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News Release

Press Release | Oct. 22, 2013

Soldier Missing From WWII Identified (Rush)

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, lost during World War II, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Technician Fifth Grade Oneal Rush, 24, of Galivants Ferry, S.C., will be buried Oct. 26, in his hometown. In August 1944, Rush, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers soldier, and six other service members were aboard an C-47A Skytrain aircraft that departed from Shingbwiyang, Burma to Myitkyina, Burma, on an air supply mission. Rush and the six service members were reported missing in action when the airplane failed to reached its destination.

Soon after the loss and following the war, Army personnel attempted to locate the aircraft wreckage, but were unsuccessful. Subsequently, in 1945, a military review board declared Rush and the other six service members to be presumed dead and his remains non-recoverable.

On March 10, 2003, Burmese officials informed the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) team of a crash site and a local villager handed over material evidence that correlated to two crew members aboard the Skytrain. JPAC investigated this site in November 2004, and recovered Rush’s remains, aircraft wreckage and cargo.

To identify the remains, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools such as dental comparisons and mitochondrial DNA — which matched that of Rush’s niece. The six other service member have yet to be identified.

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died. There are still more than 73,000 servicemen whose remains were never recovered.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at or call (703) 699-1169.