Defense Prisoner of War * Missing Personnel Office
“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.
World War II
Of the 16 million Americans who served in WWII, more than 400,000 died during the war. At the end of the war, there were approximately 79,000 Americans unaccounted for. This number included those buried with honor as unknowns, officially buried at sea, lost at sea, and missing in action.
Today, more than 73,000 Americans remain unaccounted for from WWII.
The Korean War accounting effort remains a priority for the U.S. government. DPMO pursues opportunities to gain access to loss sites within North Korea and South Korea. Additionally, identifications continue to be made from remains that were returned to the United States using forensic and DNA technology.
More than 7,500 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.
Since 1973, the remains of more than 900 Americans killed in the Vietnam War have been identified and returned to their families for burial with full military honors.
For more than a decade the United States has conducted joint field activities with the governments of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia to recover the remains of missing Americans. Throughout those countries, teams continue to investigate crash and burial sites, as well as interview locals to gain additional knowledge. The United States also continues to obtain access to historical wartime records and archives that provide information relevant to the fates of missing Americans.
Today, more than 1,600 Americans remain unaccounted for from the conflict.
For more: http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/
President Obama: “We Do Not Leave Anybody Wearing the American Uniform Behind”
“ We do not leave anybody wearing the American uniform behind.
We had a prisoner of war whose health had deteriorated and we were deeply concerned about, and we saw an opportunity and we seized it. And I make no apologies for that.
We had discussed with Congress the possibility that something like this might occur. But because of the nature of the folks that we were dealing with and the fragile nature of these negotiations, we felt it was important to go ahead and do what we did. And we’re now explaining to Congress the details of how we moved forward. But this basic principle that we don’t leave anybody behind and this basic recognition that that often means prisoner exchanges with enemies is not unique to my administration — it dates back to the beginning of our Republic.
And with respect to how we announced it, I think it was important for people to understand that this is not some abstraction, this is not a political football. You have a couple of parents whose kid volunteered to fight in a distant land, who they hadn’t seen in five years and weren’t sure whether they’d ever see again. And as Commander-in-Chief of the United States Armed Forces, I am responsible for those kids. And I get letters from parents who say, if you are in fact sending my child into war, make sure that that child is being taken care of. And I write too many letters to folks who unfortunately don’t see their children again after fighting the war.
I make absolutely no apologies for making sure that we get back a young man to his parents and that the American people understand that this is somebody’s child and that we don’t condition whether or not we make the effort to try to get them back.”
National POW/MIA Recognition Day
Friday, Sept. 18, 2015
This annual event honors prisoners of war and our missing
and their families,
and highlights the government’s commitment to account for them.