The US Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency ams to provide the fullest possible accounting for US missing military servicemen to their families and the nation.
The Agency works to identify the remains of personnel reported as missing in action and below you can find details of some of their recent discoveries. As of the end of January 2023, the US Defense Accounting agency has successfully identified another 17 US soldiers.
Airman Accounted For From World War II (Pile, P.)
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced that Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Porter M. Pile, 24 , of Harlingen, Texas, killed during World War II, was accounted for.
In September 1944, Pile 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 the navigator 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 Pile’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. DPAA historians are conducting ongoing, comprehensive research focused on air losses over Germany. As a result, they determined X-9070 and X-9071 to be a strong candidate for association with Pile. X-9070 was disinterred in April 2018 and X-9071 was disinterred in September 2022 and sent to the DPAA laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for examination and identification.
To identify Pile’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological and dental 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.
Airman Accounted For From World War II (Meyer, M.)
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced that U.S. Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Melvin B. Meyer, 25, of Pattonville, Missouri, killed during World War II, was accounted for.
In May 1944, Meyer was assigned to the 569th Bombardment Squadron, 390th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 13th Bombardment Wing, 3rd Air Division, 8th Air Force. He was the bombardier of a B-17G Flying Fortress bomber during a huge bombing mission over Leipzig, Germany, on May 29. Enemy fighters attacked the bomber’s formation roughly 28 miles northeast Leipzig, and the plane was shot down. Six of the 10 crew members were able to escape the plane before it crashed near Horst, while the rest, including Meyer, were killed. Bodies recovered from the crash were believed to have been buried in a local cemetery. After the war ended, there was no evidence of Meyer being a prisoner of war or having survived, so a Finding of Death was issued a year after the crash.
In July 2012, an investigation team from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, a DPAA predecessor organization, found the crash site and recovered evidence of a B-17 crash. In 2015, DPAA received permission from the landowner to excavate. DPAA contracted History Flight, Inc. to excavate the site, which they did between July 17 and Aug. 12, 2019. They recovered possible material evidence and possible remains, which was first turned over to the local authorities and then sent to the DPAA Laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for scientific analysis.
To identify Meyer’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.
Soldier Accounted For From Korean War (Garrigus, C.)
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced that U.S. Army Sgt. Charles Garrigus, 24, of Terra Haute, Indiana, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for.
In late 1950, Garrigus was a member of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on Dec. 1, during battle with enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. Following the battle, his remains could not be recovered, and there is no evidence that he was ever a prisoner of war.
On July 27, 2018, following the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in June 2018, North Korea turned over 55 boxes, purported to contain the remains of American service members killed during the Korean War. The remains arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on Aug. 1, 2018, and were subsequently accessioned into the DPAA laboratory for identification.
To identify Garrigus’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), Y chromosome DNA (Y-STR), and autosomal DNA (auSTR) analysis.
- Pile, P: Dpaa
- Meyer, M: Dpaa
- Garrigus: Dpaa
- Soldiers accounted for Jan 2023: https://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Year/2023/