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News Release

Press Release | Aug. 3, 2022

Airman Accounted For From World War II (Walker, G.)

WASHINGTON  –   The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that U.S. Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. George B. Walker, 25, of Spartanburg, South Carolina, killed during World War II, was accounted for June 21, 2022.

In the winter of 1944, Walker was assigned to the 369th Bombardment Squadron, 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 8th Air Force. On Feb. 3, he was the engineer and turret gunner aboard a B-17G Flying Fortress bomber that was part of a large bombing mission against the Wilhelmshaven Naval Shipyard in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. When the formation was flying near Oldenburg, it came under anti-aircraft fire. Even though there was no obvious damage, Walker’s bomber began to lag behind the formation as it experienced general mechanical failure. The pilot flew the B-17 over the water and the crew bailed out. Germans captured several of the crew, including Walker, who was sent to Stalag Luft 6, a prisoner of war camp in Heydekrug, Germany. Walker was one of only three Americans who died in that POW camp. He died April 28 when he was shot while trying to escape.

After the war, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC), the organization that searched for and recovered fallen American personnel in the European Theater, was unable to recover the three Americans’ remains because Stalag Luft 6, now inside Lithuania because of post-war border shifting, was deep inside the Soviet occupation zone. In 1948, the AGRC provided a list of Americans whose remains were believed to be in Soviet territory to the Soviet government, but Walker’s couldn’t remains couldn’t be identified. The AGRC provided additional information on Walker to the Soviets in 1950, but by September 1951, he could still not be found. He was declared non-recoverable on March 25, 1954.

After Lithuania became independent in 1992, the U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs requested the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius look into Walker’s case. They discovered the Soviet Union destroyed Stalag Luft 6 in 1955 and reverted the area to farmland. In 2006, a team from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), a DPAA predecessor, and the Joint Commission Support Directorate, investigated the site and recommended excavation. However, significant issues prevented them from sending a recovery team. Around this time, the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO), also a DPAA predecessor, found several new sources of information pertaining to the case at the National Archives.

DPAA partnered with Ohio Valley Archeology, Inc. (OVAI) in 2019, and an OVAI team investigated the sight that September, finding possible gravesites for the three missing Americans. A Lithuanian archeological group called Kulturos Vertybiu Globa (Guardianship of Cultural Values) was also active in the area and was planning an excavation of Polish and Lithuanian remains near Stalag Luft 6, so DPAA partnered with them to excavate the possible gravesites, which they did in August 2021. The remains found at the site were transferred to the DPAA Laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for analysis.

To identify Walker’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as material and circumstantial evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y chromosome DNA (Y-STR) analysis.

Walker’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at Netherlands American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) site in Margraten, Netherlands, along with others still missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

Walker will be buried in his hometown. The date has yet to be determined.

For family and funeral information, contact the Army Casualty Office at (800) 892-2490.

DPAA is grateful to OVAI and Kulturos Vertybiu Globa for their partnership in this mission.

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 or find us on social media at or

Walker’s personnel profile can be viewed at