DPAA In The News

Feb. 8, 2022

Identifying Sunken Planes: UD and Project Recover work with the Danish Royal Navy to identify two U.S. bombers from WWII (via University of Delaware)

On June 20, 1944, a collision occurred between two B-24 bombers that were part of the U.S. 565th Bomb Squadron and were headed to strike targets in Germany. Between the two planes, a total of 21 Airmen were involved in the accident, which occurred near the island of Langeland in Denmark.In early August 2021, a joint effort between the University of

Dec. 6, 2021

How scientist/detectives work to identify missing service members (via Nebraska Public Media)

How scientist/detectives work to identify missing service members inside the DPAA lab at Offutt Air Force Base near Bellevue. A story from the Nebraska Public Media series on innovation and creativity in Nebraska, "What If..." More at netNebraska.org/WhatIf    

Dec. 6, 2021

80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor brings end to victim-identification program (via the Washington Post)

Twin brothers Leo and Rudolph Blitz were 16 when they applied to join the Navy. They were so young that their father had to go to the recruiting office in Omaha and give his permission. Rudolph wanted a Navy career. Leo wanted to learn a trade.It was 1938. Times were hard and the boys lived with their family in a two-bedroom house in a neighborhood

Dec. 6, 2021

A Noble Calling (via UMass Boston Magazine)

Colonel (Retired) Fern Sumpter Winbush ’89 enjoyed a distinguished 30-year career in the U.S. Army, during which she rose from private first class to commander before retiring in 2015.Today, she serves in a different capacity. As a member of the Senior Executive Service and principal director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), she

Dec. 6, 2021

How DNA Solved One of the Final Mysteries of Pearl Harbor (via Politico)

On Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 1941, Mess Attendant 2nd Class Jesus Garcia, stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma, was preparing to go to mass.Just before 8 a.m., Japanese dive bombers launched their surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and the battleship, crippled by torpedoes, began to capsize. Some crew members jumped into a sea of burning oil to escape or

Nov. 29, 2021

Inside the 80-Year Quest to Name Pearl Harbor's Unknown Victims (via Time Magazine)

The seven sailors point their rifles skyward and fire three times in unison, shattering the silence at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. The military salute signifies the end of an 80-year-old mystery that traces back to Dec. 7, 1941, the beginning of America’s involvement in World War II.Navy sailors Harold and William Trapp were

Nov. 15, 2021

Bringing Back Missing Veterans: ‘Always Loved – Never Forgotten’ (via Flatland KC)

Louis William Dick died in 1975.Amanda Jane Gish Dick died in 1983.Before their deaths they purchased cemetery plots for themselves as well as for their only son. They knew he had been killed during World War II. They did not know if his body would ever be identified and returned to Missouri.But they nevertheless saved a place for him – right next

Oct. 21, 2021

Combat Anthropology: How the DPAA Gives Names Back to the Dead

In a World War II bomber hangar that once housed the Enola Gay and Bockscar B-29 bombers, which dropped the two atomic bombs on Japan, forensic anthropologist Traci Van Deest, Ph.D., and her team of scientists have several skeletons on display. These are the remains of American service members killed decades ago, far from home. Van Deest and her

Sept. 22, 2021

70 years after he died in a Korean POW camp, Father Emil Kapaun begins journey home

Emil Kapaun was a priest from Pilsen, Kansas who became a war hero for his actions during the Korean War. He was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2013 and is now being considered for sainthood by the Vatican.None of his family or his closest Korean War compatriots thought Tuesday’s eventswere possible, not in 70 years.But the day has come. And Father

Sept. 17, 2021

A Proclamation on National POW/MIA Recognition Day, 2021 (via WhiteHouse.gov)

When service members take an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States, they do so knowing that they may be called upon to make great sacrifices to ensure and sustain our shared values. These patriots accept those risks and rush to fulfill the mission, no matter how harsh or dangerous the conditions. They embody the best of the American