The Department of Defense is providing briefings and updates to families of Americans still missing from either the Vietnam War, Korean War, Cold War or World War II, Sept. 7, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Marriott at the University of Dayton.
Individuals from several DoD agencies will be present, to include the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Armed Forces Medical Examiner System and Service Casualty Offices.
Those personnel will meet with families of loved ones who are unaccounted for and present information on DoD efforts to achieve the fullest possible accounting of missing Americans from past wars.
“Families will be given the opportunity to briefly honor their loved one during a remembrance ceremony. They will also have a chance to interact in a two-way dialogue and to ask specific questions about their loved ones’ loss,” said Army Maj. Jessie Romero, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency spokesperson.
The Department of Defense is committed to keeping families of the missing and the public informed about the efforts being made to account for U.S. personnel. In August of this year, the remains of 27 American servicemembers were accounted for and identified, to include Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Joseph E. Finnerman. During the summer of 1943, Finnerman was a bombardier assigned to the 345th Bombardment Squadron, 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy). On Aug. 1, 1943, his B-24D Liberator crashed as a result of enemy anti-aircraft fire during Operation Tidal Wave, the largest bombing mission against the oil fields and refineries at Ploiesti, Romania. The DoD POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced that Finnerman had been accounted for on August 12.
The most recent identifications were announced Aug. 28 of two Soldiers and a Sailor. Those are: Cpl. Charles H. Grubb, Company M, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, who died Dec. 1, 1950 in North Korea; Cpl. Gudmund C. Johnson, Jr., Company K, 3rd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, who died July 31, 1951, in North Korea; and Seaman 1st Class Stewart Jordan of the USS Nelson, who died June 12, 1944, in France.
Throughout the year, DPAA specialists meet with hundreds of family members of missing personnel in Washington, D.C.; Hawaii; Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska; Dover Air Force Base, Delaware; and major metropolitan areas across the country. These meetings are designed to address the individual needs of the family members.
Family members can register to attend at www.dpaa.mil or call (703) 699-1420/1169. They can also register at the hotel the morning of the briefings. DPAA officials highly recommended attendees arrive by 9 a.m.
For additional information on the DPAA’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA web site at www.dpaa.mil or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/dodpaa/ or call (703) 699-1420/1169.