Identifying Our Missing: September 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 September 2017, DPAA accounted for 26 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

2nd Lt. Elwood R. Bailey, Marine Fighting Squadron 223, Marine Aircraft Group 23
Walls of the Missing: Manila American Cemetery

TSgt. John S. Bailey, 38th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 30th Bombardment Group
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Pvt. Shirley E. Bailey, Company G, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division
Tablets of the Missing: Netherlands American Cemetery

Sgt. Charles H. Daman, 714th Bombardment Squadron, 448th Bombardment Group, 2nd Bombardment Division
Tablets of the Missing: Netherlands American Cemetery

Seaman 1st Class Clifford G. Goodwin, USS Oklahoma
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

1st Lt. Robert L. Mains, 714th Bombardment Squadron, 448th Bombardment Group, 2nd Bombardment Division
Tablets of the Missing: Netherlands American Cemetery

Fireman 1st Class Charles R. Ogle, USS Oklahoma
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Storekeeper 3rd Class Eli Olsen, USS Oklahoma
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Pvt. George F. Patrick, Company D, 1st Battalion, 8th
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Fireman 1st Class Gerald H. Pirtle, USS Oklahoma
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Water Tender 2nd Class Porter L. Rich, USS Oklahoma
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Seaman 1st Class John E. Savidge, USS Oklahoma
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

1st Lt. Homer E. Spence, 96th Fighter Squadron, 82nd Fighter Group
Tablets of the Missing: Epinal American Cemetery

Pvt. John M. Tillman, Company F, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Pfc. Donald R. Tolson, Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

2nd Lt. Donald E. Underwood, 38th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 30th Bombardment Group
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Fireman 2nd Class John D. Wheeler, USS Oklahoma
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Seaman 2nd Class George J. Wilcox, USS Oklahoma
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Seaman 2nd Class Frank Wood, USS Oklahoma
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Chief Water Tender Paul R. Wright, USS Oklahoma
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Korean War

Cpl. Donald L. Baer, Company K, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Pfc. Willie E. Blue, Company K, 3rd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Pfc. Leroy W. Bryant, Company C, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Maj. Stephen T. Uurtamo, Headquarters Battery, 82nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Sgt. 1st Class Lester R. Walker, Battery B, 82nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division
Courts of the Missing: Honolulu Memorial

Vietnam War

Capt. James R. Bauder, Fighter Squadron Twenty One, USS Coral
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.