The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from World War II, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
He is Sgt. Michael A. Chiodo, U.S. Army Air Forces. He was 22 years old at the time of his death. He will be buried Oct. 20 in his hometown of Cleveland.
On April 29, 1944, the Eighth Air Force ordered more than 600 aircraft to bomb the railroad system in downtown Berlin. Chiodo was the assistant radio operator aboard a B-24J Liberator that took off from Wendling Air Base, County Norfolk, England. The aircraft crashed with nine other crew members aboard when attacked by German fighters before reaching their target. The precise location of the crash could not be determined during the dogfights, but other crew members’ observations placed it north of Hanover.
In 2003, a German citizen began excavating the crash site near the village of Meitze and turned over human remains to U.S. officials. A Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command team traveled to excavate the crash site in 2005 and 2007, recovering additional remains and crew-related equipment—including identification tags for four of the crew members.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC used dental comparisons and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used mitochondrial DNA – which matched that of Chiodo’s sister, niece and great-nephew -- in the identification of his remains.
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 72,000 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.