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News & Stories
News | April 11, 2017

Russian delegation meets with DPAA


The U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs (USRJC) held meetings in Washington, D.C. recently to discuss issues concerning missing U.S. and former Soviet service personnel from past wars. The meeting was hosted by Fern Sumpter Winbush, the acting director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, and Gen. (Ret.) Robert H. “Doc” Foglesong, the U.S. chairman of the U.S. Side of the USRJC, who met with General-Major (Ret.) Vladimir V. Popov, the director of the Russian Directorate for the Perpetuation of the Memory of the Fallen in Defense of the Fatherland, a DPAA counterpart.

The week included a series of meetings involving WWII, the Cold War, Korea and Vietnam losses. This provided an opportunity for the two sides to update each other on the status of ongoing research.
The meetings also discussed preparations for the next set of Technical Talks, scheduled to be held this summer in Washington, D.C. General-Colonel (Ret.) Valeriy A. Vostrotin, the Chairman of the Russian Side of the USRJC also plans to attend and speak at the 48th Annual Meeting of the National League of POW/MIA Families in Arlington, Virginia in June. Participants at the meetings also discussed preparations for the 21st Plenum of the USRJC, scheduled for Russia later this year.

“The week's events included a visit to Elizabeth City, North Carolina, where the Russians plan to donate a monument in honor of the Project Zebra, WWII Lend-Lease program whereby Catalina amphibious aircraft were provided to the Soviet Union in 1944 and 1945,” said Dr. James G. Connell Jr., the acting executive secretary of the U.S. Side of the USRJC for DPAA. “The Soviet pilots were trained at the U.S. Coast Guard base in Elizabeth City, and four Soviet and one Canadian aviator perished there in an accident in 1945.”

The Russian delegation laid a wreath at the U.S. Naval Academy sarcophagus of U.S. Revolutionary War hero John Paul Jones, who served as a rear admiral in the Russian Imperial Navy after Congress disbanded the nascent U.S. Navy in 1785. The Russian delegation consulted with USRJC Commissioner Dr. Tim Nenninger at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), at NARA facilities on Pennsylvania Avenue, where they viewed the original Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and in College Park, Maryland, where Russian researchers work in the collection of WWII German trophy documents.

“These technical talks and combined meetings always stress the mutual benefits of cooperation with Russia in the context of the USRJC in helping account for U.S. and Soviet/Russian service personnel who perished or went missing while fulfilling their duty to their respective countries,” said Connell. “For more than 25 years, the humanitarian thrust of our mission in this noble effort has overcome any issues that divide our nations.”

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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