The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. James R. Lord, 20, of Conneaut, Ohio, killed during World War II, was accounted for on Sept. 25, 2018.
On Aug. 10, 1944, Lord, a member of the 66th Fighter Squadron, 57th Fighter Group, 12th Tactical Air Command, 12th Air Force, was piloting a P-47D aircraft, targeting gun positions in the Savona area of northwest Italy, near the French border. During the mission, Lord misjudged his altitude and crashed into the water, a mile off the coast of Anghione, Corsica. No witnesses reported seeing any parachute sightings.
In the 1980s, local Corsican divers found and documented a large number of Royal Air Force, French, German and U.S. aircraft off the island. Mr. Franck Allegrini-Semollini, a local diver and amateur archeologist began diving the sites in 1985. In August 2012, Allegrini-Semollini dived on two P-47 wrecks, and informed the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC-a predecessor to DPAA) of his historical research and findings.
After a 2014 follow-up investigation by JPAC, in June and July 2018, a DPAA Underwater Recovery Team onboard French Navy Vessel BBPD PLUTON, returned to the site and conducted recovery operations in the area where Lord’s aircraft was believed to have been. The team consisted of personnel from DPAA, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, and the French Navy’s dive and EOD unit Groupement de Plongeurs Démineurs. The team excavated 150 square feet of seafloor sediment, recovering possible osseous remains, material evidence, unexploded ordnance, aircraft wreckage and personal effects.
To identify Lord’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.
DPAA is grateful to Mr. Franck Allegrini-Semollini and Mr. Marc-Francois Casanova of AMIS 57th Bomb Wing Group, Mr. Philippe Castellano, Mr. Stephan le Gallais, the French Ministry of Culture (DRASSM), the French Navy, the Sainte Anne Army Instructional Hospital of Toulon, the U.S. Army Mortuary Affairs Activity Europe/Africa, and the U.S. Consulate General Marseille for their partnerships in this recovery.
Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. Currently there are 72,766 service members (approximately 26,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable) still unaccounted for from World War II. Lord’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the Florence American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Impruneta, Italy, along with the others missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
For family information, contact the Army Service Casualty office at (800) 892-2490.
Lord will be buried June 22, 2019, in Conneaut, Ohio.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at www.dpaa.mil, find us on social media at www.facebook.com/dodpaa or call (703) 699-1420/1169.