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.

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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 2018

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
February  15, 2018

Navy Machinist's Mate 1st Class Arthur Glenn, 43

Navy Machinist's Mate 1st Class Arthur Glenn, 43, Lonaconing, Maryland.  killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Glenn 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 Glenn.

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

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

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

Glenn'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 73,286 service members still unaccounted for from World War II.

 

 

 

Captured Soldier Killed in Korean War Accounted For
February  9, 2018

Army Pfc. David Baker,

Army Pfc. David Baker, captured during the Korean War, has now been accounted for. 

In late November 1950, Baker was a member of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, positioned in the vicinity of Yongbyong, North Korea. Baker’s battalion moved north and lost contact with two other regiments. On Nov. 25, 1950, 3rd BN met with enemy resistance and was attacked by Chinese People’s Volunteer Force. The battalion suffered heavy casualties and Baker was declared missing in action as of Nov. 28, 1950, when he could not be accounted for by his unit. Later reports indicate that Baker was likely captured by the enemy during battle. 

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

Baker’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, 7,704 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
February  9, 2018

Navy Molder 1st Class Kenneth B. Armstrong

Navy Molder 1st Class Kenneth B. Armstrong, National City, California, killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Armstrong 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 Armstrong.

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

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

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

Armstrong'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.

 

 

 

 

 

Captured Soldier Killed in Korean War Accounted For
February  5, 2018

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

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

Army Sgt. 1st Class Alfred G. Bensinger, Jr., of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, will be buried February 16 in the Fort Sill National Cemetery, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. In late November 1950, Bensinger was a member of Company D, 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion (2nd ECB) 2nd Infantry Division, when his unit was fighting persistent Chinese attacks in the Ch’ongch’on River area in northwestern North Korea. The battle began on the evening of Nov. 25, 1950, when the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces initiated their Second Phase offensive along the entire 8th Army front. Bensinger’s battalion was heavily engaged in the battle. When withdrawal orders were issued on November 29, the 2nd ECB provided security for the Division.
The following day, the battalion was ordered to withdraw from the vicinity of Kunu-ri, when it was again engaged by enemy forces down the Main Supply Route. During this withdrawal, Bensinger was captured. 


Several returning American POWs reported that Bensinger died at the prisoner of war transient camp known as the Hofong Camp, a sub-camp of the Pukchin-Tarigol Main Camp Cluster in mid-January 1951.

In April 2005, a DPAA/Korean People’s Army Recovery Team recovered remains from a site south of Unsan. The remains included 32 different individuals, and appeared to have originated from a previous burial site. The remains were then sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

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

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
February  8, 2018

Navy Fireman 1st Class Charles R. Ogle, 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.

Navy Fireman 1st Class Charles R. Ogle, 20, of Mountain View, Missouri, will be buried February 12 in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri. 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. 

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 Ogle.

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

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
February  2, 2018

Navy Seaman 1st Class Leon Arickx, 23

Navy Seaman 1st Class Leon Arickx, 23, Mitchell, IA killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Arickx 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 Arickx.

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

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

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

Arickx'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
February  2, 2018

Navy Seaman 1st Class Eugene W. Wicker, 20

Navy Seaman 1st Class Eugene W. Wicker, 20, Oklahoma, killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Wicker 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 Wicker.

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

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

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

Wicker'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
February  1, 2018

Navy Fireman 1st Class Leonard R. Geller, 20

Navy Fireman 1st Class Leonard R. Geller, 20, Glenrose, Noble, Oklahoma  killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Geller 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 Geller.

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

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

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

Geller'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.

 

 

 

 

 

Missing Marine Killed From World War II Accounted For
February  1, 2018

Marine Corps Pfc. Jack H. Krieger, 27

Marine Corps Pfc. Jack H. Krieger, 27, from Missouri, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

In November 1943, Krieger was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 18th 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.

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

DPAA is grateful to History Flight, Inc., and 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.

Krieger's name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, along with the others missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

Tulsamerican Airman Killed in World War II Accounted For
January  31, 2018

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Eugene P. Ford,

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Eugene P. Ford, Pennsylvania, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 17, 1944, Ford was the a member of the 765th Bombardment Squadron, 461st Bombardment Group, 15th Air Force, as the pilot of a B-24J aircraft known as The Tulsamerican. Accompanied by a crew of nine service members, the Tulsamerican was the lead aircraft in a group of six B-24s from the squadron to participate in a combat bombing mission targeting oil refineries at Odertal, Germany. Coming out of a cloud bank near the target, the aircraft were attacked by more than 40 German Me-109 and FW-190 fighters. The unit suffered heavy losses with three of their six aircraft shot down and the other three damaged. The Tulsamerican sustained heavy damage, forcing Ford to abort the mission and crash land in the Adriatic Sea, near the Isle of Vis, in present-day Croatia. Seven crewmembers of the aircraft survived and were rescued, however three, including Ford, were killed in the crash, and their bodies were unable to be recovered.

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

DPAA is grateful to the divers who discovered the crash site, the Croatian Government, the Croatian Conservation Institute, Lund University, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, the National Park Service and the Croatian Navy for their partnership in this mission.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing in Korean War Accounted For
January  31, 2018

Army Sgt. Ollie E. Shepard, 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 Sgt. Ollie E. Shepard, 22, of Hugo, Oklahoma, will be buried February 7 in the Bradley, Oklahoma. 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.

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

In September 2004, a joint U.S. and Korean People’s Army (KPA) recovery team conducted a Joint Recovery Operation at a burial site in the vicinity of Twikkae Village, Changjin District, South Hamgyong Province, North Korea, on the east side of the Chosin Reservoir. The site is consistent with the 31st RCT’s location during their withdrawal. Material evidence and human remains were recovered and sent to DPAA for analysis.

To identify Shepard’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 material evidence

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
January  29, 2018

Navy Seaman 1st Class Donald G. Keller,

Navy Seaman 1st Class Donald G. Keller, killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Keller 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 Keller.

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Killed in Korean War Accounted For
January  23, 2018

 

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, recently accounted-for from the Korean War, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Richard G. Cushman, 18, of Springville, Utah, will be buried February 3, 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 his family, as well as anthropological analysis and circumstantial evidence, which matched his records.

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Killed in World War II Accounted For
January  26, 2018

 

Army Pfc. Lloyd J. Lobdell, 23,

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

Army Pfc. Lloyd J. Lobdell, 23, of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, will be buried February 2, in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. On Dec. 8, 1941, Lobdell was a member of Company A, 192nd Tank Battalion, in the Far East, when Japanese forces invaded the Philippine Islands. Intense fighting continued until May 6. 1942, when American forces on Corregidor Island surrendered.

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

Lobdell was admitted to the Cabanatuan Prison Camp Hospital suffering from illness. He died Nov. 19, 1942, and was buried along with fellow prisoners in the local Cabanatuan camp cemetery. 

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

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

To identify Lobdell’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 and anthropological analysis, which matched his records.

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing in Korean War Accounted For
January  23, 2018

Army Pfc. Lamar E. Newman,

Army Pfc. Lamar E. Newman, missing from the Korean War, has now been accounted for. 

In November 1950, Newman was a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, taking part in a defensive
operation in the vicinity of the village of Kujang, North Korea. The Division suffered heavy losses, with many Soldiers going missing or being killed or captured. Newman went missing near the village of Kujang as a
result of heavy fighting on Nov. 27, 1950.

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

Newman's name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, along with the others unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War.
 A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing in Korean War Accounted For
January  22, 2018

Army Sgt. 1st Class Pete W. Simon,

Army Sgt. 1st Class Pete W. Simon, killed during the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In September 1950, Simon was a member of Company G, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, participating in a defense of the Pusan Perimeter, a large defensive line west and north of Pusan, South Korea. Simon was reported to have been killed in action Sept. 5, 1950, but his remains were not located following the battle. 

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

DPAA is grateful to the South Korean government and the Department of Veterans Affairs for their assistance in this recovery.

Simon’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.

 

 

 

 

 

Airman Killed in World War II Accounted For
January  22, 2018

Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. John H. Canty, 23

Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. John H. Canty, 23, Winsted, Connecticut, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

On June 22, 1944, Canty was a member of the 555th Bombardment Squadron, 386th Bombardment Group, IX Bomber Command, aboard a B-26 Maurader on a nighttime bombing mission from Easton Lodge-Essex, England, against targets near Caen, France. His B-26 was shot down between the villages of Baron-sur-Odon and Gavrus, France. All eight crewmembers were killed in the incident. Because the location of the crash was in German-held territory, U.S. forces were unable to make a detailed search for the crew at the time of their loss. 

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

DPAA is grateful to the French Government, Mr. Michael Jurd and the American Battle Monuments Commission for their assistance in this recovery.

Canty’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the Normandy American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site. 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
January  22, 2018

Navy Fireman 2nd Class Lowell E. Valley,

Navy Fireman 2nd Class Lowell E. Valley, killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Valley 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 Valley.

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.

Though the men lost on the ship were all in the Navy or the Marines, the Department of Veterans Affairs has authority over the Punchbowl.

“It was one heck of a job to get them to bring them up,” said Bob Valley, 83, whose brother, Fireman 2nd Class Lowell Earl Valley, died on the Oklahoma. “We were fighting everybody — the Navy, the Army, the VA.”

Valley spent years pushing officials to bring up just a few caskets he thought contained remains that could be identified easily, even though he didn’t think his brother was in one of them. The sailor had been in the ship’s engine room, which took the brunt of the attack.

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

Valley'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
January  22, 2018

Navy Fireman 3rd Class Warren H. Crim, 20

Navy Fireman 3rd Class Warren H. Crim, 20, Bristol, TN. killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Crim 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 Crim.

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.

Crim'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.

 

 

 

 

 

Missing Pilot From Vietnam War Accounted For
January  18, 2018

Air Force Col. Edgar F. Davis, 43

Air Force Col. Edgar F. Davis, 43, Goldsboro, North Carolina,  killed during the Vietnam War, has now been accounted for.

On Sept. 17, 1968, Davis was a navigator aboard a RF-4C Phantom fighter-bomber aircraft, assigned to the 11th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing. Davis and his pilot were on a night photo-reconnaissance mission over the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (L.P.D.R.) when they were shot down by anti-aircraft artillery fire. The pilot ejected out of the aircraft and was rescued, however no contact could be established with Davis. Because of this, he was declared missing in action. Search and rescue efforts were suspended after failing to locate Davis or the aircraft wreckage. Davis was later declared deceased.

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

DPAA is grateful to Stony Beach and the government of Laos for their partnerships in this recovery.

Davis' name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, along with the others unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

Today there are 1,593 American servicemen and civilians that are still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
January  18, 2018

Navy Fireman 1st Class Chester E. Seaton,

Navy Fireman 1st Class Chester E. Seaton, killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been accounted for. 

On Dec. 7, 1941, Seaton 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 Seaton. 

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.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing in Korean War Accounted For
January  18, 2018

Army Cpl. William C. McDowell,

Army Cpl. William C. McDowell, missing from the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In late November, 1950, McDowell was a member of Company D, 1st Battalion, 32nd 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. As the Chinese attacks continued, American forces withdrew south. By December 6, the U.S. Army evacuated approximately 1,500 service members; the remaining soldiers had been either captured, killed or missing in enemy territory. Because McDowell could not be accounted for by his unit at the end of the battle, he was reported missing in action as of Dec. 2, 1950.

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

McDowell's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Courts of the Missing in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Killed in World War II Accounted For
January  18, 2018

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Ewart T. Sconiers, 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. Ewart T. Sconiers, 27, of DeFuniak Springs, Florida, will be buried January 27 in his hometown. On Oct. 21, 1942, Sconiers was a member of the 414th Bombardment Squadron, 97th Bombardment Group, serving as the bombardier on the B-17F Flying Fortress, during a mission to bomb the German U-boat pens at Lorient, France. During the attack, the aircraft received severe damage, but the entire crew parachuted safely, landing in water near Brest, France, where they were picked up by a French fishing vessel and turned over to German forces as prisoners of war. The Americans were sent to Dulag Luft in Oberusal, Germany, for interrogation, and on Nov. 11, 1942, Sconiers was transferred to Stalag Luft II in Sagan, Germany (present-day Zagan, Poland), where he remained until Jan. 9, 1944. 

Sconiers was admitted to the camp hospital in early January after exhibiting erratic behavior and complaining of severe ear pain following a fall on ice. He was subsequently transferred to the reserve hospital in Luben, Germany (present-day Lubin, Poland), where he died on Jan. 24, 1944. Sconiers was buried by a detachment of fellow prisoners in grave number seven of the POW section of the municipal cemetery in Luben/Schleswig on Jan. 27, 1944, near the remains of five French officers.

In April 1948, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRS) conducted a field investigation in Lubin, but failed to locate Sconiers’ burial site, and were unable to find any records of deaths or burials in the area. 

Between 2006 and 2015, there were multiple searches conducted to find Sconiers’ remains, with negative results, including a full excavation in Allies Park in Lubin.

In September 2015, an independent researcher identified a cross with Sconiers’ name in a French military cemetery in Gdansk, Poland.

In October 2015, DPAA requested assistance from the French Embassy in locating records related to the grave. Historical records revealed there were no French soldiers who died during WWII with the name Sconiers. Additionally, documentation revealed that several French soldiers who were reported to have died in the Lubin region were later reburied in the French Military Cemetery in Gdansk, possibly linking Sconiers to the new burial site.

In July 2016, the French Government and the Polish Council for the Protection of Struggle and Martyrdom granted DPAA permission to disinter the remains at the cemetery. In September 2016, the remains were disinterred and sent to DPAA’s Central Identification Laboratory Annex at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for analysis.

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

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
January  18, 2018

Navy Seaman 1st Class John E. Savidge, 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.

Navy Seaman 1st Class John E. Savidge, 20, of Linden, New Jersey, will be buried January 26 in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP) in Honolulu. On Dec. 7, 1941, Savidge 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 Savidge. 

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 Savidge.

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 Savidge’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 and anthropological analysis, which matched his records.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
January  18, 2018

Navy Reserve Chief Water Tender Paul R. Wright, 41

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 Chief Water Tender Paul R. Wright, 41, of Meadville, Missouri, will be buried January 25 in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP) in Honolulu. On Dec. 7, 1941, Wright 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 Wright. 

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

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 Wright’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 and anthropological analysis, which matched his records.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing in Korean War Accounted For
January  17, 2018

Army Pfc. James J. Leonard, Jr., 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. James J. Leonard, Jr., 22, of San Francisco, will be buried January 23 in his hometown. 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.

In June 1952, the 392nd Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted searches of the area around Yongdong. All remains recovered were sent to the Army Graves Registration Service Central Identification Unit in Kokura, Japan, but Leonard’s remains were not identified.

In an effort to account for its own war losses, South Korea developed an organization known as the Ministry of National Defense Agency for Killed in Action Recovery and Identification (MAKRI). In early 2017, a local construction crew uncovered possible human remains and material evidence during a road excavation near Yongdong village. On March 30, a MAKRI recovery team recovered the remains and sent them to the MAKRI-Central Identification Laboratory in Seoul. The remains were subsequently sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis. 

To identify Leonard’s remains, scientists from DPAA used laboratory analysis, including dental and anthropological analysis, which matched his records, and material evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Airman Killed in World War II Accounted For
January  17, 2018

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Stanley F. Stegnerski, 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, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Stanley F. Stegnerski, 25, of Chester, Pennsylvania, will be buried January 22 in Millsboro, Deleware. On Nov. 21, 1944, Stegnerski was the pilot of a P-51D Mustang, taking off from Royal Air Force Base 133 at East Wretham, Norfolk, England, on a bomber escort mission over Germany. Over Merseberg, Germany, the American aircraft were attacked by German fighters. Stegnerski’s group closed in on a group of 20 German fighters and opened fire. He was last seen by his wingman as they prepared to attack the German Focke-Wulf fighters. 

A German shoot-down report noted a P-51 Mustang, with a tail number similar to Stegnerski’s, crashed on Nov. 21, 1944 on a road between Dollstedt and Grafentonna, Germany. The report stated the pilot could not be identified and the remains were buried in Grafentonna. Based on this information and no information concerning Stegnerski as a prisoner of war, the Secretary of War declared him deceased on Nov. 22, 1945.

Because Grafentonna, Germany was in Soviet control after 1947, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC) were restricted in their investigation. 

In 2008, German nationals Mathias Leich and Hans-Gunther Ploes, provided information and analysis that led to a U.S. team to investigate a crash site near Dollstadt and Grafentonna, where the team recovered a piece of engine cowling matching Stegnerski’s aircraft. 

In July and August 2016, a DPAA team excavated the crash site, finding possible osseous remains, material evidence and personal equipment. The remains were sent to DPAA for analysis.

To identify Stegnerski’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.

DPAA is grateful to Mr. Leich and Mr. Ploes for their assistance in this recovery mission.

 

 

 

 

 

USS Oklahoma Sailor Missing From World War II Accounted For
January  11, 2018

Navy Seaman 1st Class Willard H. Aldridge, 20

Navy Seaman 1st Class Willard H. Aldridge, 20, Clark County, Kansas, killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Aldridge 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 Aldridge.

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.

Aldridge'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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Missing Marine Killed From World War II Accounted For
January  11, 2018

Marine Corps Pfc. Harry C. Morrissey, 21

Marine Corps Pfc. Harry C. Morrissey, 21, New Hampshire, killed during World War II, has now been accounted for.

On October 9, 1942, Morrissey was a member of Company B, 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, during this battle Morrissey was killed in action. Two other marines from Morrissey’s battalion were 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 for their assistance in this recovery.

Morrissey’s name is recorded 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 World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing in Korean War Accounted For
January  10, 2018

Army Pfc. Albert E. Quintero, 24

Army Pfc. Albert E. Quintero, 24, missing from the Korean War, has now been accounted for.

In late November 1950, Quintero 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 Quintero could not be accounted for by his unit after reaching Hagaru-ri, he was reported missing in action on Dec. 2, 1950.

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

Quintero's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Courts of the Missing in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Missing Marine Killed From World War II Accounted For
January  5, 2018

Marine Corps Pfc. Harold P. Hannon, 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.

Marine Corps Pfc. Harold P. Hannon, 28, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, will be buried January 13, in his hometown. 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.

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 Hannon’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 2016, DPAA disinterred 94 sets of remains from Betio Island, which had been interred in the Punchbowl.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 Missing Soldier From World War II Accounted For
January  5, 2018



Army Pfc. Lonnie B.C. Eichelberger, 20,

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that The remains of a Texas soldier missing in action in northern Italy since 1944 and 1945 have been identified as a Waco man whose 92nd Infantry Division was the only African-American Army division to fight in Europe and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Pfc. Lonnie B.C. Eichelberger, 20, of Waco, Texas, will be buried January 10 in Houston. In February 1942, Eichelberger was a member of Company I, 371st Infantry Regiment, 92nd Infantry Division. In an era of racial segregation, the 92nd ID was the only African-American division to fight in Europe. The division fought at the westernmost portion of the Allied line in northern Italy from November 1944 until April 1945. As part of Operation Fourth Term, Eichelberger’s regiment fought in the hills near the town of Strettoia, Italy. His regiment suffered heavy losses while attacking German defenses. Following the battle, Eichelberger could not be accounted for and was declared missing in action.

In July and August 1945, during search and recovery operations, American personnel recovered a set of remains, later designated as X-193, in the vicinity of Strettoia, Italy. Attempts to identify the remains were unsuccessful and they were buried as “Unknown” at the United States temporary military cemetery at Castelfiorentino.

On Sept. 14, 1948, Unknown X-193 was disinterred and transferred to the Leghorn Port Morgue, where the remains were declared unidentifiable and reinterred in Florence American Cemetery in April 1949.

Based on analysis of information associating X-193 with two individuals still unaccounted for from the 92nd ID, the remains were disinterred from the Florence American Cemetery on June 29, 2016.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Soldier Missing in Korean War Accounted For
January  2, 2018

Army Sgt. 1st Class Eugene J. Colley, 48

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. 1st Class Eugene J. Colley, 48, of Edenton, North Carolina, will be buried January 9, 2018 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. In late November, 1950, Colley was a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. Approximately 2,500 U.S. and 700 South Korean soldiers assembled into the 31st Regimental Combat Team (RCT), which was deployed east of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, when it was engaged by overwhelming numbers of Chinese forces. By Dec. 2, the U.S. Army evacuated approximately 1,500 wounded service members; the remaining soldiers had been either captured or killed in enemy territory. Following the withdrawal, fighting continued. Because Colley could not be accounted for by his unit at the end of the battle, he was reported missing in action as of Dec. 2, 1950.



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

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

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

 

 


 

 

POW/MIA's from  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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.