Welcome To DPMO
"Keeping the Promise", "Fulfill their Trust" and "No one left behind" are several of many mottos that refer to the efforts of the Department of Defense to recover those who became missing while serving our nation.
More than 83,000 Americans are missing from World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War and the 1991 Gulf War. Hundreds of Defense Department men and women -- both military and civilian -- work in organizations around the world as part of DoD's personnel recovery and personnel accounting communities. They are all dedicated to the single mission of finding and bringing our missing personnel home. The mission requires expertise in archival research, intelligence collection and analysis, field investigations and recoveries, and scientific analysis.
Starting in 2012, recently accounted for service members will be listed in the chronological order that they are accounted for, which means that the families have been notified. In previous years, they were listed by the date of identification. The highlighted names are linked to a more detailed news release on that serviceman's identification.
- Cpl. Francis D. Knobel, U.S. Army, Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, was lost Dec. 12, 1950, in North Korea. He was accounted for Dec. 10, 2014. He will be buried with full military honors.
- Pfc. Anthony Massey Jr., U.S. Army, Company C, 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, was lost Nov. 28, 1950, in North Korea. He was accounted for Dec. 5, 2014. He will be buried with full military honors.
- Sgt. 1st Class Gordon L. Hannah, U.S. Army, Company K, 3rd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, was lost Jan. 28, 1951, in North Korea. He was accounted for Dec. 3, 2014. He will be buried with full military honors.
- December 8, 2014 - Soldier Missing from Korean War Accounted for (La Rossa)
- December 4, 2014 - Soldier Missing from Korean War Accounted for (Smith) (Photo)
- November 25, 2014 - Airmen Missing from WWII Accounted for (Gardner) (Photo)
A complete listing of News Releases can be found on the News Releases page.
Briefly... September - October 2014
DPMO's South East Asia Branch and Policy and Plans Directorate teamed up to participate in the annual Special Operations Association Reunion in Las Vegas Oct. 21-24, 2014. The reunion offered a great opportunity to acquire oral histories from Vietnam combat veterans on their experiences during the war. From this information we hope to develop new leads to recover the remains of those still missing from the Vietnam conflict.
From Sept. 15-23, 2014, Dr. Ian Spurgeon, Ms. Christine Cohn, Dr. Ed Burton, and Dr. Jeff Johnson, Department of Defense (DoD) historians specializing in cases of missing service members from World War II, conducted an oral history project in the Netherlands. The project corresponded with events celebrating the 70th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden. The team conducted formal interviews with several American, British, and German veterans about their combat experiences at or near actual battles from which several Americans are still missing. They also met with more than twenty local researchers and Dutch officials to share information and establish communication about developing leads for cases of missing Americans. The team also spoke with family members of three missing service members and one recently recovered service member at the site where the losses occurred. The information and resources gathered during this project provided new leads for potential site work at key locations near Nijmegen, and information about two dozen cases of missing American service members in the Netherlands.
In September a combined DPMO and JPAC team traveled to Beijing to attend an annual meeting with the Chinese PLA Archives Department. We asked the Chinese to research cases from World War II and the Korea and Vietnam wars. The Chinese People Liberation Army (PLA) Archives Department repatriated remains believed to be from a 1953 Korean War aircraft crash in Northeast China. DPMO also participated in JPAC’s Korean Forward Element (KFE) mission in South Korea, which investigated sites in Seoul, Taejon, and the Inje area in September.
DPMO analysts and historians recently participated in the JPAC hosted Field Leader and Investigation Leader Courses. Training included many aspects of excavation and investigation missions which will be useful in conducting future field activities. The joint training also gave DPMO and JPAC personnel an opportunity to continue strengthening collaboration leading up to the transformation into the new defense agency.
On Sept. 26, 2014, U.S. Army veteran Leroy Williamson laid a wreath at the Monument to the Allies at Moscow’s Park Pobedi (Victory Park). The wreath laying ceremony was one of the highlights of a weeklong visit to Moscow which fulfilled Williamson’s lifelong dream to honor the Russians who had liberated him from a Nazi prisoner of war camp near the end of World War II. In an emotional speech, he said he had the “extreme honor” to thank the 44th Guards Red Banner “Baranovichi” Rifle Division for liberating 9,200 prisoners of war in 1945. “One of my greatest hopes in my life has been to honor those Russian soldiers who rescued more than 9,000 POWs on May 1, 1945 at Stalag Luft 1,” said Williamson, a proud Texan. “And I feel that my dream has been realized today.” When he laid the wreath in a light Moscow mist, Williamson was accompanied by a decorated Russian veteran, Vladimir Kuts, who had fought for both the Red Army and U.S. Army during the Great Patriotic War. Later, they toured the Museum of the Great Patriotic War and had lunch with other veterans. “I recall 70 years ago the kindness shown by the members of the 44th Division when they liberated us,” Williamson said. “I remember our liberators stacking their weapons and dancing and singing for us … I remember receiving fresh donuts [and] the first fresh meat I had eaten in 14 months.” When planning their trip to Russia, Williamson and his son, Dr. John Williamson, reached out to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow for assistance in contacting Russian veterans of WWII. Major Robert Patterson, Chief of DPMO’s Moscow office, worked with Russian veterans’ service groups and Russian Ministry of Defense officials to find and contact Red Army veterans who were involved in liberating the camp. Major Patterson also helped coordinate the wreath-laying and luncheon. Williamson and his son went to the U.S. Embassy, where they were greeted by Ambassador John Tefft. Describing his wreath-laying and lunch with Russian veterans as “a wonderful day,” Williamson said Americans and Russians should never forget that “together we achieved a great victory over an oppressive and evil empire.”
A complete listing of the 2014 archived brieflies can be found on the Archived Brieflys Pages
POW/MIA Bracelet Inquiries
Members of the public often contact DPMO requesting information on servicemen for whom they wore a Vietnam War POW/MIA bracelet. They usually wish to contact the person or his family so they can send them the bracelet that they wore. Since we cannot provide the public with private addresses we have on file, we recommend forwarding a postage-affixed letter to the respective serviceman's casualty office with a cover letter explaining the request.
If the service casualty office has a current address, they will forward the letter to the serviceman or his family. At that point, the serviceman or family member may choose to contact the concerned citizen and provide them with an address to send the bracelet. There is no guarantee that this process will work. Many of the former POWs are no longer in contact with their service casualty office and this also applies to the families.