POW/MIA Update: April 25, 2016

AMERICANS ACCOUNTED FOR: The number of US personnel missing and unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War is still 1,621. Recently announced as accounted for is SFC Alan L. Boyer, USA/SF, listed as MIA 3/28/68, Laos, remains returned 6/16/98, and identified 3/16/16. Prior to this announcement, DPAA had announced the name of Major Donald G. Carr, USA/SF, listed as MIA 7/6/71, in South Vietnam, remains returned 8/29/14, and identified 8/10/15. Word is circulating that remains of 1Lt Daniel W. Thomas, USAF, the other officer missing from this incident, have been recovered. All hope that these remains will be identified as 1Lt Thomas and returned to his family; however, in reality, the osseous material recovered will undergo thorough analysis at the DPAA Laboratory in Hawaii before any conclusions can be reached. The total accounted for is still 962 since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. Another 63 US personnel, recovered by the US and identified before the end of the war, raises the total of US personnel accounted for from the Vietnam War to 1,025. Of the 1,621 still missing and unaccounted-for, 90% were lost in Vietnam or in areas of Cambodia and Laos under Vietnam’s wartime control: Vietnam-1,264 (VN-466, VS-798); Laos-301; Cambodia-49; PRC territorial waters-7. These country-specific numbers can and do fluctuate when investigations and analyses result in changes to loss locations. Since formation in 1970, the League has sought the return of all POWs, the fullest possible accounting for those still missing, and repatriation of all recoverable remains of those who died serving our nation during the Vietnam War.

DPAA DIRECTOR VISITS PRC & SOUTH KOREA: Director Michael Linnington, accompanied by three DPAA staff members, is now en route to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for accounting-specific talks aimed at increasing PRC cooperation. In addition to advocating joint field operations, Mr. Linnington likely will seek greater access to archives relevant to Vietnam War losses that would predictably have been known to PRC personnel then serving in North Vietnam and Laos, and archives related to known POW camps run by PRC personnel during the Korean War. The team will then travel to South Korea. Following a tour of MAKRI (Ministry of National Defense Agency for KIA Recovery and Identification facility), the team will participate in a repatriation ceremony honoring two US personnel who served during the Korean War, remains of whom, if verified through DPAA Lab identification, were recently recovered by South Korean recovery specialists. MAKRI was established in 2007 with support and assistance of Johnie E. Webb and CILHI.

47th ANNUAL MEETING: June 22-25, 2016, Hilton Crystal City Hotel, Arlington, Virginia: Visit the League’s web site, http://www/pow-miafamilies.org, to get additional details, including a form to register for this crucial meeting, the first opportunity to listen to and assess the work of DPAA. DoD will again authorize COIN Assist travel for two family members per missing man; the Services will soon send information to all Primary Next-of-Kin (PNOK) who will be responsible for designating the two representatives. Plan to arrive on Wednesday, June 22nd, for registration beginning at 3:00 p.m. If a first time attendee, allow time to check into the Hilton and attend Orientation before boarding buses at 5:30 p.m. for historic Ft. Myer and the Twilight Tattoo to be held that evening. Individual Case File Reviews will be held in the Service Casualty Offices Wednesday – Saturday during customary business hours. Plan your departure no earlier than Sunday, June 26th, to enable you to participate fully throughout the meeting and maximize your time in the Washington, DC, area with access to US officials directly responsible for the accounting mission, and to the historic sites in our nation’s capital. The 47th Annual Meeting formally concludes Saturday evening, June 25th, with a League-hosted Farewell Reception.

ATTEND DPAA-HOSTED UPDATE: The next DPAA-hosted POW/MIA Update will be held in Boston, MA, on May 14th. Contact your Service Casualty Office to obtain the latest information. If a family member and you have not yet provided a DNA sample for comparison, you are encouraged to do so and your Service Casualty Office can explain eligibility.