Wars and Conflicts
World War II ended in a clear-cut victory giving the U.S. access to the battlefields so extensive searches for fallen service members could be conducted. Nevertheless, many U.S. personnel were never recovered and so the U.S. government continues its effort to it's comrades lost during WWII. In recent operations, remains have been recovered from WWII crash and gravesites in Europe and the Pacific, returned to Hawaii and identified by the Central Identification Laboratory (CIL). Additionally, teams have conducted excavations in Panama, Okinawa, the Solomon Islands, Makin Island, Wake Island, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, China and other locations.
More than 73,000 Americans are unaccounted-for from World War II. (Others were lost at sea or entombed in sunken vessels.) JPAC is dedicated to those lost in World War II and deploys teams world-wide approximately five times a year with missions lasting 35 to 60 days depending on the location, terrain and recovery methods.
JPAC is dedicated to finding those lost in the Korean War. With more than 8,100 American servicemen from the Korean War that have not yet been accounted for, the task is daunting.
From 1954 to 1990 the U.S. sought, to no avail, to account for Americans missing in North Korea. Then, between 1990-1994, North Korea unilaterally excavated and returned more than 200 sets of remains to the U.S. However, due to co-mingling of the remains and other complicating factors, very few have been identified.
The U.S. Government aggressively pursues POW/MIA issues with the governments of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, China, and Russia in an effort to achieve the fullest possible accounting of Americans who did not return from the war in Southeast Asia. As our diplomatic relations with Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia have improved, so has access to archival information and on-site investigations relative to unaccounted-for Americans. Although the pace at times can be agonizingly slow, and much remains to be done, especially unilateral efforts by foreign governments, we are keeping our promise to both the missing Americans who served their country so proudly, and their families who await answers.
JPAC is dedicated to those lost in the war in Southeast Asia. Teams deploy to this region approximately ten times a year with missions lasting 35 to 60 days depending on the location, terrain and recovery methods.
In the past, JPAC received some remains from Russia through the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Person Office that were allegedly tied to a Cold War loss of an American whose plane went down somewhere in the vicinity of the Sea of Japan and Vladivostok. Unfortunately, mitochondrial DNA testing demonstrated that these remains were not related to that loss.
While this was disappointing, it points to the difficulty we have with Cold War cases (these cases tend to be in more obscure locations, there is often little information to go on, and there are fewer cases). JPAC will continue research and analysis work in partnership with DPMO to try and resolve these tough cases.