New Leadership at DPMO
On May 21, Major General (Ret) W. Montague Winfield was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/Missing Personnel Affairs and Director of the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office. As DASD, he is responsible for developing policy and strategy for personnel recovery, personnel accounting, and DoD support to civil search and rescue. As the Director, he leads the national effort for the fullest possible accounting for American personnel missing as a result of hostile action.
DPMO Moscow office
Researchers are reviewing materials at three Russian Archives: the Russian State Military Archives (RGVA), the State Archives of the Russian Federation (GARF), and the Central Archives of the Ministry of Defense (TsAMO). The first two, RGVA and GARF, contain documents on the Soviet involvement in repatriating U.S. POWs liberated from German captivity at the end of WWII, as well as potential information on the handful of U.S. servicemen that were liberated by the Soviets and are still listed as missing. Additionally, we continue to work in TsAMO with documents related to the Soviet involvement in the Korean War.
During semi-annual U.S. - Vietnam technical talks in Hanoi, on May 4, officials from the Vietnam Office for Seeking Missing Persons provided several archival documents that the U.S. has been seeking for several years. Although analysis is pending translation, DPMO assesses that this is another positive step forward in the maturing U.S. - Vietnam relationship.
Investigations in Italy
A joint DPMO/JPAC team of four historians and analysts, supported by a translator from the Army's Military Intelligence Reserve Command, recently returned from a successful mission to Italy and Austria where they investigated seven loss incidents involving eleven MIAs from World War II. These investigations derived from historical research using archival records and contacts with local authorities and researchers in both countries. The team located several aircraft crash sites and conducted research in local archives and cemeteries in both countries. The team enjoyed assistance from municipal authorities in each of the cities visited. The team also met with the superintendent of the American Battle Monuments Commission Sicily-Rome Cemetery in Nettuno and collected data concerning the 490 unknown remains interred there.