Families Frustrated by Changes to Pow MIA System
Families Frustrated by Changes to Pow MIA System
The Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel delivered a speech on the Pentagon Parade grounds to honor POW/MIAs from Past Conflicts.
He was joined by Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and ABMC Secretary Max Cleland.
The speech can be viewed at the following web page:
National POW/MIA Recognition Day Ceremony
As Delivered by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Pentagon River Terrace Parade Field, Friday, September 19, 2014
Admiral Winnefeld, thank you.
And to our former POWs, families of former POWs, families our missing-in-action, we welcome you. We honor you. We thank you. And we are grateful that you are here to share a special day of recognition with us, with our country.
Yesterday afternoon, at Arlington National Cemetery, a soldier from the Korean War who for decades was listed as missing-in-action finally received the full honors he so richly deserved. His burial fulfilled a solemn pact – a solemn pact America makes with its each of its defenders and their families – that we will take care of them, and that however much time has passed, they will make it back home.
For the Department of Defense, this is a responsibility and an obligation that we are proud to shoulder. We do whatever it takes to recover every U.S. servicemember held in captivity; and do whatever it takes to find and recover and identify the remains of America’s missing from past conflicts.
Today, we are thankful that there are no U.S. troops being anywhere held in captivity. We know that there are still tens of thousands of fallen Americans who remain missing from many wars. We must continue to work hard – work hard to bring all of our missing Americans home. And we will.
The United States appreciates the ongoing support of many allies and partners across the globe – many represented here today – and on behalf of the men and women of our military, I thank you. You have helped us in recovering our missing. A good example of many of these efforts is Vietnam. Vietnam has been providing an increasing amount of archival documents to support our pursuit of our missing Americans. We appreciate these efforts and will continue to build on this partnership going forward.
Since we gathered on these parade grounds last September, DoD has been able to account for 71 servicemembers from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. A year ago, that number was 61. While this improvement is good, we must do better – we will do better – not only in more effectively accounting for our missing personnel, but also ensuring that their families receive timely and accurate information.
As many of you know, earlier this year I directed the Defense Department to organize this effort into a single, accountable operation that has the responsibility for personnel accounting resources, research, and operations… resolving issues of duplication and inefficiency, while also making that organization stronger, more effective, more transparent, and more responsive.
DoD has been working closely with everyone who has a stake in this mission – including families, the veterans’ service organizations that are represented here today, and I thank them, Congress, and the agencies’ workforce. We’ve made progress in this transformation, and the new Defense Personnel Accounting Agency will achieve initial operating capability this January.
Fifteen years ago this week, a Vietnam veteran said that “for those of us who were soldiers, that’s our one fear: that somehow we’ll be forgotten. But let it be known far and wide, around this great nation and around this great world that this nation,” the United States of America, “does not forget. … [It] does not forget its POWs, and for certain, does not forget its MIAs and the families they represent.”
Those words still ring true today, and we are privileged today to be joined by the man who spoke them… a man who despite the wounds of war has continued to serve our country with great distinction, commitment, and honor – from the jungles of Vietnam, to lead the Veterans Administration, to the Georgia Statehouse, to the United States Senate, to the American Battle Monuments Commission… a man who I am privileged to now introduce, and am proud to call my longtime friend, former Senate colleague, and fellow Vietnam veteran… a man whose humility, his good grace, his decency, and humanity represent this nation’s finest qualities.
Ladies and gentlemen, help me in welcoming Max Cleland.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel gives former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland, of Georgia, an Army veteran of the Vietnam War, a hug after introducing him as the guest speaker at the 2014 National POW/MIA Recognition Ceremony at the Pentagon, Sept.19, 2014. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz
Pfc. Lawrence S. Gordon, U.S. Army, Reconnaissance Company, 32nd Armored Regiment, 3rd Armored Division, was lost on Aug. 13, 1944, near Ranes, France. He was accounted for on May 27, 2014. He will be buried with full military honors summer 2014 in Canada.
Attached it the route for PFC Gordon’s journey home. It has dates, times, and roads.
Also attached is the invitation to PFC Gordon’s burial.
7331 Century Pl.
Middleton, WI 53562
Reunion Coordinator: Barbara Gotham, 130 Colony Road, West Lafayette, IN 47906-1209 or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
November 5-9, 2014 – 380th Reunion, Norfolk, Virginia. Yearly gathering of all 380th veterans, their family and friends to remember, reminisce, and reconnect; includes yearly memorial service. Advance reservations are required. Please contact Barb Gotham at email email@example.com for more information.
Army Air Force Staff Sgts
. Robert E. Howard, 21, of Moravia, Iowa, and
David R. Kittredge, 22, of Oneida, Wis
Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (Public Affairs)
Washington, DC 20301-2900
Fax: (703) 602-4375
July 9, 2014
Airmen Missing From WWII Accounted For The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that two
U.S. servicemen, missing from World War II, have been identified and are being returned to their
families for burial with full military honors.
The two servicemen are Army Air Force Staff Sgts. Robert E. Howard, 21, of Moravia, Iowa, and David R. Kittredge, 22, of Oneida, Wis. The individually identified remains of Howard will be buried on July 19, in Moulton, Iowa. The individually identified remains of Kittredge will be buried at a date and location still to be determined. Some of the remains could not be individually identified and they will be buried as a group in a single casket, at
a future date at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.
On April 16, 1945, three aircraft were flying in a formation on a bombing raid to Wittenberg, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, when the pilots of two other aircraft reported seeing Howard and Kittredge’s aircraft hit by enemy fire. The B-26B descended into a deep dive and exploded upon ground impact. In 2007, a German aircraft researcher interviewed eyewitnesses, who reported seeing two deceased crew members buried near
the crash site under an apple tree. He also reported the crew members as being exhumed in 1947 or 1948, by an allied recovery team. In June 2012, a German national informed the U.S. government that he found possible human remains in Muhlanger, which he believed to have been associated with an April 1945, B-26B crash, and turned them over to the local police. In
July 2012, a JPAC team began excavating the site recovering human remains, personal effects and aircraft wreckage. JPAC also took custody of theremains that the local German national had previously recovered. To identify Howard’s remains, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial evidenceand forensic identification tools such as mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA).
To identify Kittredge’s remains, scientists from JPAC and AFDIL also used mtDNA and dental comparisons, which matched his records.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who
went missing while serving our country, visit the DPMO web site at
or call (703-699-1169.
Fight over US veterans’ remains in Philippine graves continues
By Matthew M. Burke | Stars and Stripes | Published: June 29, 2014
“CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — The Defense Department’s accounting agencies have agreed to disinter and conduct DNA testing on the remains of 10 World War II servicemembers who were buried as unknowns in the Philippines, after years of fighting against unearthing the bodies.
But now the relative of one veteran believed to be buried there might block the exhumation over fears that the Defense Department’s accounting agencies — the Joint Prisoners of War, Missing in Action Accounting Command, Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office, and Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory — are not equipped to properly test the remains.
For years, John Eakin has fought with JPAC/DPMO to exhume the remains for identification. Eakin’s cousin Pvt. Arthur “Bud” Kelder was one of the 10 moved to the Manila American Cemetery from the Cabanatuan Prisoner of War Camp in Luzon……”
see the full article here
Staff Sgt. Gerald V. Atkinson, U.S. Army Air Forces, 358th Bomb Squadron, 303rd Bomb Group, Eighth Air Force, was lost April 10, 1945, north of Berlin. He was accounted for June 20, 2014. He will be buried with full military honors Aug. 16, 2014, in Chattahoochee, Fla.
Pfc. Randolph Allen, Marine Corps, Company F, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, was lost on Nov. 20, 1943, in Tarawa. He was accounted for June 17, 2014. He will be buried with full military honors July 28, 2014, in Arlington National Cemetery.