An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

News Release

Press Release | July 18, 2023

Airman Accounted For From WWII (Triplett, J.)


The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. James M. Triplett, 36, of Spokane, Washington, killed during World War II, was accounted for Oct. 25, 2022.

In September 1944, Triplett was assigned to 700th Bombardment Squadron, 445th Bombardment Group, 2d Air Division, 8th Air Force. On Sept. 27, the B-24H Liberator bomber on which he was serving as a radio operator was part of a large mission to bomb the industrial city Kassel in northern Hesse, Germany. During the mission the formation of aircraft encountered heavy resistance from enemy ground and air forces, which resulted in the rapid loss of 25 Liberators. Several of the crew aboard Triplett’s aircraft were able to bail out, and witnesses who survived did not report seeing him escape the aircraft. Six of the nine crew members were killed. His body was not recovered, and the Germans never reported him as a prisoner of war. The War Department issued a finding of death on Sept. 28, 1945.

Following the end of the war, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC) was tasked with investigating and recovering missing American personnel in Europe. They discovered the Liberator crash site outside of Richelsdorf, Germany. An identification tag for one of the missing crew members was discovered at this site, linking it to the loss of Triplett's crew.

DPAA historians are conducting ongoing, comprehensive research focused on air losses over Germany, and in 2009 sent an investigation team to investigate a crash site near Richelsdorf, which was recommended for excavation. Subsequently, three DPAA recovery teams performed excavation operations at the crash site in 2015 and 2016. Identification media correlated the site to the B-24H on which Triplett flew. Remains recovered from the crash site during these excavations were sent to the DPAA laboratory for examination and identification.

To identify Triplett’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y chromosome DNA (Y-STR) analysis.

Triplett’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at Luxembourg American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Luxembourg, along with the others still missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

Triplett will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery on Oct. 31, 2023.

For family and funeral information, contact the Army Casualty Office at (800) 892-2490.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at, find us on social media at or

Triplett’s personnel profile can be viewed