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DPAA In The News

News 2 | May 16, 2024

Personal Effects Provide Clues in Search for Missing WWII Airmen

By By David Vergun, DOD News

A 25-member team from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency is in the Normandy region of France searching for three missing airmen whose C-47A aircraft was presumably shot down by German anti-aircraft fire on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

Air Force Master Sgt. Raul Castillo, the team's lead support investigator, or LSI, works closely with the scientific recovery expert, or SRE, to examine all objects that the team screens from the soil at the scene of the crash.

While the SRE looks for bone fragments, the LSI is primarily looking to identify uniforms and other clothing, navigation protractors and personal effects like watches, rings and so on. Life-support equipment is also important in helping to identify any remains nearby. This equipment could be life preservers, life rafts, parachutes, oxygen masks and things of that nature, he said.

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