POW MIA

Posted: May 14, 2012 in Uncategorized
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"Keeping the Promise", "Fulfill their Trust" and "No one left behind" are several of many mottos that refer to the efforts of the Department of Defense to recover those who became missing while serving our nation. More than 83,000 Americans are missing from World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War and the 1991 Gulf War. Hundreds of Defense Department men and women — both military and civilian — work in organizations around the world as part of DoD's personnel recovery and personnel accounting communities. They are all dedicated to the single mission of finding and bringing our missing personnel home. For a listing of all personnel accounted for since 2007 refer to http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/accounted_for. For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1420. The remains of the following MIA/POW’s have been recovered, identified, and scheduled for burial since the publication of the last RAO Bulletin:
Korea
Today, more than 7,900 Americans remain unaccounted-for from the Korean War.
 DPMO announced 20 APR that the remains of Army Cpl. James N. Larkin, 34, of Kirkwood, Mo., a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors. He will be buried 24 APR in St. Louis, Mo. On Feb. 11, 1951, Larkin and his unit known as “Support Force 21,” from the 2nd Infantry Division, were attacked by Chinese forces near Changbong-ni, South Korea. The unit withdrew to a more defensible position and suffered many losses. Following the battle, Larkin was listed as missing in action. After the 1953 armistice, surviving prisoners of war who returned during “Operation Big Switch” said Larkin had died in April 1951, from battle wounds and malnutrition while captive in the Chinese operated POW camp known as “Bean Camp” located in North Korea. His remains were not returned during Operation Glory in 1954. Between 1991 and 1994, North Korea gave the United States 208 boxes of remains believed to contain the remains of 200-400 U.S. servicemen. North Korean documents, turned over with some of the boxes, indicated that some of the human remains were recovered from Suan County, where Larkin was held as a POW. Scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used circumstantial evidence, as well as dental comparisons, radiographs, and mitochondrial DNA – which matched that of Larkin’s nephews—in the identification of the remains.
 DPMO announced 20 APR that the remains of Army Pfc. Richard E. Clapp, 19, of Seattle, Wash., a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors. He will be buried April 25, at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. On Sept. 2, 1950, Clapp and the C Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment came under fire near Yulchon, South Korea, and Clapp was killed in action. The Army was unable to identify his remains at the time, and the remains were buried as “Unknown” in a military cemetery on the Korean Peninsula. In 1951, the U.S. consolidated cemeteries on the peninsula. The unknown remains were interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. In 2011, due to advances in identification technology, the remains were exhumed for identification. Scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools such as radiograph comparison, and dental records to identify Clapp.
 DPMO announced 23 APR that the remains of Army Sgt. 1st Class Edris A. Viers, 32, of Swan, Iowa, a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors. Burial is scheduled for 27 APR in his hometown. In August 1950, Viers and Battery A, 555th Field Artillery Battalion, were fighting against North Korean forces in a battle known as the “Bloody Gulch,” near Pongam-ni, South Korea. After the battle, on Aug. 12, Viers was listed as missing in action. In late 1950, U.S. Army Graves Registration Service personnel recovered remains of service members from that battlefield, including nine men who were unidentified. These men were buried at the 25th Infantry Division Cemetery in South Korea. In 1951, the U.S. consolidated cemeteries on the peninsula. The unknown remains were re-interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. In 2011, due to advances in identification technology, the remains were exhumed for identification. Based on available evidence such as metal identification tags, military clothing, and wartime records, analysts from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) were able to conclude that the remains were a sergeant from the 90th or 555th Field Artillery Battalion, who had died at Pongam-ni. Both groups had suffered losses in the Bloody Gulch battle. Scientists from the JPAC used the circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools such as radiograph comparisons to identify the remains as Viers.
 DPMO announced 24 APR that the remains of a Army Pfc. Nelson E. Young, 19, of Suffolk, Mass.,U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors. Burial is scheduled for 28 APR in his hometown.in Foxboro, Mass. In late November 1950, Young, and elements of the 31st Regimental Combat Team, known as “Task Force Faith,” were advancing along the eastern banks of the Chosin Reservoir, in North Korea, when they came under attack. On Dec. 2, 1950, Young, along with many other Americans, was listed as missing in action as a result of the heavy fighting. In 1953, returning Americans who had been held as prisoners of war reported that Young had been captured by the Chinese during the battle from Nov. 27- Dec. 1, 1950. He died several months later as a result of malnutrition while being held as a prisoner of war, near the northern end of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea; an area known as “Death Valley.” Between 1991 and 1994, North Korea gave the United States 208 boxes of remains believed to contain the remains of 200-400 U.S. servicemen. North Korean documents, turned over with some of the boxes, indicated that some of the human remains were recovered from the area where Young had reportedly died in captivity, in North Korea. To identify the remains, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used circumstantial evidence, and forensic identification tools such as dental records, and mitochondrial DNA – which matched Young’s living maternal relatives.
Vietnam
 Army Capt. Charles R. Barnes, 27, of Philadelphia, Pa., will be buried 2 MAY, in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. On March 16, 1969, Barnes and four other service members departed Qui Nhon Airfields bound for Da Nang and Phu Bai, in a U-21A Ute aircraft. As they approached Da Nang, they encountered low clouds and poor visibility. Communications with the aircraft were lost, and they did not land as scheduled. Immediate search efforts were limited due to hazardous weather conditions, and all five men were list as missing in action. From 1986-1989, unidentified human remains were turned over to the U.S. from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) in several different instances. None of the remains were identified given the limits of the technology of the time. In 1993, a joint U.S./S.R.V. team, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command(JPAC), conducted investigations in Quang Nam-Da Nang, and Thua Thien-Hue Provinces. interviewed a local Vietnamese citizen who supplied remains and an identification tag bearing Barnes’ name, which he claimed to have recovered from an aircraft crash site. In 1999, another joint U.S./S.R.V. team interviewed additional Vietnamese citizens about the crash and they were led to the crash site. In 2000, a joint U.S./S.R.V. team excavated the site and recovered human remains and material evidence. Scientists from the JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory Among used circumstantial evidence, and forensic identification tools such as mitochondrial DNA – which matched that of Barnes’ sister – in the identification of the remains.
[Source: http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/news/news_releases/ Apr 2012 +]

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