The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from World War II, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
He is 2nd Lt. Arthur F. Eastman, U.S. Army Air Forces, of East Orange, N.J. He will be buried in September in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.
Representatives from the Army met with Eastman’s next-of-kin to explain the recovery and identification process and to coordinate interment with military honors on behalf of the Secretary of the Army.
On Aug. 18, 1944, Eastman departed the airdrome at Finschhafen, New Guinea, on a test flight of his F-5E-2 aircraft, but never returned. Subsequent searches failed to locate Eastman or his aircraft.
In 2003, a Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) found documents in the Australian National Archives about an earlier site visit believed to be associated with an F-5E crash. According to the archives, an Australian official had visited the crash site in 1950 in Morobe province near Koilil Village, but there was no subsequent recovery.
In 2004, a team from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) investigated the crash site in the mountains of Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea. The team found aircraft wreckage and recommended the site be excavated.
In February-March 2007, a JPAC team excavated the crash site and recovered human remains, pilot-related items and other personal effects, including Eastman’s military identification tag.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC also used dental comparisons in the identification of the remains.
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.