Identifying Our Missing: June 2017

In World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, millions of Americans served far from home. In the various conflicts, service members fought in the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific. They traversed mountains in Italy, France, Korea and Vietnam. They trudged through the tropical jungles of the Philippines. And they fought in countless other locations. They touched nearly all corners of the globe. Because of the geographic challenges, the use of air and naval power, and the inherent dangers of an active war zone, Americans that lost their lives were not always recovered. Today, nearly 83,000 are unaccounted for from these conflicts. But the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) is working to change this. DPAA’s mission is to provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel to their families and the nation.

The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) also has a role in the history of honoring the missing individual. Every American that was considered missing in action, or lost or buried at sea from World War II, the Korean War or the Vietnam War is commemorated on Walls of the Missing at an ABMC cemetery or memorial. The names of the missing remain permanently inscribed, even after the individual is recovered, identified and accounted for. To denote that the person is no longer missing, ABMC adds a rosette next to the name.

ABMC’s role isn’t limited to the Walls of the Missing. With more than 6,000 service members buried as Unknowns within the overseas cemeteries, DPAA works with ABMC to disinter remains they believe have a high likelihood of being identified. From the disinterment of unknown remains to rosettes being added to the Walls of the Missing, ABMC is dedicated to honoring all those Americans who paid the ultimate price.

During June 2017, DPAA accounted for 17 service members who lost their lives in World War II, the Korean War or the Vietnam War. ABMC will add a rosette next to each of the following names:

World War II

1st Lt. George Betchley, 429th Bomber Squadron, 2nd Bomber Group, Heavy
Tablets of the Missing: Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery

SSgt. Gerald L. Jacobsen, 134th Infantry Regiment, 35th Infantry Division
Tablets of the Missing: Normandy American Cemetery

Pfc. George B. Murray, Company B, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines Regiment, 2nd Marine Division
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Pvt. Archie W. Newell, Company C, 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Lt. William Q. Punnell, VF-14 Fighter Squadron
Walls of the Missing: Manila American Cemetery

Sgt. Richard G. Sowell, 295th Joint Assault Signal Company
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Pfc. Gerald F. Wipfli, 112th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division
Tablets of the Missing: Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery

Korean War

Pfc. Albert E. Atkins, Company E, 2nd Battalion, 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Cpl. Edward L. Borders, Dog Battery, 82nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion (Automatic Weapons), 2nd Infantry Division
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Sgt. 1st Class Max E. Harris, Company L, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Pfc. Charlie H. Hill, Battery D, 15th Anti-aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Self-propelled Battalion, 7th Infantry Division
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

MSgt. George R. Housekeeper, Company L, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Cpl. Thomas H. Mullins, Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Cpl. Clarence R. Skates, Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Vietnam War

Cmdr. Charles B. Goodwin, Detachment D., VFP-63, CVW-15
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Col. Roosevelt Hestle, Jr., 388th Tactical Fighter Squadron
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Capt. Robert E. Holton, 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

About ABMC:
Established by Congress in 1923, the American Battle Monuments Commission commemorates the service, achievements, and sacrifice of U.S. armed forces. ABMC administers 26 overseas military cemeteries, and 29 memorials, monuments, and markers.

About DPAA:
DPAA’s mission is to provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel to their families and the nation.  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.