Mains, 27, of Rochester, New York, will be buried December 2 in Wading River, New York. In the spring of 1945, as the war in Europe drew to a close, Allied forces launched a series of aerial attacks to cripple what remained of the German air force. Mains, who was a member of the 714th Bombardment Squadron, 448th Bombardment Group, 2nd Bombardment Division, was a pilot on an attack mission on April 4, 1945, as one of more than 400 bombers to attack airbases at Parchim, Perleberg and Wesendorf, Germany. Mains’ aircraft, which held ten airmen, was attacked by enemy fighter planes in the vicinity of Hamburg. 

Following the attack, the aircraft exploded and crashed, leaving only one survivor, who was subsequently captured after he parachuted into the town of Ludwigslust. Personal effects of eight of the nine missing crewmembers were found and identified by the surviving airman. 

On August 15, 1997, a Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (now DPAA) investigative team travelled to Ludwigslust to locate a possible crash site. A local helped the team analyze a 1948 site sketch and align it with present-day landmarks. With this information, the team found aircraft wreckage. 

In 2014 and 2015, multiple recovery teams excavated the site, finding osseous material. The remains were sent to DPAA for analysis. 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sailor Killed in World War II Accounted For
November 22, 2017

Army Pvt. Shirley E. Bailey, 19,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Pvt. Shirley E. Bailey, 19, of Charleston, West Virginia, will be buried Dec. 1 in Dunbar, West Virginia. His loss took place in the Hürtgen Forest of Germany in 1944. Fighting in the forest, an area comprising of roughly 50-square miles along the Belgian-German border, lasted from September 1944 to February 1945. Bailey, who was a medic with Company G, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, participated in his unit’s efforts to seize northern parts of the Hürtgen Forest. Bailey provided medical support to dozens of casualties during the battle. On November 29, 1944, when Bailey’s battalion was moving out, a German counterattack struck his company.
Bailey rushed forward to aid a wounded man and was himself killed by enemy fire.


Due to the ongoing fighting, Bailey’s remains were not recovered by members of his unit during the battle. After the war, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC) collected hundreds of unknown sets of remains from battlefields in Germany, and labeled each set with an X-number. One set of remains, designated X-4734 Neuville, had been recovered from an isolated grave near Schlich, Germany, in December 1946. Medical technicians were unable to identify them in the 1940s and the remains were buried in the Ardennes American Cemetery, Neuville-en-Condroz, Belgium, as an unknown soldier. 

In October 2016, DPAA researchers made a historical association between X-4734 Neuville and Bailey, based on the recovery site of the remains and his location of loss. On June 26, 2017, X-4734 was disinterred and sent to the DPAA laboratory at Offut Air Force Base, Nebraska.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
November 21, 2017

Navy Reserve Radioman 2nd Class Julius H.O. Pieper, 19

Navy Reserve Radioman 2nd Class Julius H.O. Pieper, 19, Creston, Nebraska, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for. 

On June 19, 1944, Pieper was a member of Landing Ship Tank Number 523 (LST-523), off the coast of Normandy, France. The ship exploded and sank after striking an underwater mine, killing Pieper. In the years following the incident, his remains were not recovered or identified. Pieper's twin brother, Radioman 2nd Class Ludwig J. Pieper, was also killed in the attack, but his remains were recovered after the incident and buried at the Normandy American Cemetery in France. 

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

DPAA is grateful to the French salvage divers and the American Battle Monuments Commission for their partnership in this recovery.

Pieper's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the ArdennesAmerican Cemetery in France, an American Battle Monuments Commission site.
A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing From Korean War Accounted For
November 20
, 2017

Army Sgt. Ollie E. Shepard, 22

Army Sgt. Ollie E. Shepard, 22, Oklahoma, missing from the Korean War, has now been accounted for. 

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

Interment services at pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Shepard’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Honolulu, along with the others who are missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

Airmen Missing From World War II Accounted For
November 17, 2017

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Donald E. Underwood, 23,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Donald E. Underwood, 23, of River Rouge, Michigan, will be honored next to his mother’s grave in Flat Rock, Michigan, November 25, followed by a burial at Arlington National Cemetery, in Washington, D.C., November 28. On Jan. 21, 1944, Underwood was a member of the 38th Bombardment Squadron, (Heavy), 30th Bombardment Group, stationed at Hawkins Field, Helen Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands, when his B-24J bomber crashed shortly after take-off. 

Following the crash, the squadron’s physician recovered the remains of six individuals and interred them in the Main Marine Cemetery No. 33 on Betio Island. 

Following the war, the U.S. Army’s 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted remains recovery operations on Betio between 1946 and 1947. Using 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 crew on the B-24J bomber were believed to be among those moved, however Underwood’s remains were not identified and he was declared non-recoverable.

In May 2017, DPAA, through a partnership with History Flight, Inc., returned to Betio to conduct excavations of osseous remains. The remains were sent to DPAA for analysis.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Killed From World War II Accounted For
November 14, 2017

Marine Corps Sgt. William D. Ball, Jr., 21,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Marine Corps Sgt. William D. Ball, Jr., 21, of Hollywood, California, will be buried on the 74th anniversary of his death, November 21, in Arvin, California. In November 1943, Ball was a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, which participated in a 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. Ball was wounded on the first day of battle, Nov. 20, 1043, and was identified for evacuation to the USS J. Franklin Bell for treatment. Ball never made it to the ship and his status was adjusted from wounded in action to missing in action as of Nov. 21, 1943.

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

In the immediate aftermath of the fighting on Tarawa, U.S. service members who died in the battle were buried in a number of battlefield cemeteries on the island. The 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted remains recovery operations on Betio between 1946 and 1947, but Ball’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, also known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. One set of remains was identified as “Unknown X-089.”

In 2016, DPAA disinterred Tarawa Unknown X-089 from the Punchbowl and sent the remains to the laboratory for analysis.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Homer A. Spence, 22,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Homer A. Spence, 22, of Manteca, California, will be buried November 18 in his hometown. On July 20, 1944, Spence was a member of the 96th Fighter Squadron, 82nd Fighter Group, as a pilot of a P-38J aircraft, escorting bomber aircraft on a mission targeting Memmingen Airdrome in Germany. During the return flight, his aircraft entered a deep dive into the clouds and was not seen or heard from again. At the time of his loss, Austria and northern Italy were still under enemy control, precluding any immediate search to locate his crash site. 

In September 2010, personnel from the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO- a predecessor to DPAA) were contacted by a private researcher who found aircraft wreckage of what he believed to be a P-38, at a site on Heidenberg Mountain near Bruneck, Italy. Research and exclusionary analysis indicated that Spence’s aircraft was the only known aircraft of that type lost in the summer of 1944 within 50 kilometers of the crash site.

In April 2012, a joint DPMO and Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC- a predecessor to DPAA) team investigated the crash site and identified a wide debris field of aircraft wreckage. 

In September 2015 and September and October 2016, recovery teams returned to the crash site and excavated the surrounding areas, recovering osseous remains and personal equipment. The remains were subsequently sent to DPAA for analysis.

In July and August 2017, through a partnership with Archaeological and Historical Conservancy, Incorporated (ACH), additional remains and evidence were recovered.

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

 

 

 

 

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

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. William H. Harth, Jr.

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. William H. Harth, Jr., Columbia, South Carolina, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

In the summer of 1943, Harth was a bombardier assigned to the 329th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 93rd Bombardment Group (Heavy), which was known as “The Traveling Circus.” He served on a B-24D aircraft, nicknamed “Hell’s Angels,” when he was participating in a historic mission, which was the first large-scale, low-altitude attack by U.S. heavy bomber aircraft on Ploesti, Romania, code-named Operation TIDAL WAVE. On Aug. 1, 1943, as Harth’s aircraft approached Ploesti, it was hit by German anti-aircraft fire. Harth was killed when the aircraft crashed.

 Bill Harth, Jr. Reported Missing Lieut. William H. Harth, Jr., '42E, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Flarth, Sr., has been reported miss ing in action in the Middle East theater of operations since August 1, according to a telegram received from the war department by his parents this week. ' It is believed that Lieutenant Harth was stationed in Cairo, Egypt, although his parents are not certain. On August 1 the Ru manian oil -fields were raided and 20 planes were reported missing after that action. It is possible that I.ieutenant H-arth's was one of these. Lieutenant Harth, who enUsted in the army a year and a half ago, re ceived his commission as a bombar dier October 10, 1942. 

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
November 13, 2017

Navy Fireman 2nd Class Martin A. Gara,

Navy Fireman 2nd Class Martin A. Gara,  Albuquerque, New Mexico, killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Gara 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 Gara. 

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

DPAA is appreciative to the Department of Veteran's Affairs for their partnership in this mission.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Killed From World War II Accounted For
November 9, 2017

Marine Corps Reserve Assistant Cook Frank L. Masoni, 21

 

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Marine Corps Reserve Assistant Cook Frank L. Masoni, 21, of Gilroy, California, will be buried November 18 in his hometown. In November 1943, Masoni was assigned to Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Masoni died on the second day of the battle, Nov. 21, 1943.

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

In the immediate aftermath of the fighting on Tarawa, U.S. service members who died in the battle were buried in a number of battlefield cemeteries on the island. The 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted remains recovery operations on Betio between 1946 and 1947, but Masoni’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, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

In October 2016, DPAA disinterred Tarawa Unknown X-210 from the Punchbowl and sent the remains to the laboratory for analysis.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

Marine Corps Pvt. Vernon P. Keaton, 18,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Marine Corps Pvt. Vernon P. Keaton, 18, of Lubbock, Texas, will be buried November 16 in Lula, Oklahoma. On Dec. 7, 1941, Keaton 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 Keaton. 

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 Keaton.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Killed From World War II Accounted For
November 9, 2017

Marine Corps Cpl. Anthony G. Guerriero, 22,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Marine Corps Cpl. Anthony G. Guerriero, 22, of Boston, will be buried November 14 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. In November 1943, Guerriero was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Guerriero died on the second day of battle, Nov. 21, 1943. 

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

In the immediate aftermath of the fighting on Tarawa, U.S. service members who died in the battle were buried in a number of battlefield cemeteries on the island. The 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted remains recovery operations on Betio between 1946 and 1947, but Guerriero’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, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

In October 2016, DPAA disinterred Tarawa Unknown X-049 from the Punchbowl and sent the remains to the laboratory for analysis.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Captured Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
November 9
, 2017

 

Army Sgt. Gerald J. Mueller, 20,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from the Korean War, was returned to his family and buried with full military honors.

Army Sgt. Gerald J. Mueller, 20, of Saint Paul, Minnesota, buried November 8 in Fort Snelling, Minnesota. In February 1951, Mueller was a member of Battery D, 82nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion (Automatic Weapons,) 2nd Infantry Division, which was part of a group known as Support Force 21 (SF21,) providing artillery support for the Republic of Korea Army (ROKA) against the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF.) On Feb. 11, 1941, while the ROKA was making an attack north toward Hongch’on, the CPVF launched a massive counter-offensive. Unable to withstand the numbers, the ROKA withdrew south, leaving Mueller’s battery and the rest of SF21 behind to fight cut off from other friendly units. The following day, SF21 began movement south, fighting through ambushes and roadblocks, eventually making it to Wonju. Mueller, who could not be accounted for, was declared missing in action as of Feb. 13, 1951.

A returning American prisoner of war reported that Mueller had been captured and marched to Suan Bean Camp. Reportedly, he was left behind when other prisoners were marched to Camp 1 in April 1951. A list provided by the CPVF and Korean People’s Army (KPA,) reported Mueller died while in their custody. 

Between 1990 and 1994, North Korea returned 208 boxes of commingled human remains to the United States, which we determined to contain the remains of at least 400 U.S. servicemen who fought during the war. On In May 1992, they turned over remains from an area associated with the Suan Bean Camp.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing From Korean War Accounted For
November 8
, 2017

Army Cpl. Donald L. Baer, 20,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from the Korean War, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Cpl. Donald L. Baer, 20, of Racine, Wisconsin, will be buried November 11 in his hometown. In July 1950, Baer was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, engaged in combat operations against forces of the North Korean Army in and around the city of Taejon (now Daejon), South Korea. On July 19, 1950, the North Koreans initiated a large-scale attack on the city in an attempt to destroy U.S. forces. Following the battle, Baer could not be accounted for and was declared missing in action as of July 20, 1950.

In June and July 1952, the 392nd Quartermaster Graves Registration Company (GRC) conducted searches of the area associated with the Division’s battles. The remains that were recovered from the battlefield were sent to the Central Identification Unit in Kokura, Japan for identification efforts. No remains were associated with Baer. Additionally, no repatriated American POWs reported that Baer had been captured with another prisoner of war. Based on the lack of information regarding his status, the U.S. Army declared him deceased on Dec. 31, 1953. 

In February 1951, the 565th GRC recovered five sets of U.S. remains while conducting recovery efforts in the vicinity of Kujong-ni, South Korea. One set of remains was identified and the rest were designated as Unknowns, including “Unknown X-452.” In May 1955 it was determined the remains were “unidentifiable” and were transferred to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii, known as the “Punchbowl.”

After a thorough historical and scientific analysis of information associated with X-452, it was determined that the remains could likely be identified. After receipt of approval, the remains were disinterred from the Punchbowl on Aug. 14, 2017, and sent to DPAA for analysis.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier killed in Korean War Accounted For
November 8, 2017

 

Army Sgt. 1st Class Richard G. Cushman, 18,

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

Army Sgt. 1st Class Richard G. Cushman, 18, of Springville, Utah, will be buried November 11 in Cypress, California. In late November 1950, Cushman was assigned to Company A, 72nd Medium tank Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, on the western side of the Korean Peninsula, when the Division encountered waves of attacks by the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF.) The attack caused the Division to withdraw to the village of Kunu-ri. While in the village, a task force comprised of Cushman’s company and an infantry platoon were ordered to destroy a roadblock and eliminate enemy troops. The CPVF overwhelmingly attacked the unit and by the end of battle, Cushman could not be accounted for. He was reported missing in action as of Dec. 5, 1950.

Following the war, no lists provided by the CPVF or Korean People’s Army (KPA) listed Cushman as a prisoner of war, however two returning American prisoners reported that Cushman had died while being held by the CPVF. Based on this information, the U.S. Army declared him deceased as of March 31, 1951.

In July and August 2002, a joint U.S. and KPA recovery team conducted a Joint Recovery Operation at a site, designated KN-0874, in Ung Bong Village, North Korea. Based on information provided by Korean witnesses, Mr. Man Hyon Ho, and Mr. Anh Il Chang, the site was excavated and possible human remains were recovered, along with personal effects and material evidence, all of which was sent to the DPAA laboratory for processing.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Killed From World War II Accounted For
November 8, 2017

Army Technician Fourth Grade Pete M. Counter, 24

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Technician Fourth Grade Pete M. Counter, 24, of Detroit, will be buried November 11 in Onaway, Michigan. On Dec. 5, 1942, Counter was a member of Company C, 126th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division, when he was killed during intense engagement with Japanese forces in the vicinity of Soputa-Sanananda Track in the Australian Territory of Papua (present-day Papua New Guinea.) He was reportedly buried in an isolated grave north of Soputa.

In February 1943, the remains of an unidentified American soldier, tentatively associated with the 32nd Infantry Division, were interred at the U.S. Temporary Cemetery #2 at Soputa. On April 6, 1943, the remains, designated “Unknown X-10” were reinterred at Temporary Cemetery #1 at Soputa, then interred at U.S. Armed Forces Finschhafen #2, and redesignated “Unknown X-171.” 

In 1947, the American Graves Registration service exhumed approximately 11,000 graves, including X-171, which was redesignated to X-2693, and shipped the remains to the Central Identification Point at the Manila Mausoleum in the Philippines. X-2693 could not be identified and were interred at Fort McKinley (now the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial.)

In November 2016, DPAA received authorization to reexamine the remains from the MACM. Unknown X-2693 was disinterred Nov. 4, 2016 and sent to the laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska for analysis.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Killed From World War II Accounted For
November 8, 2017

Army Sgt. Richard G. Sowell, 21,

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

Army Sgt. Richard G. Sowell, 21, of West Palm Beach, Florida, will be buried November 10 in his hometown. In July 1944, Sowell was a member of 295th Joint Assault Signal Company, Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 106th Infantry, when American forces participated in the battle for the island Saipan, part of a larger operation to secure the Mariana Islands. Sowell, a spotter for the signal company, was last known to be in the vicinity of Hill 721 on the island of Saipan, which was under heavy attack by the Japanese on July 6-7, 1944. On the morning of July 7, the commanding officer of 106th Infantry reported that Sowell was killed in action.

In 1947 and 1948, the American Graves Registration Service Search and Recovery teams covered the island in search of missing Americans, though Sowell was not found. In June 1949, an ordnance officer with the U.S. Army Garrison Force on Saipan discovered remains in a foxhole, believed to be those of an American service member. The remains were transported to the Army-Navy mortuary on Saipan and were transferred to the Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii, where they were designated “Unknown X-29 Saipan. Due to insufficient evidence, the remains could not be identified and were interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. 

After a thorough historical and scientific analysis, it was determined that X-29 could likely be identified. After receiving approval, on August 20, 2015, Unknown X-29 was disinterred and sent to the laboratory for analysis.

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

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
November 8, 2017

Navy Steward’s Mate 1st Class Cyril I. Dusset, 21,

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

Navy Steward’s Mate 1st Class Cyril I. Dusset, 21, of New Orleans, Louisiana, will be buried November 9 in Slidell, Louisiana On Dec. 7, 1941, Dusset 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 Dusset.

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 Dusset.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Captured Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
November 8
, 2017

Army Sgt. 1st Class Harry E. Harkness, 23

Army Sgt. 1st Class Harry E. Harkness,23, Washington, Rhode Island, captured during the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

On In November 1950, Harkness was a member of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, participating in combat actions against the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) in the vicinity of Unsan, North Korea. Harkness was reported missing in action as of Nov. 2, 1950 when he could not be accounted for by his unit.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Navy Seaman 1st Class Edward F. Slapikas, 26

Navy Seaman 1st Class Edward F. Slapikas, Nanticoke, 26, Pennsylvania killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Slapikas 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 Slapikas. 

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

DPAA is appreciative to the Department of Veteran's Affairs for their partnership in this mission.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Marine From Korean War Accounted For
October 26, 2017

Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Donald E. Eichschlag,

Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Donald E. Eichschlag, killed during the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In late November, 1950, Eichschlag was a member of Company D, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force fighting against repeated Chinese Communist Forces (CCF) assaults in the area surrounding Yudam-ni, North Korea. Eichschlag was reported to be killed in action on Nov. 28, 1950 during the fight over Hill 1250. When the Marines began a movement to regroup south at Hagaru-ri, search and recovery operations in the area were not possible.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing From Korean War Accounted For
October 25, 2017

Army Pfc. Richard A. Lucas, 17,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from the Korean War, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Pfc. Richard A. Lucas, 17, of Monmouth, New Jersey, will be buried November 2 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. In late November 1950, Lucas was a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, which was located in defensive positions in the area of the Chongchon River, northeast of Kujang, North Korea. The unit was tasked with engaging enemy forces in the area, then move north past the main line of resistance. On Nov. 25, 1950, enemy forces launched a large-scale attack against the regiment. Intense fighting isolated the battalion from the rest of the regiment. As the battalion accounted for its personnel, Lucas was reported missing in action as of Nov. 26, 1950, near Kunu-ri, North Korea.

During the war, Lucas was not listed on any Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) or [North] Korean People’s Army (KPA) Prisoners of War (POWs) lists. Additionally, no returning American prisoners in 1953 provided any information on the status of Lucas, outside of an unconfirmed report of a “Luccas” of the 9th Infantry Regiment, who died in March 1951. Based on that information, the U.S. Army declared him deceased as of Dec. 31, 1953. Later, another returned prisoner of war recalled a Richard Lucas who died en route to Pukchin-Tarigol. 

In August and September 2002, a joint U.S. and KPA recovery team conducted a Joint Recovery Operation at a site in Unsan County, North Pyongan Province, North Korea, which was reported by a local national to be a temporary prison camp. Remains were recovered and accessioned to the DPAA laboratory on Sept. 27, 2002.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Captured Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
October 24, 2017

 

Army Pfc. Walter C. Hackenberg, 22,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from the Korean War, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Pfc. Walter C. Hackenberg, 22, of Snyder County, Pennsylvania, will be buried November 2 in the Middleburg, Pennsylvania. In late April 1951, Hackenberg was a member of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, along a defensive line west of Chorw’on, South Korea, when his unit was attacked by the Chinese People’s Volunteer Force (CPVF) and Korean People’s Army (KPA.) American troops were able to hold the lines, and when the attacks subsided, a patrol went to determine possible enemy river-crossing points. Enemy forces engaged the patrol with mortars and small arms fire, forcing the patrol to withdraw. Hackenberg could not be accounted for at the end of the battle, and he was declared missing in action as of April 25, 1951.

Following the war, several returning American prisoners of war reported that Hackenberg had been captured by the CPVF and died in the summer of 1951 while being held at a prisoner of war camp. Based on this information, the U.S. Army declared him deceased as of Sept. 9, 1951.

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

On Sept. 7, 1954, a set of remains reportedly recovered from a prisoner of war cemetery at Camp 1 and 3, Changsong, North Korea, were sent to the Central Identification Unit in Kokura, Japan, for attempted identification. The set of remains was designated “X-14266” and was transferred to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu and interred as a Korean War Unknown. 

After a thorough historical and scientific analysis, it was determined that X-14266 could likely be identified. After receiving approval, X-14266 was disinterred on June 13, 2016, and sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
October 24
, 2017

Navy Shopfitter 3rd Class Francis L. Hannon,

Navy Shopfitter 3rd Class Francis L. Hannon, Middletown, Ind.  killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Hannon 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 Hannon. 

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Killed From World War II Accounted For
October 20
, 2017

Marine Corps Pfc. Arnold J. Harrison,

Marine Corps Pfc. Arnold J. Harrison, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

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

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

Harrison’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the NCMP, an American Battle Monuments Commission cemetery, 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Captured Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
October 20, 2017

Army Sgt. 1st Class Lester R. Walker, 19

Army Sgt. 1st Class Lester R. Walker, 19, Concordia, Louisiana, captured during the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

On Sept. 3, 1950, Walker was a member of Battery B, 82nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, when he was declared missing in action in the vicinity of Changnyeong, South Korea, while attached to Task Force Haynes. Based on a lack of information concerning his status, the U.S. Army declared him deceased and his remains non-recoverable.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Captured Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
October 19, 2017

 

Army Sgt. Philip J. Iyotte, 21,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from the Korean War, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

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

Following the war, several returning American prisoners of war reported that Iyotte died sometime around Sept. 10, 1951 and was buried at the main camp. 

Although the U.S. Army Graves Registration Service planned to recover American remains that remained north of the Korean Demilitarized Zone after the war, administrative details between the United Nations Command and North Korea complicated recovery efforts. An agreement was made and in September and October 1954, in what was known as Operation Glory, remains were returned. However, Iyotte’s remains were not included and he was declared non-recoverable. A set of remains marked as “Smith, Paul R.” and labeled Unknown X-14265 were processed for identification, but an association could not be made and they were returned to the United States for burial.

After a thorough historical and scientific analysis, DPAA requested the exhumation of 22 unresolved individuals, including Iyotte. Unknown X-14265 was disinterred from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, on May 8, 2017 and sent to the laboratory for analysis.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Navy Signalman 3rd Class Charles E. Nix,

Navy Signalman 3rd Class Charles E. Nix, Danville, Ill. killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Nix 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 Nix. 

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Killed From World War II Accounted For
October 17
, 2017

Marine Corps Reserve Cpl. Raymond A. Barker, 20

Marine Corps Reserve Cpl. Raymond A. Barker, 20, Walworth County, Wisconsin, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

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

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

Barker’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the NCMP, an American Battle Monuments Commission cemetery, 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Killed From World War II Accounted For
October 17
, 2017

Marine Corps Pvt. Edwin W. Jordan,

Marine Corps Pvt. Edwin W. Jordan, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

In November 1943, Jordan was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th 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. Jordan died on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

Jordan’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the NCMP, an American Battle Monuments Commission cemetery, 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Killed From World War II Accounted For
October 17
, 2017

Marine Corps Pfc. Francis E. Drake, 21

Marine Corps Pfc. Francis E. Drake, 21, Springfield, Massachusetts, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

On October 9, 1942, Drake was a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, participating in a main offensive action in the Battle of Guadalcanal. After nearly two months of battle, the regiment completed their action, however Morrissey was killed in action. Two other Marines from Morrissey’s battalion were reportedly interred in graves atop Hill 73, alongside him.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

DPAA is grateful to Mr. Yorick Tokuru, Mr. John Innes, Mr. Ewan Stevenson and the Solomon Islands government and police force for their assistance in this recovery.

Drake's name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the NCMP, an American Battle Monuments Commission cemetery, 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Killed From World War II Accounted For
October 17
, 2017

Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Albert Strange,

Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Albert Strange, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

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

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

Strange's name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the NCMP, an American Battle Monuments Commission cemetery, 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Killed From World War II Accounted For
October 17
, 2017

Marine Corps Cpl. John V. McNichol, 18

Marine Corps Cpl. John V. McNichol, 18, Altoona, Pennsylvania, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

In November 1943, McNichol was assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th 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. McNichol died on the second day of the battle, Nov. 21, 1943.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

McNichol’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the NCMP, an American Battle Monuments Commission cemetery, 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Killed From World War II Accounted For
October 17
, 2017

Marine Corps Sgt. Elden W. Grimm, 26

Marine Corps Sgt. Elden W. Grimm, 26, Menasha, Wisconsin, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

In November 1943, Grimm was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 18th Marines, 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. Grimm died on Nov. 25, 1943.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

Grimm’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the NCMP, an American Battle Monuments Commission cemetery, 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Killed From World War II Accounted For
October 17
, 2017

Marine Corps Pfc. Donald R. Tolson,

Marine Corps Pfc. Donald R. Tolson, California, Killed during the battle of Tarawa in World War II, has now been accounted for. 

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

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
October 12
, 2017

Navy Seaman 2nd Class Harold L. Head, 20

Navy Seaman 2nd Class Harold L. Head, 20, Browning, Linn County, Missouri,  killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Head 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 Head. 

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sailor Killed From World War II Accounted For
October 12
, 2017

Navy Reserve Pharmacist’s Mate 2nd Class Thomas J. Murphy,

Navy Reserve Pharmacist’s Mate 2nd Class Thomas J. Murphy, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

In November 1943, Murphy was assigned to Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 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. Murphy was killed on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

Murphy’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the NCMP, an American Battle Monuments Commission cemetery, 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Missing From World War II Accounted For
October 11
, 2017

Marine Cpl. Walter G. Critchley, 24,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Marine Cpl. Walter G. Critchley, 24, of Norwich, New York, will be buried October 18 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. In November 1943, Critchley was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Critchley died on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943.

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

In the immediate aftermath of the fighting on Tarawa, U.S. service members who died in the battle were buried in a number of battlefield cemeteries on the island. In 1946 and 1947, the 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted remains recovery operations on Betio Island, but Critchley’s remains were not recovered. On Feb. 10, 1949, a military review board declared Critchley’s remains non-recoverable.

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

To identify Critchley’s remains, scientists from DPAA used circumstantial evidence and laboratory analysis, to include dental comparisons and anthropological analysis, which matched Critchley’s records.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Airmen Missing From World War II Accounted For
October 11
, 2017

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. George W. Betchley, 20,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. George W. Betchley, 20, of Yonkers, New York, will be buried October 14 in Clearwater, Florida. On March 22, 1945, Betchley was a member of the 429th Bombardment Squadron, 2nd Bombardment Group, 15th Air Force, serving as a navigator on a B-17G Flying Fortress, carrying a crew of ten on a bombing mission targeting the Ruhland oil refinery near Schwarzheide, Germany. The aircraft crashed in southwest Poland after two of its engines and the left wing were reportedly damaged by German anti-aircraft fire, and German fighters. The pilot and several crewmembers parachuted out, but only the pilot and co-pilot survived. The other eight crewmembers were not recovered following the crash. Betchley was declared missing in action as of March 22, 1945, but his status was later amended to killed in action.

On April 8, 1948, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC) personnel recovered personal equipment and a set of remains, later designated as “Unknown X-7547 Neuville,” from Janowek Village Cemetery, near Glinica, Poland. The remains could not be identified and were interred as Unknown X-7547 at the United States Military Cemetery Neuville-en-Condroz, Belgium in September 1949.

In April 1948, an AGRC team investigated a crash site associated with Betchley’s aircraft. Local authorities took the team to the crash site where equipment was found in the wreckage which had serial numbers correlating with weapons used on the B-17G Flying Fortress.

After a thorough historical and scientific analysis, it was determined that X-7547 could likely be identified. After receiving approval, on July 7, 2016, Unknown X-7547 was disinterred from Neuville and sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

Navy Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class Don O. Neher, 28,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Navy Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class Don O. Neher, 28, of Kansas City, Missouri, will be buried October 16 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. On Dec. 7, 1941, Neher 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 Neher.

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 Neher.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Captured Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
October 10, 2017

Army Sgt. Kermit J. Lejeune,

 

Army Sgt. Kermit J. Lejeune, Acadia Parish Louisiana, captured during the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In late November 1950, Lejeune was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, engaged in combat operations against the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) in the vicinity of Unsan County, North Pyongan County, North Korea. Lejeune was reported missing in action on Nov. 28, 1950. Several returned American POWs reported that Lejeune had in fact been captured and died in a North Korean POW camp in February or March 1951.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Airmen killed From World War II Accounted For
October 5
, 2017

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Clarence L. Dragoo, 21,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Clarence L. Dragoo, 21, of Sandyville, West Virginia, will be buried October 14 in his hometown. On Feb. 28, 1945, Dragoo was a member of the 716th Bomber Squadron, 449th Bombardment Group, along with ten other crewmen of a B-24J Liberator aircraft, which departed Grottaglie Army Air Base, Italy, for a combat mission. The mission targeted the Isarc-Albes railroad bridge in northern Italy, which was part of Brennan Route, used by Germans to move personnel and equipment into and out of Italy. Following the bombing run, participating aircraft headed in the direction of their rally point, where the planes would reform and return to their originating base. When leaving the Isarco-Albes area, an aircraft was seen heading in the direction of the rally point, but skimmed the mountain tops with at least two damaged engines. The plane was last seen near Lake Wiezen in Austria. No parachutes were seen exiting the aircraft. Based on this information, Dragoo was reported missing in action.

In the years following the incident, five of the 11 crewmembers were recovered and identified. On Sept. 21, 1948, the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) convened in Rome to discuss recovering the remaining crew members. The board concluded the plane crashed in the north Adriatic Sea.

On August 18, 2013, an Italian citizen reported the discovery of possible remains in an underwater aircraft wreck site off the coast of Grado, Italy. On September 22, 2013, a group of recreational divers located and photographed the aircraft, associated with Horwitz’ loss. 

In May 2014, a Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (predecessor to DPAA) investigative team worked with the Grado Civil Patrol to excavate the site, however no remains were recovered. A DPAA underwater team returned to the site from August to October 2015 and completed an excavation.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Airmen killed From World War II Accounted For
October 5
, 2017


US Official photograph of B-17 42-97234 "Bomber Dear". 42 mission markings. 1 kill.

 

Tech Sgt. John F. Brady, 27      Tech Sgt. Allen A. Chandler,     1st Lt. John H. Liekhus,    Staff Sgt. Robert O. Shoemaker  Staff Sgt. Bobby J. Younger

 

Tech Sgt. John F. Brady, Tech Sgt. Allen A. Chandler, 1st Lt. John H. Liekhus, Staff Sgt. Robert O. Shoemaker and Staff Sgt. Bobby J. Younger have all been accounted for. 

On Nov. 2, 1944, the Airmen were members of the 323rd Bombardment Squadron "Bomber Dear", 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy), Eighth Air Force. Their nine-man aircrew was on a mission to Merseburg, Germany, when their plane was hit by flak during the bomb run. As the B-17 fell out of formation, German fighters attacked. Witnesses reported seeing the aircraft burst into flames and descend rapidly. It crashed two kilometers southwest of the town of Barby. Three crewmembers survived and were taken as prisoners of war. One airman who was killed was identified in May 1945. Brady, Chandler, Liekhus, Shoemaker and Younger were all declared missing in action. In January 1951, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC) concluded that the five unaccounted-for crew members perished in the crash and the location of their remains was unknown.

“Bomber Dear” was one of 13 Forts from the group which were lost during the disastrous mission of November 2, 1944. The mission was to bomb the oil facilities at Merseburg. The stream of bombers flew at about 26,000ft when they were attacked by a Sturmgruppe of about 50 to 75 German fighter planes. 

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

DPAA is grateful to the German government for their assistance in this mission.

Brady’s, Chandler’s, Liekhus’, Shoemaker’s and Younger’s names are recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to their names to indicate they have been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

Airmen killed From World War II Accounted For
October 5
, 2017

Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. Earl P. Gorman, 23,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. Earl P. Gorman, 23, of Lynn, Massachusetts, will be buried October 13 in Valatie, New York. On April 23, 1944, Gorman was a member of the 718th Bombardment Squadron, 449th Bombardment Group, as the radio operator for a B-24 aircraft, on a bombing mission against targets near Schwechat, Austria. The formation left Grottaglie, Italy, and flew over Yugoslavia to reach the target, when they were attacked by German planes. During the attack, Gorman was struck and critically wounded. His crewmates put a parachute on him and bailed him out of the plane in an area they believed to be northeast of Zagreb, before bailing themselves. All of the crewmembers except Gorman survived. 

On July 4, 1947, investigators from the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) exhumed remains believed to be those of an American from the Yugoslavian (now Croatian) village of Sveti Ivan Zelina. Several villagers reported they had witnessed a squadron of American airplanes engaged with German aircraft above their village in April or May of 1944. They reported one man parachuted out of an airplane, and that he died shortly after he reached the ground. He was buried in an unmarked grave. The AGRS disinterred the remains, designated them as Unknown X-51, and transferred them to the United States Military Cemetery (USMC) Belgrade. 

The remains were disinterred in January 1948, and were reinterred at the USMC Anzio (now the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery), in Nettuno, Italy on April 12, 1949, when identification efforts were unsuccessful.

After a thorough historical and scientific analysis, it was determined that X-51 could likely be identified. After receiving approval, on March 15, 2017, Unknown X-51 was disinterred from the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marine killed From World War II Accounted For
October 5
, 2017

Marine Corps Reserve Sgt. Johnson McAfee, Jr. 27

Marine Corps Reserve Sgt. Johnson McAfee, Jr., 27, Tucson,  Arizona, killed during the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In late November, 1950, McAfee was a member of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force fighting against units of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) in North Korea. McAfee was killed in action in the vicinity of the Chosin Reservoir at the Marine outpost known as Fox Hill. Following his death, McAfee was buried alongside others at the base of Fox Hill prior to the evacuation of the outpost.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Marine killed From World War II Accounted For
October 4
, 2017

Marine Corps Pfc. Harold P. Hannon, 23

Marine Corps Pfc. Harold P. Hannon, 23, Scranton, Pennsylvania, killed during the battle of Tarawa in World War II, has now been accounted for.

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

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

Hannon’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the NMCP, an American Battle Monuments Commission cemetery, 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Navy Storekeeper 3rd Class Wallace E. Eakes,

Navy Storekeeper 3rd Class Wallace E. Eakes, Kansas, killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Eakes 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 Eakes. 

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marine killed From World War II Accounted For
October 3
, 2017

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

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Marine 2nd Lt. George S. Bussa, 29, of Chicago, will be buried October 10 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. In November 1943, Bussa was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Bussa died on the first day of battle, Nov. 20, 1943. 

The battle of Tarawa was a huge victory for the U.S. military because the Gilbert Islands provided the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet a platform from which to launch assaults on the Marshall and Caroline Islands to advance their Central Pacific Campaign against Japan.

In the immediate aftermath of the fighting on Tarawa, U.S. service members who died in the battle were buried in a number of battlefield cemeteries on the island. In 1946 and 1947, the 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted remains recovery operations on Betio Island, but Bussa’s remains were not recovered. On Feb. 9, 1949, a military review board declared Bussa’s remains non-recoverable.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

Navy Seaman 1st Class Joseph M. Johnson

Navy Seaman 1st Class Joseph M. Johnson, killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been 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. 

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
October 2
, 2017

Army Pfc. Willie E. Blue,

Army Pfc. Willie E. Blue, killed during the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In August 1950, Blue was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, taking part in defending the Naktong Bulge portion of the Pusan Perimeter. He was reported missing in action as of Aug. 31, 1950, after his status could not be determined following his admittance to the 2nd Clearing Station, 2nd Medical Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division in Yong-san, South Korea. No additional records showed his disposition, nor did the 8076th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) have records on Blue. With no additional information concerning his loss, the Department of the Army declared him deceased on March 3, 1954.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
October 2
, 2017

Navy Storekeeper 3rd Class Eli Olsen,

Navy Storekeeper 3rd Class Eli Olsen, Exira, Iowa, killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Olsen 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 Olsen. 

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
October 2
, 2017

Navy Seaman 1st Class Clifford G. Goodwin, 23

Navy Seaman 1st Class Clifford G. Goodwin, 23, Diamond, Missouri, killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Goodwin 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 Goodwin. 

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
September 29, 2017

Navy Seaman 1st Class Milton R. Surratt, 21,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Navy Seaman 1st Class Milton R. Surratt, 21, of Greenville, South Carolina, will be buried October 6, in Mauldin, South Carolina. On Dec. 7, 1941, Surratt 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 Surratt. 

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 Surratt.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
September 29, 2017

Army Cpl. Donald L. Baer, 20

Army Cpl. Donald L. Baer, 20, Babcock, Wisc. missing from the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In July 1950, Baer was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, engaged in combat operations against forces of the Korea People’s Army (KAP) in and around the city of Taejon (now Daejon), South Korea. On July 19, 1950, the KPA initiated a large-scale attack on the city in attempt to destroy U.S. forces. Following the battle, Baer could not be accounted for and was declared missing in action as of July 20, 1950.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Captured Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
September 29, 2017

 

Army Maj. Stephen T. Uurtamo, 32

Army Maj. Stephen T. Uurtamo, 32, San Francisco, CA, captured during the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In late November 1950, Uurtamo was a member of Headquarters Battery, 82nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, which was engaged in persistent attacks with the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) near the Ch’ongch’on River in North Korea. On Nov. 30, 1950, the Division began to withdraw south along the Main Supply Route, known as “The Gauntlet.” Uurtamo was declared missing in action as of Dec. 1, 1950, when he could not be accounted for by his unit. After the Korean War, several returning prisoners of war reported that Uurtamo had been captured and died at a POW Transit Camp.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Marine killed From World War II Accounted For
September 28, 2017

Marine Corps Reserve Pvt. Charles A. Drew,

 

Marine Corps Reserve Pvt. Charles A. Drew, killed during the battle of Tarawa in World War II, has now been accounted for.

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

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

Drew’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the NCMP, an American Battle Monuments Commission cemetery, 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.

 

 

 

Missing Marine  From World War II Accounted For
September 28, 2017

Marine Corps Reserve 2nd Lt. Elwood R. Bailey, 21

Marine Corps Reserve 2nd Lt. Elwood R. Bailey, 21, Parma, Michigan, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

The air raid siren blared across Henderson Field at around 1400 hours on August 24, 1942. A Japanese flight of 15 bombers, escorted by 12 Zero fighters, was on its way. VMF-223 quickly scrambled as many planes as possible, and intercepted the enemy at 1425. The first wave released its bombs with little effect, and the second was stopped altogether by the Wildcat fighters. Nearly every American who flew that day scored a hit; many had one or more confirmed kills.

Bailey was piloting a F4F-4 Wildcat in aerial combat with Japanese Military Air Forces over Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, when he was reported missing in action after being shot down and failing to return to base.

Lieutenant Elwood Bailey was seen to flame two Zeros before breaking out of the fight. (2) His smoking Wildcat, F4F-4 02095, headed out to sea, and the pilot was observed bailing out near the occupied island of Tulagi, but he never returned to American lines.
Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

DPAA is grateful to Mr. Klement Chualo, a Solomon Islander, for his assistance in this recovery.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marine killed From World War II Accounted For
September 28, 2017

Marine Corps Pvt. John M. Tillman,

Marine Corps Pvt. John M. Tillman, California, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

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

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Captured Soldier From Korean War Accounted For
September 28, 2017

Army Pfc. Pfc. Leroy W. Bryant,

Army Pfc. Pfc. Leroy W. Bryant, Franklin, Ohio, captured during the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In early February 1951, Bryant was a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, as U.S. Republic of Korea Army (ROKA) and United Nations Command (UNC) forces were deployed in defensive positions across the South Korean peninsula. On February 6, Bryant’s regiment was located in the town of Yonghyon-ni, and was tasked to determine location, position and strength of enemy forces. Enemy forces attacked, forcing them to withdraw to new positions. Because Bryant could not be accounted for by his unit after the attack, he was reported missing action as of Feb. 6, 1951, near Yanghyon-ni, South Korea.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
September 25, 2017

Navy Fireman 1st Class Walter B. Rogers, 22,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman recently accounted-for from World War II are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Navy Fireman 1st Class Walter B. Rogers, 22, of Bison, South Dakota, will be buried October 2 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. On Dec. 7, 1941, Rogers 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 Rogers.

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 Rogers.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Missing Airman From World War II Accounted For
September 25, 2017

 

Army Air Forces Tech Sgt. John S. Bailey, 29

Army Air Forces Tech Sgt. John S. Bailey, 29, D.C. killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

Assigned to the 7th Air Force, 30th Bombardment Group, 38th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Miss Bee Haven" painted in white with the nose art of a nude figure holding a bomb in her left hand and a pistol in her right hand. On the left side of the nose were mission markings indicating bombing missions flown. On November 12, 1943, this bomber was based at Nanumea Airfield and flew at least eight combat missions, sometimes staging from Tarawa Airfield (Hawkins Field).

On Jan. 21, 1944, Bailey was a member of the 38th Bombardment Squadron, (Heavy), 30th Bombardment Group, stationed at Hawkins Field, Helen Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands, when his B-24J bomber crashed shortly after take-off. 

Three survived the crash and seven were killed on impact. The three survivors were able to escape from a hole torn to the rear of the co-pilot's position allowing them to escape. Observing the crash from Tarawa (Betio), Dr. Feves waded out to the crash site and assisted the three survivors into a life raft.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Marine killed From World War II Accounted For
September 22, 2017

Marine Corps Pvt. Joseph C. Carbone, 20,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Marine Corps Pvt. Joseph C. Carbone, 20, of Brooklyn, New York, will be buried September 30 in his hometown. In November 1943, Carbone was assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Carbone died on the first day of battle, Nov. 20, 1943.

The battle of Tarawa was a huge victory for the U.S. military because the Gilbert Islands provided the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet a platform from which to launch assaults on the Marshall and Caroline Islands to advance their Central Pacific Campaign against Japan.

In the immediate aftermath of the fighting on Tarawa, U.S. service members who died in the battle were buried in a number of battlefield cemeteries on the island. In May 1946, the 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company of the American Graves Registration Services (AGRS) had recovered 532 sets of remains from burial sites across the Tarawa Atoll and interred them in Lone Palm Cemetery. The remains that could not be identified were designated as “Unknowns.”

In November 1946, the U.S. Army began disinterment to bring the remains to Oahu for identification at the Central Identification Laboratory. In 1947, remains designated Unknown X-206 were sent to the Schofield Barracks Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii for analysis. When the X-206 could not be identified, they were reinterred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

In October 2016, due to recent advances in forensic technology, DPAA began the exhumation of unknown remains associated with Tarawa from NMCP and sent the remains to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing From Korean War Accounted For
September 22, 2017

Army Sgt. Thomas E. Zimmer, 19,

The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, recently accounted-for from the Korean War, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Sgt. Thomas E. Zimmer, 19, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will be buried September 30 in his hometown. In late November 1950, Zimmer was a member of Battery A, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 31st Regimental Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division, on the east side of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, when Chinese People's Volunteer Forces (CPVF) attacked the RCT and forced the unit to withdraw to Hagaru-ri. Many Soldiers became surrounded and attempted to escape, but were captured or killed. Overnight on December 5, a large Chinese force attacked the Hagaru-ri perimeter held by the survivors of the RCT. Zimmer was subsequently declared missing in action as a result of the battle that occurred Dec. 6, 1950.

Zimmer's name did not appear on any lists provided by the CPVF or the Korean People's Army as a prisoner of war, and no returning American prisoners were able to provide any information concerning Zimmer. Based on the lack of information, the U.S. Army declared him deceased as of Dec. 31, 1953.

In August and September 2004, a joint U.S. and Korean People's Army recovery team conducted a Joint Recovery Operation in the vicinity of the East Chosin Reservoir, where Zimmer went missing. The team recovered possible human remains and sent them to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

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

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing From Korean War Accounted For
September 22, 2017

Army Pfc. Charlie H. Hill, 31,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from the Korean War, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Pfc. Charlie H. Hill, 31, of Williamsburg, Kentucky, will be buried September 29 in Augusta, Michigan. In late November 1950, Hill was a member of Battery D, 15th Anti-aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Self-propelled Battalion, 7th Infantry Division. Approximately 2,500 U.S. and 700 South Korean soldiers assembled into the 31st Regimental Combat Team (RCT), which was deployed east of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, when it was attacked by overwhelming numbers of Chinese forces. American forces withdrew south with the Chinese continued to attack. By December 6, the U.S. Army evacuated approximately 1,500 wounded service members; the remaining Soldiers had been either captured or killed in enemy territory. Because Hill could not be accounted for by his unit after reaching Hagaru-ri, he was reported missing in action as of Dec. 2, 1950.

Hill’s name did not appear on any prisoner of war list and no returning American prisoners reported Hill as a prisoner of war. Due to the lack of evidence of Hill’s survival, the U.S. Army declared him deceased on Dec. 31, 1953.

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

In August and September 2004, two Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (now DPAA) recovery teams worked simultaneously at Unsan and the Chosin Reservoir. The teams conducted the 35th Joint Recovery Operation with the Korean People’s Army (KPA) in the vicinity of Ankyon Village, Changin District, South Hamgyong Province, North Korea, where remains were recovered. On Sept. 10, 2004, the remains were sent to the laboratory for analysis.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Missing Airman From World War II Accounted For
September 22, 2017

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Homer A. Spence, 23

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Homer A. Spence, 23, Sacramento County, California missing from World War II, has now been accounted for.

On July 20, 1944, Spence was a member of the 96th Fighter Squadron, 82nd Fighter Group, as a pilot of a P-38J aircraft, escorting bomber aircraft on a mission targeting Memmingen Airdrome in Germany. During the return flight, his aircraft entered a deep dive into the clouds and was not seen or heard from again. At the time of his loss, Austria and northern Italy were still under enemy control, precluding any immediate search to locate his crash site.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

DPAA is grateful to Archaeological and Historical Conservancy, Inc., for their partnership in this mission.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing From World War II  Accounted For
September 21, 2017

Army Pvt. Shirley E. Bailey, 19

Army Pvt. Shirley E. Bailey, 19,  Pocataligo, West Virginia, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

His loss took place in the Hürtgen Forest of Germany in 1944. Fighting in the forest, an area comprising of roughly 50-square miles along the Belgian-German border, lasted from September 1944 to February 1945. Bailey, who was a medic with Company G, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, participated in his unit’s efforts to seize northern parts of the Hürtgen Forest. Bailey provided medical support to dozens of casualties during the battle. On November 29, 1944, when Bailey’s battalion was moving out, a German counterattack struck his company. Bailey rushed forward to aid a wounded man and was himself killed by enemy fire.p>

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing From Korean War Accounted For
September 20, 2017

 

Army Cpl. Daniel F. Kelly, 18,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from the Korean War, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Cpl. Daniel F. Kelly, 18, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will be buried September 27 in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania. In late November 1950, Kelly was a member of C Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, when his unit was ordered to advance as part of preparations for an offensive to push the North Koreans to the Yalu River along the border of North Korea and China. By the night of November 25, the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) had begun relentless attacks on the 2nd Infantry Division and neighboring units which continued throughout the night and into the next morning. Kelly was declared missing in action as of Nov. 26, 1950, when he could not be accounted for following the battle.

During the war, Kelly was not listed on any CPVF or Korean People’s Army (KPA) Prisoners of War lists. However, one returned American prisoner of war reported Kelly died at the camp known as “Death Valley” in March of 1951

Between August and September 2002, joint U.S. and Korean People’s Army (KPA) recovery teams conducted Joint Recovery Operations (JRO) in Unsan County, North Pyongan Province, North Korea. A large quantity of possible human remains were recovered from a site reported to be a temporary prison camp and were accessioned into the Laboratory.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing From World War II  Accounted For
September 19, 2017

Army Pfc. Gerald F. Wipfli, 23,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Pfc. Gerald F. Wipfli, 23, of Nekoosa, Wisconsin, will be buried September 23 in his hometown. In early November 1944, Wipfli was a member of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 112th Infantry, when his unit was engaged in intense combat against German forces in the town of Schmidt, Germany, within the Hürtgen Forest. Due to chaotic fighting, 112th Infantry officers were not able to accurately report the status of each soldier, and it took several days for Company I to gain accountability of their casualties. Wipfli was among 33 soldiers listed as missing in action from his company. No surviving members of his unit had information on his fate, and he was reported missing in action on Nov. 4, 1944.

German forces did not report Wipfli as being taken prisoner, and American forces did not retake Schmidt until February 1945. However, none of the remains that were found during initial searches were identified as Wipfli.

Following the end of the hostilities, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC), U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps, was the unit tasked with investigating and recovering missing American personnel in the European Theater. The AGRC conducted several investigations and recoveries, however Wipfli’s remains were not found. On Dec. 15, 1950, having received no further evidence on Wipfli, he was declared non-recoverable.

On April 16, 2010, workers of the Rheinisch-Westfälisches Elektrizitätswerk (RWE) power company unearthed osseous remains while installing electrical lines in Schmidt. The RWE notified the Voklsbund Deutsche Kriegsbraberfursorge e. V. (VdK, German War Graves Commission), which excavated the site. The VdK notified the Deputy U.S. Forces Liaison Officer and U.S. Army Mortuary Affairs Activity-Europe of the recovery. The remains were sent to the Central Identification Laboratory in Honolulu for analysis on May 11, 2010.

To identify Wipfli’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) and autosomal (auSTR) DNA, which matched his sister and niece; anthropological analysis, which matched Wipfli’s records; and historical evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing From Korean War Accounted For
September 19, 2017

Cpl. William R. Sadewasser, 24,

The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, recently accounted-for from the Korean War, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Cpl. William R. Sadewasser, 24, of Wellsville, New York, will be buried September 23 in Ulysses, Pennsylvania. In late November, 1950, Sadewasser was a member of Headquarters Battery, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division. Approximately 2,500 U.S. and 700 South Korean soldiers assembled into the 31st Regimental Combat Team (RCT), which was deployed east of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, when it was engaged by overwhelming numbers of Chinese forces. By December 6, the U.S. Army evacuated approximately 1,500 wounded service members; the remaining soldiers had been either captured or killed in enemy territory. Because Sadewasser could not be accounted for by his unit at the end of the battle; he was reported missing in action as of Nov. 28, 1950.

Sadewasser’s name did not appear on any prisoner of war lists, however one returning American prisoner of war reported that Sadewasser had died on Nov. 28, 1950. Based on this information, the U.S. Army declared him deceased.

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

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

To identify Sadewasser’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis, which matched his family, as well as dental and anthropological analysis, which matched his records, and circumstantial evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

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

Navy Water Tender 2nd Class Porter L. Rich, 28

Navy Water Tender 2nd Class Porter L. Rich, 28, Lake Preston, South Dakota killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Rich 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 Rich.

Porter L. Rich was buried in Hawaii in the Punch Bowl. His service was held at the Congregational Church in the afternoon. The minister in charge was Rev. H. C. Juell. Porter was awarded the Purple Heart, and other important things were sent to his wife after his death. His wife is still living in San Diego, and he has a son that lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

DPAA is appreciative to the Department of Veteran's Affairs for their partnership in this mission.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Navy Seaman 2nd Class George J. Wilcox,

Navy Seaman 2nd Class George J. Wilcox, killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Wilcox 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 Wilcox.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

DPAA is appreciative to the Department of Veteran's Affairs for their partnership in this mission.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Missing Airman From World War II Accounted For
September 15, 2017

Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. Thomas M. McGraw, 26,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. Thomas M. McGraw, 26, of Lakewood, Ohio, will be buried September 22 in Seville, Ohio. On February 28, 1945, McGraw was a member of the 716th Bomber Squadron, 449th Bombardment Group, along with ten other crewmen of a B-24J Liberator aircraft, which departed Grottaglie Army Air Base, Italy, for a combat mission. The mission targeted the Isarc-Albes railroad bridge in northern Italy, which was part of Brennan Route, used by Germans to move personnel and equipment into and out of Italy. Following the bombing run, participating aircraft headed in the direction of their rally point, where the planes would reform and return to their originating base. When leaving the Isarco-Albes area, an aircraft was seen heading in the direction of the rally point, but skimmed the mountain tops with at least two damaged engines. The plane was last seen near Lake Wiezen in Austria. No parachutes were seen exiting the aircraft. Based on this information, McGraw was reported missing in action.

In the years following the incident, five of the 11 crewmembers were recovered and identified. On Sept. 21, 1948, the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) convened in Rome to discuss recovering the remaining crew members. The board concluded the plane crashed in the north Adriatic Sea.

On August 18, 2013, an Italian citizen reported the discovery of possible remains in an underwater aircraft wreck site off the coast of Grado, Italy. On September 22, 2013, a group of recreational divers located and photographed the aircraft, associated with McGraw loss.

In May 2014, a Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (predecessor to DPAA) investigative team worked with the Grado Civil Patrol to excavate the site, however no remains were recovered. A DPAA underwater team returned to the site from August to October 2015 and completed an excavation.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Missing Pilot From Vietnam War Accounted For
September 15
, 2017

Air Force Col. Martin R. Scott, 34,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from the Vietnam War, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Air Force Col. Martin R. Scott, 34, of, Jenks, Oklahoma, will be buried September 22 in Claremore, Oklahoma. On March 15, 1966, Scott was a member of Headquarters, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, as the aircraft commander and wingman of a two-seater F-4C aircraft in a flight of two on an armed reconnaissance mission over northern Vietnam. The lead aircraft spotted two vehicles as the flight approached the target area and the pilot of Scott’s aircraft responded that he was going to strafe the trucks. The flight leader observed an explosion in the area of the target and immediately attempted to contact Scott’s aircraft. No parachutes or emergency signals were seen, and all attempts to contact Scott and his pilot were unsuccessful. An organized search was not possible due to hostilities in the area. Scott was subsequently declared missing in action.

In November 2014, a joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) recovery team conducted recovery operations at a possible F-4C crash site in Dien Bien District, Dien Bien Province. Material evidence and possible osseous material was recovered and sent to the Central Identification Laboratory for analysis. Additional recovery operations were conducted in late 2015 and late 2016, and all recovered remains were sent to the laboratory for analysis.

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

 

Today there are 1,594 American servicemen and civilians that are still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.

 

 

 

Marine killed From World War II Accounted For
September 15, 2017

Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Ray James, 21,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Ray James, 21, of Sylvarena, Mississippi, will be buried September 22, in his hometown. In November 1943, James was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. James was killed on the first day of the battle, Nov. 20, 1943.

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

In the immediate aftermath of the fighting on Tarawa, U.S. service members who died in the battle were buried in a number of battlefield cemeteries on the island. In 1946, the American Graves Registration Service recovered approximately 36 sets of remains originally buried in Cemetery #33, including remains designated “Unknown X-163.” They conducted remains recovery operations on Betio, but James’ remains were not recovered. By 1949, the remains that had not been identified were interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP) in Honolulu.

In January 2017, DPAA disinterred Tarawa Unknown X-163 from the NMCP and sent the remains to the laboratory for analysis.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Missing Airman From World War II Accounted For
September 15, 2017

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Francis J. Pitonyak, 25,

 

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Francis J. Pitonyak, 25, of Detroit, Michigan will be buried September 22 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. On Oct. 28, 1943, Pitonyak was a member of the 36th Fighter Group, 8th Fighter squadron and was the pilot of a single-seat fighter aircraft. Pitonyak led a formation of four aircraft from Wards Airdome near Port Moresby, Territory of Papua on an armed patrol mission to Nadzab in the Markham River Valley. Due to rapidly deteriorating weather conditions and loss of visibility one of the four pilots aborted the mission, returned to base and immediately reported the other three pilots missing. The following day, an aerial search was conducted for the missing aircraft, with no results. The U.S. Army declared Pitonyak deceased as of Oct. 28, 1943.

In June 1987, a team of investigators from the U.S Army Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii, accompanied by local witnesses, located the wreckage of an aircraft in the vicinity of Urulau Village, Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea. The wreckage, which was largely intact, included a serial number consistent with the aircraft piloted by Pitonyak. In October 1988, a second team visited the crash site and noted the positioning of the wreckage suggested a low-angle controlled impact or hard landing, but they were unable to recover remains or flight equipment. In July 2016, a DPAA recovery team recovered possible dental remains and supporting material evidence from a site located in the vicinity of Urulau Village, Kerema District, Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Missing Airman From World War II Accounted For
September 15, 2017

Army Air Forces Sgt. Charles H. Daman,

 

Army Air Forces Sgt. Charles H. Daman, Idaho, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

In the spring of 1945, as the war in Europe drew to a close, Allied forces launched a series of aerial attacks to cripple what remained of the German air force. Daman, who was a member of the 714th Bombardment Squadron, 448th Bombardment Group, 2nd Bombardment Division, was aboard an aircraft on an attack mission on April 4, 1945, as one of more than 400 bombers to attack airbases at Parchim, Perleberg and Wesendorf, Germany. The aircraft, which held 10 airmen, was attacked by enemy fighter planes in the vicinity of Hamburg.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

DPAA is grateful the German government and the staff of the Ludwigslust Castle for their cooperation in this recovery mission.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing From World War II  Accounted For
September 14, 2017

 

Army Pfc. Billy R. Ball, 20

Army Pfc. Billy R. Ball, 20, Mathews Missouri, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 8, 1941, Ball was a member of Headquarters Detachment Philippines Department, 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; including many who were forced to endure the Bataan Death March, en route to Japanese prisoner of war (POW) camps, including the POW camp at Cabanatuan on the island of Luzon, Philippines. Ball was among those reported captured after the surrender of Corregidor and who were eventually moved to the Cabanatuan POW camp. More than 2,500 POWs perished in this camp during the remaining years of the war. According to prisoner records, Ball died on Sept. 28, 1942, and was buried along with fellow prisoners in the local Cabanatuan camp cemetery.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

DPAA is appreciative to the American Battle Monuments Commission and Department of Veteran's Affairs for their partnership in this mission.

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

 

 

 

 

Missing Airman From World War II Accounted For
September 14, 2017

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Donald E. Underwood, 23

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Donald E. Underwood, 23, Detroit, Michigan  killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

Underwood, who was 23, was a member of the Army Air Forces during World War II. He was aboard a bomber known as the “Miss Bee Haven” when it crashed in shallow water after takeoff from the Gilbert Islands in January 1944. Bodies were recovered and buried.

On Jan. 21, 1944, Underwood was a member of the 38th Bombardment Squadron, (Heavy), 30th Bombardment Group, stationed at Hawkins Field, Helen Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands, when his B-24J bomber crashed shortly after take-off. Witnesses noted the plane was unable to gain altitude and crashed into the water, killing all 10 members on board.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marine killed From World War II Accounted For
September 14, 2017

Marine Corps Pfc. Harold V. Thomas,

Marine Corps Pfc. Harold V. Thomas, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

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

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

DPAA is appreciative to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs for their partnership in this mission.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing From Korean War Accounted For
September 14, 2017

Army Sgt. 1st Class Elmore B. Goodwin,

Army Sgt. 1st Class Elmore B. Goodwin, Norfolk City Va. missing from the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In late November 1950, Goodwin was a member of Company G, 2nd Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, engaged in combat operations against the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) in the vicinity of Anju, North Korea. Goodwin was reported missing in action on Nov. 27, 1950. When no information regarding Goodwin was reported by returning American POWs, the U.S. Army declared him deceased as of Dec. 31, 1953.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing From Korean War Accounted For
September 14, 2017

Army Pfc. James J. Leonard,

Army Pfc. James J. Leonard, killed during the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In July 1950, Leonard was a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. In the early hours of July 20, Leonard’s regiment arrived east of Yongdong, South Korea, and began preparing to assume the defense of the city. By July 23, Korean People’s Army (KPA) units began attacking American defenses and took control of Yongdong by July 25. Leonard was reported as killed in action on July 25, 1950.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Marine killed From World War II Accounted For
September 13, 2017

Marine Corps Sgt. William D. Ball,

Marine Corps Sgt. William D. Ball, California killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

In November 1943, Ball was a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, which participated in a 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. Ball was wounded on the first day of battle, Nov. 20, 1943, and was identified for evacuation to the USS J. Franklin Bell for treatment. Ball never made it to the ship and his status was adjusted from wounded in action to missing in action as of Nov. 21, 1943.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

DPAA is appreciative to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs for their partnership in this mission

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

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
September 13, 2017

Navy Fireman 2nd Class John D. Wheeler,

Navy Fireman 2nd Class John D. Wheeler, killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Wheeler 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 Wheeler.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

DPAA is appreciative to the Department of Veteran's Affairs for their partnership in this mission.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Missing Airman From World War II Accounted For
September 12, 2017

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Robert L. Mains, 28

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Robert L. Mains, 28, Rochester, New York killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

In the spring of 1945, as the war in Europe drew to a close, Allied forces launched a series of aerial attacks to cripple what remained of the German air force. Mains, who was a member of the 714th Bombardment Squadron, 448th Bombardment Group, 2nd Bombardment Division, was a pilot on an attack mission on April 4, 1945, as one of more than 400 bombers to attack airbases at Parchim, Perleberg and Wesendorf, Germany. Mains' aircraft, which held ten airmen, was attacked by enemy fighter planes in the vicinity of Hamburg.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
September 12, 2017

Navy Fireman 1st Class Charles R. Ogle, 20

Navy Fireman 1st Class Charles R. Ogle, 20, Goodsberry Township, Missouri  killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Ogle 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 Ogle.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

DPAA is appreciative to the Department of Veteran's Affairs for their partnership in this mission.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Sailor Missing From Vietnam War Accounted For
September 12
, 2017

Navy Capt. James R. Bauder, 35,

Navy Capt. James R. Bauder, 35, Los Angeles County, Ca. missing from the Vietnam War, has now been accounted for.

On Sept. 21, 1966, Bauder was a member of Fighter Squadron Twenty One, USS Coral, as the pilot of an F-4B aircraft in a flight of two aircraft from the USS Coral Sea on a night reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. During the mission, the other aircraft lost contact with Bauder’s aircraft, and the plane did not return to the ship. No missiles were observed in the target area and no explosions were seen. An extensive search was conducted with negative results. Based on this information, Bauder was declared missing in action.

Interment services are pending; more information will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

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

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
September 12, 2017

Navy Fireman 1st Class Gerald H. Pirtle,

Navy Fireman 1st Class Gerald H. Pirtle, killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Pirtle 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 Pirtle.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

DPAA is appreciative to the Department of Veteran's Affairs for their partnership in this mission.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

Marine Corps Reserve Pvt. Alberic M. Blanchette, 19,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Marine Corps Reserve Pvt. Alberic M. Blanchette, 19, of Caribou, Maine, will be buried September 18 in his hometown. In November 1943, Blanchette was assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Blanchette died on the first day of battle, Nov. 20, 1943.

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

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

In October 2016, DPAA disinterred Tarawa Unknown X-153 from the NMCP and sent to the laboratory for analysis.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Marine Pfc. Roland E. Schaede, 19,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Marine Pfc. Roland E. Schaede, 19, of Maywood, Illinois, will be buried September 14 in Eglin, Illinois. In November 1943, Schaede was assigned to Company M, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Schaede died on the first day of battle, Nov. 20, 1943.

The battle of Tarawa was a huge victory for the U.S. military because the Gilbert Islands provided the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet a platform from which to launch assaults on the Marshall and Caroline Islands to advance their Central Pacific Campaign against Japan.

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. Roy F. Davis, 25

Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. Roy F. Davis, 25, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire missing from World War II, has now been accounted for.

On March 12, 1944, Davis was a member of the 13th Bombardment Squadron, 3rd Bombardment Group, as one of two crewmembers aboard an A-20G Havoc bomber that failed to return to base in northeastern New Guinea after attacking enemy targets on the island.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Marine killed From World War II Accounted For
September 8, 2017

Marine Corps Cpl. Raymond C. Snapp, 24,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Marine Corps Cpl. Raymond C. Snapp, 24, of Bonita, Texas, will be buried September 15 in Keithville, Louisiana. In November 1943, Snapp was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, in an attempt to secure the island. Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, but the Japanese were virtually annihilated. Snapp died on the first day of battle, Nov. 20, 1943.

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

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

In October 2016, DPAA disinterred Tarawa Unknown X-275 from the NMCP and sent the remains to the laboratory for analysis.