FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2019
MANDALAY — Today the United States will repatriate the recovered possible human remains of U.S. service members missing from World War II in the Salingyi area of Sagaing Region during a recent recovery mission through the U.S. Department of Defense’s agency the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). These remains will be transported back to the DPAA Laboratory Hawaii, USA for further analysis and potential identification. The repatriation ceremony, which will be conducted at the Mandalay International Airport, will be the first to be held in Myanmar.
“Today, we repatriate the possible remains of what may be U.S. citizens who died in service to our nation more than 75 years ago,” U.S. Ambassador Scot Marciel said. He added, “We owe it to them to always honor their memory, never forget their sacrifices, and to strive as a nation to build peace, justice, and freedom everywhere.”
The remains are believed to be associated with a B-25G aircraft with seven personnel onboard during the time of loss in February 1944. A 1946 investigation located the wreckage; the grave site remained unaccounted for.
DPAA conducted three missions in Myanmar from 2003-2004 and another seven missions between 2013 and 2019. Today, there are currently 632 U.S. service members still unaccounted for in Myanmar from World War II. As a result of past efforts, DPAA has identified 14 missing service members and will continue efforts to achieve the fullest possible accounting.
“The United States is deeply grateful to the government and the people of Myanmar for their partnership and support of this mission,” Ambassador Marciel said.
DPAA’s mission is to provide the fullest possible accounting of U.S. personnel from past conflicts to their families and the nation. DPAA is responsible for implementing the Secretary of Defense’s program to account for the more than 82,000 Department of Defense (DoD) personnel and other individuals who remain unaccounted from the World War II era through the Gulf Wars.
The DPAA Laboratory is the largest and most diverse forensic skeletal identification laboratory in the world and is staffed by more than 30 anthropologists, archaeologists and forensic odontologists.
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 www.dpaa.mil, find us on social media at www.facebook.com/dodpaa or call (703) 699-1420/1169.
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