Posted: Friday, January 9, 2015

Posted: Friday, January 9, 2015

Three MIAs Recovered
The Defense POW/MIA Office announced the identification of remains belonging to three American servicemen who had been missing in action from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Recovered are:

  • Army Air Forces Maj. Peyton S. Mathis Jr., 28, of Montgomery, Ala. On June 5, 1944, Mathis was piloting a P-38J Lightning when the aircraft lost power while attempting to land at Kukum Air Field on Guadalcanal Island in the Solomon Islands. A rescue team located the crash site but was unable to recover Mathis because the aircraft was submerged in a dense jungle swamp. He will be buried with full military honors on a date and location yet to be determined.
  • Army Cpl. Francis D. Knobel, 20, of La Crosse, Wis., was assigned to Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, when he was lost Dec. 12, 1950, in North Korea. He will be buried with full military honors on a date and location yet to be determined.
  • Air Force Col. William E. Cooper, 45, of Albany, Ga., was assigned to the 469th Tactical Squadron, 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, when his F-105D Thunderchief was shot down while on a strike mission on a highway-railroad bridge north of Hanoi, North Vietnam, on April 24, 1966. He will be buried with full military honors on a date and location yet to be determined.
Free At Last
Posted: Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Posted: Tuesday, February 5, 2013


The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, were recently identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Pfc. Weldon A. Davis, 24, of Tioga, Texas, will be buried Feb. 6, in Dallas. In late November 1950, elements of the 25th Infantry Division (ID) were engaged in fighting with units of the Chinese army north of the Ch’ongch’on River in North Korea. In the course of the fighting, and the subsequent withdrawal south by U.S. forces, the 25th ID suffered extensive casualties, with numerous men being taken captive by the Chinese. Davis was last seen in the vicinity of Somindong.

In 1953, as part of Operation Big Switch, soldiers who were returned told debriefers that Davis had been captured and taken by enemy forces to a POW camp known as Death Valley. Soldiers also stated that in January 1951, Davis died from malnutrition and pneumonia. His remains were not among those returned by Communist Forces in 1954.


Posted: Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Posted: Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October 16, 2012
Airmen Missing From Vietnam War Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of two servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be buried, as a group, with full military honors.

Air Force Col. Wendell Keller of Fargo, N.D., and Capt. Virgil K. Meroney III of Fayetteville, Ark., will be buried as a group, in a single casket representing the crew, on Oct. 19, in Arlington National Cemetery. Meroney was interred individually on June 9, in his hometown.

On March 1, 1969, Keller and Meroney were the crew of an F-4D Phantom II aircraft that crashed while carrying out a nighttime strike mission in Khammouan Province, Laos. Nearby U.S. aircrews reported seeing the aircraft hit by enemy fire. No parachutes were seen after the aircraft was hit. Heavy enemy presence in the area prevented recovery efforts.

From 1994 to 2011, joint U.S.-Lao People’s Democratic Republic (L.P.D.R.) teams, led by Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), conducted several investigations and excavations of the crash site in Khammouan Province, Laos. The teams located human remains, military equipment, a military identification card, and aircraft wreckage of an F-4, including an engine data plate and radio call-sign plate. During the 17 years of investigations, analysts evaluated the material evidence and the accounts of more than 40 eyewitnesses to confirm the information correlated with the crew’s loss location.

To identify the remains, scientists from JPAC used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools including dental comparisons and radiograph comparisons.

Today, 1,655 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Vietnam War. The U.S. government continues to work closely with the governments of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia to recover Americans lost during the Vietnam War.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO website at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call 703-699-1169