Half of the missing are Navy and Marine aviation personnel lost in the Pacific, while the remainder are from battles from Japan to Normandy, France.
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES, November 8, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/ — The WFI Research Group in Pensacola, Florida today announced that it is forwarding 50 case files for unknowns from the World War 2 era to the Defense POW-MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) for review and identification.
Joyce Darcy, spokesperson for the group, explained that half of the cases being submitted are Navy and Marine Corps aviation personnel that were lost in the Pacific, while the other 25 cases consist of sailors, Marines and soldiers from various battles around the world. "Geographically they range from Normandy, France all the way to Japan" she said.
The Group uses and integrated set of databases to store information on all of the missing American Armed Forces personnel, all of the missing aircraft, ships and unknown remains buried around the world. By careful analysis and comparisons they are able to isolate down to an individual case very rapidly.
"It took over 30 years to build all of the databases. Basically we have taken World War 2 down to and individual level" Darcy explained. "The project was started back in the 80's simply because the DOD wasn't doing much to resolve the issue of the World War 2 MIA's. Our casualty database now contains the names of 422,385 Americans lost during the conflict, 73,967 which are still missing".
"Once we submit the case the time it takes for identification varies. One took as little as four months to complete while another took 17 years for a single identification" Darcy said. "Our most recent identification, SSgt. Richard J. Murphy USMC, took over seven years to complete. His file, along with three other Marine unknowns (Larson, Ragsdale and Ervin) were hand delivered to the Central Identification Lab in Hawaii by Tracy Perry during June 2011. By 2014, we had still heard nothing so we decided to resubmit Murphy's case with three other cases through Senator Warner's office (D-VA). These four cases actually had dental identifications with them that had been performed by Dr. Roy H. Sonkin DDS FAAFS and Dr. Howard S Glazer DDS FAGD FAAFA of New York and New Jersey respectively and it still took years to get them home. As of this morning three of the four cases have been resolved and the fourth from this group is pending. But sadly in 2017, after waiting six long years, the Larson next-of-kin queried the DPAA as to the status of the case and was told they had "no record of it". So much for handing them files. We are resubmitting the Larson file with this group."
"It has been obvious for some time that the DOD goes out of its way to slow down or delay the identification process. In one of our cases, John E. Anderson MOMM1C US Navy, originally submitted in 2012, we got back a nine-page report explaining they disagreed with our findings even though his was the only body recovered from the ship and he was the only one missing from the ship's crew. In 2016, the family resubmitted the case and he was identified by the DPAA using DNA."
"In 2016, we submitted the case file for the USS Turner which involved the loss of 136 sailors of New York Harbor in 1944. The DPAA is not moving forward with the cases because they cannot find the Navy records covering the burials of four caskets in the Long Island National Cemetery. The truth of the matter is there are probably no records. We believe the remains in those four graves are body parts that were recovered when the ship was being salvaged. They should have been buried as a Group Burial covered by one monument with all of their names. At least that way the families would of had closer rather than being left in the dark". "We are currently working on another case involving 270 sailors in the same "no records" limbo. We hope to present that case early next year".
Contributing further to the delay tactics she explained, "The greatest delay we have faced in recent years was caused by the US Army Human Resources Command at Fort Knox, KY. Over the past four years they have refused to supply required records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Two Congressional inquiries, countless emails yielded little but lies on their part. As a last resort we where going to proceed with a Federal lawsuit and suddenly in August of this year we started getting the records; 702 of them to date. It was from these records that the 50 above mentioned cases came from. Four years to get the records and 50 matches in three months. Clearly the delay is not on our part."
Unfortunately, time has taken a toll. "In some cases, the files have gone missing over the years. In others the families have died off and there are no DNA reference samples to be had. Worst still is the large number of cases where the Navy either failed to provide dental records to the Army or the Army lost the files before identification could be accomplished. In either case we have 166 cases in this category that we can't do anything with."
"The Group has never charged for our MIA work. We never will. We feel that the families have already paid a very high price. As of this morning we have 1,650 individual cases in work and several groups. If anyone out there has a question concerning a family member who is MIA from World War 2 just send us an email. We can probably answer in seconds what you have wondered about for years."
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Source: EIN Presswire