September 20 ~ POW/MIA Recognition Day

Recovery team returns from China with WWII remains

HICKAM AFB, Hawaii (Army News Service, Oct. 9, 2002) -- A 14-man search and recovery team from the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory returned to Hawaii late last week with what is believed to be the remains of four American service members whose C- 46 transport plane crashed in the Tibetan Himalayas of China in March 1944.

The aircraft was based at Sookerating, India, and was reported missing missing in flight enroute from Kunming, China, to its home base during WWII. It is believed the aircraft became lost, ran out of gas and crashed. The aircraft wreckage was located in a cliff face above a ravine.

The search and recovery team was in China for two months excavating the crash site located at about 15,600 feet above sea level.

The remains recovered from the initial crash site in China were transported to the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii where they will be analyzed for identification potential.

U.S.-North Korea conclude POW/ MIA Talks

(United States Department of Defense, Oct. 07, 2002) -- Talks between the United States and North Korea on issues related to accounting for American MIA ended Oct. 8 in Bangkok.

Led by Jerry D. Jennings, deputy assistant secretary of defense for POW/Missing Personnel Affairs, the one-day session laid out the U.S. vision for improving U.S. remains recovery operations inside North Korea and facilitating live sighting investigations.

Jennings spoke of past technical agreements, the result of which led to the recovery of the remains of more than 170 American soldiers in seven years. But he emphasized that progress is needed from the North Korean side to establish a mechanism for resolving reports of the possibility of Americans living or being held in North Korea.

Remains of U.S. Servicemen reovered in North Korea

(United States Department of Defense, Sept. 24, 2002) -- Remains believed to be those of eight American soldiers missing in action from the Korean War were repatriated Sept. 24.

Found near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea, the five sets of remains are believed to be those of U.S. Army soldiers from the 7th Infantry Division who fought against Chinese forces November- December 1950.

Additionally, three sets of remains were found along the Kuryong River near the junction of Unsan and Kujang counties, about 60 miles north of Pyongyang. The area was the site of battles between communist forces and the U.S. Army’s 1st Cavalry and 25th Infantry Divisions in November 1950. Approximately 1,000 Americans are estimated to have been lost in battles of the Chosin campaign.

This repatriation marks the end of the second of this year’s three operations. The remaining operation is set for Sept. 28-Oct. 29.

Of the 88,000 Americans missing in action from all conflicts, more than 8,100 are from the Korean War.

DoD official cites progress on WWII MIAS in Burma

(United States Department of Defense, Sept. 14, 2002) -- A Department of Defense delegation visited Rangoon, Burma, where it laid the framework for operations to recover the remains of WWII American servicemen whose aircraft crashed in Burma while flying missions against the Japanese.

Jerry D. Jennings, deputy assistant secretary of defense for POW/ Missing Personnel Affairs, met with senior Burmese officials in Rangoon this week to discuss U.S. recovery operations at four sites in Burma. The government of Burma pledged full support for these recovery missions.

CILHI has identified four sites where C-47 cargo aircraft crashed in 1944 and 1945 in the northern part of Burma. Technical talks will be held in Burma in November to arrange details on the excavation of the four sites in early 2003. More than 78,000 Americans are missing in action from WWII.


U.S. Military Will Leave No One Behind

By Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20, 2002 — It is a matter of honor to the U.S. military that it will leave no one behind.

“Throughout the history of our nation, we have been blessed by heroes willing to sacrifice their freedom to protect and defend our own,” Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said at the Pentagon’s River Parade Field ceremony. “It is still so today. In foreign lands and on far away seas, courageous military men and women are fighting to defend our country’s freedom.

“They do so knowing that if they should fall on the field of battle, should they be captured or lost, we will do everything in our power to find them and to bring them home,” he continued. “That is our pledge to them and to you.”