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News & Stories
News | Jan. 18, 2017

Airman Missing From World War II Identified (Mumford)

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. John D. Mumford, missing from World War II, has now been accounted for.

On June 6, 1944, Mumford, while serving with the 318th Fighter Squadron, 325th Fighter Group, 15th Air Force, flew his last mission as the pilot and sole occupant of a P-51C “Mustang” fighter. Mumford and other pilots of the 325th Fighter Group were assigned escort duty, accompanying and protecting a flight of B-17 “Flying Fortress” bombers of the 5th Bombardment Wing on their mission to bomb and destroy a German occupied airfield at Galati, Romania. After successfully completing the bombing mission, the bombers and their escort fighters came under attack by German fighters. Mumford was last seen by fellow pilots in pursuit of two German fighters. Later, villagers of Novotroyan- present day Novi Troyany- Ukraine, observed two aircraft with U.S. markings pursued by several German aircraft. One of the U.S. aircraft crashed in a nearby field.

In 2008 and 2010, personnel from predecessor organizations of DPAA visited the village of Novi Troyany, interviewing witnesses to the crash, correlating it to Mumford’s loss, and surveying the site of the crash to prepare for future excavation.

In July and August 2016, DPAA, jointly with the Ukraine Armed Forces and the National Museum of Military History of Ukraine, excavated the crash site.

Laboratory analysis and circumstantial evidence were used in the identification of his remains.

Interment services are pending.

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Public Affairs Contact Information

Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency PAO
Washington, D.C.
2300 Defense Pentagon
Attn: Outreach and Communications
Washington, D.C. 20301-2300