The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the
remains of 11 U.S. servicemen, missing in action from World War II, have been identified and are being
returned to their families for burial with full military honors.
Army Air Forces Technical Sgt. Charles A. Bode, 23, Baltimore, will be buried on Feb. 11 in
Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. On Nov. 20, 1943, Bode, along with 10 other B-24D
Liberator crew members, took off from Jackson Airfield, Port Moresby, New Guinea, on an overwater
mission near the northern coast of the country. During the mission, the only radio transmission from the
crew indicated they were 20 miles northwest of Port Moresby but they did not return to Jackson Airfield.
Subsequent searches failed to uncover any evidence of either the crew or the aircraft.
Following World War II, the Army Graves Registration Service conducted investigations and
searches for 43 missing airmen including Bode and the other 10 airmen, but concluded in June 1949 that
all were unrecoverable.
In 1984, the government of Papua New Guinea notified U.S. officials of a World War II crash site
in a ravine in Morobe Province. A U.S. search and recovery team investigated the crash site in late 1984
and located B-24 aircraft wreckage. They also recovered human remains but were unable to complete the
mission due to time constraints and the threat of landslides. From that time until 2004 multiple teams from
the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) attempted to access and excavate the location but the
threat of landslides made recovery too dangerous to continue. During a site visit in 2004, local villagers
turned over human remains they had previously removed from the area.
In addition to Bode’s burial, the crew of 11 men will be buried as a group on March 24 at
Arlington National Cemetery. They are: 1st Lt. Richard T. Heuss, 23, Berkley, Mich.; 2nd Lt. Robert A.
Miller, 22, Memphis, Tenn.; 2nd Lt. Edward R. French, 23, Erie, Pa.; 2nd Lt. Robert R. Streckenbach, Jr.,
21, Green Bay, Wis.; Tech. Sgt. Charles A. Bode; Tech. Sgt. Lucian I. Oliver, Jr., 23 Memphis, Tenn.;
Staff Sgt. Ivan O. Kirkpatrick, 36, Whittier, Calif.; Staff Sgt. William K. Musgrave, 24, Hutsonville, Ill.;
Staff Sgt. James T. Moran, 21, Sloatsburg, N.Y.; Staff Sgt. James B. Moore, 21, Woburn, Mass.; and Staff
Sgt. Roy Surabian, 24, Medford, Mass.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and
the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used mitochondrial DNA in the identification of Bode’s
Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died. At the end of
the war, the U.S. government was unable to recover and identify approximately 79,000 Americans.
Today, more than 74,000 are unaccounted-for from the conflict.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing
Americans, visit the DPMO web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.