Four More Are Accounted For

| May 26, 2019

DPAA has identified and accounted for the following formerly-missing US personnel.

From World War II

MM2c Leo Blitz, US Navy, assigned to the crew of the USS Oklahoma, was lost at Pearl Harbor, HI, on 7 December 1941. He was accounted for on 23 May 2019.

F1c Rudolph Blitz, US Navy, assigned to the crew of the USS Oklahoma, was lost at Pearl Harbor, HI, on 7 December 1941. He was accounted for on 23 May 2019.

S1c Edward Wasielewski, US Navy, assigned to the crew of the USS Oklahoma, was lost at Pearl Harbor, HI, on 7 December 1941. He was accounted for on 23 May 2019.

From Korea

PFC Roger L. Woods, US Army, assigned to I Company, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, was lost in South Korea on 29 July 1950. He was accounted for on 22 May 2019.

From Southeast Asia

None

Welcome back, elder brothers-in-arms. Our apologies that your return took so long.

Rest easy. You’re home now.

. . .

Over 72,000 US personnel remain unaccounted for from World War II; over 7,600 US personnel remain unaccounted for from the Korean War; over 1,500 remain unaccounted for in Southeast Asia (SEA); 126 remain unaccounted for from the Cold War; 5 remain unaccounted for from the Gulf Wars; and 1 individual remains unaccounted for from Operation Eldorado Canyon. Comparison of DNA from recovered remains against DNA from some (but not all) blood relatives can assist in making a positive ID for unidentified remains that have already been recovered, or which may be recovered in the future.

On their web site’s Contact Us page DPAA now has FAQs. One of those FAQs describes who can and cannot submit DNA samples useful in identifying recovered remains. The chart giving the answer can be viewed here. The text associated with the chart is short and is found in one of the FAQs.

If your family lost someone in one of these conflicts and you qualify to submit a DNA sample, please arrange to submit one. By doing that you just might help identify the remains of a US service member who’s been repatriated but not yet been identified – as well as a relative of yours, however distant. Or you may help to identify remains to be recovered in the future.

Everybody deserves a proper burial. That’s especially true for those who gave their all while serving this nation.

Category: No Longer Missing

Comments (16)

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  1. AW1Ed says:

    Welcome home.

  2. AnotherPat says:

    What a wonderful story about PFC Roger L. Woods (see below) The article even features a nice picture of him in uniform:

    “Ohioan Pvt. Roger Woods Disappeared in South Korea 69 years ago. This Week, His Family Found Him Again.”

    https://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/clermont-county/goshen-township/ohioan-pvt-roger-woods-disappeared-in-south-korea-69-years-ago-this-week-his-family-found-him-again

    “Roger Woods was 17 and skinny the day he posed for his last formal photos, a round-faced boy in Army khaki on his way to the Korean War. He would reach 18 abroad, dutifully writing letters back to his parents and six siblings while deployed with the 34th Infantry Regiment. He asked frequently about his newborn niece, Stevie.”

    “And then the war swallowed him whole.”

    “Woods disappeared July 29, 1950, fewer than 30 days after his birthday. He would be declared dead on the last day of 1953 — not because his body had been discovered but because it hadn’t, and he hadn’t returned home, and what else could have happened?”

    “My grandfather suffered dearly,” Stevie Rose, now a grown woman, said Friday. “All the boys — I call them the boys, my dad’s brothers — they couldn’t hardly talk about it.”

    “His parents died hoping for the news she received Wednesday: He had been found, and he was on his way home.”

    “I was crying,” she said. “I couldn’t hardly talk.”

    “The call represented the end of a years-long search Rose had initially undertaken by herself, fueled by the memory of her family’s deep-seated grief.”

    “Little was said about Woods in their household growing up, she said; it was too painful to touch.”

    “She researched as much as she could on her own, but her individual efforts never yielded more than property records and the unanswered letters her grandmother had written to request more information from the Army.”

    “I came to a dead end as far as Uncle Roger because it’s only so much that a person like me can do as far as the research,” she said.

    “The solo goose chase ended with a 2011 call from the Korean War Project, which has worked for nearly two decades to identify and repatriate the remains of soldiers killed on the Korean Peninsula.”

    “The project didn’t have good news for her then, but it promised to keep looking and stay in touch. For the next eight years, Rose corresponded with volunteers and kept herself in high spirits. Late 2018 brought a new lead: A body buried in Hawaii that might — might — be her uncle’s. They would need to exhume it and perform a DNA test to be sure.”

    “Rose’s phone rang again Wednesday.”

    “They were sure.”

    “I never though that I would have this feeling,” she said Friday. “I knew that I would be overwhelmed, but I’ve never been this overwhelmed in my life. … I had to do this for my grandfather, for my dad, all of his brothers and my Aunt Mae. This is one thing that I can give back to them, and it happened.”

    “Rose said she doesn’t know exactly when Woods will be back in his home state, but she and the Korean War Project hope to find a date soon.”

    “His remains will be buried with military honors in the same cemetery as his parents and siblings.”

    “I think they’ll all be at peace because I honestly believe that they know he’s coming home,” Rose said. “I’m that kind of a believer. I believe Uncle Roger knows he’s coming home now, and he’s going to be at peace by his father.”

    • 5th/77th FA says:

      Not knowing for 69 years what exactly happened to a family member. You can only imagine the parents checking the mailbox, seeing a vehicle going down the street with a Military Person, or hoping each time the phone rings it will be news of their missing loved one. One has to wonder how the body ended up being buried unknown in Hawaii? SNAFU at Graves Registration in the fog of war’s early days? Misplaced dog/toe tag? I’m sure that PFC Woods’ Soul was waiting on his parents when they crossed over. Now his body can rest with the family and there will be a place for them to come and pay their respects.

      Thanks AnotherPat.

  3. 5th/77th FA says:

    Welcome Home Warriors. We Salute your Service and pay Honor to your Sacrifice.

    Rudolph and Leo Brothers?

    Thanks Hondo.

    • AnotherPat says:

      5th:

      Leo and Rudolph were Twins.

      They served together…and now they both are coming Home…most likely Nebraska.

  4. AnotherPat says:

    Seaman First Class Edward Wasielewski was from Michigan. He was born around 1921. There is a nice picture of him on these sites:

    https://www.honorstates.org/index.php?id=361876

    https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/84682611/edward-wasielewski

    His parents were Alexander and Veronica Wasielewski. He had two Sisters and Two Brothers: Peter, Raymond,Frances and Eleanor.

    Sources state his Father was from Poland.

    https://www.geni.com/people/S1c-Edward-Wasielewski/6000000033375172585

    Never Forget. Salute.

    Bring Them All Home.

    • 5th/77th FA says:

      One more case of a FIRST Generation American being brought up to serve the family’s adopted home. He enlisted before the war, probably out of a sense of taught Patriotism, maybe not so much for economic security. Jobs would have been readily available in that area then.

      immigrantnotalien

  5. AnotherPat says:

    MM2 Leo Blitz had a Twin Brother, Rudolph, who also lost his life on the USS Oklahoma on 7 December 1941.

    There is nice picture of both of them at this site:

    https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/56115675/leo-blitz

    Their Gold Star Family included their Parents, Henry and Marie Christinia Beiden Blitz and 10 Siblings: Henry, Lydia, John, Esther, Robert, Marie, Peter, Pauline, Emma and Lydia (Half Sister).

    Never Forget. Salute.

  6. AnotherPat says:

    My curiousity got the best of me.

    By their Navy picture, culd not determine if Leo and Rudolph were Identical or Fraternal Twins.

    Was also trying to figure out if they had the same DNA Structure. Research indicates some believe Identical Twins do have the same DNA. Others believe the opposite.

    Whatever science dictates, on this Memorial Day weekend, am grateful both young Men were identified…and that their extended Family will have peace and closer that they are no longer missing.

    Never Forget. Salute.

    • 5th/77th FA says:

      Appear to be Fraternal, by the picture. Some differences in facial features. Either way, I know both paternal and fraternal twins and have found them to be very close thru out their lives. Born together, grew up together and died together serving their Country. Lots of Nebraskans come from German and Eastern European stock. My folks out there married into 5th generation German by way of PA and IL. Took advantage of the Homestead Act after the War. Good hardy folks out there. Will forward this linkie to nephew (former squid). He and niece both or graduates of UNL and aren’t too far from there now. He may can make any service that is held.

      AnotherPat, this additional research you do for us is muchly appreciated.

      • AnotherPat says:

        And THANK YOU for sharing as well, 5th, on your Family background…and providing comments on PFC Woods, Seaman First Class Wasielewski and the Blitz Twins.

        Ironically, Lincoln, Nebraska is the Birthplace and former residence of Nathan Phillips.

        Yes…THAT Nathan Phillips, born 1955, NOT 1954, who lied about his Marine Corps service:

        “Nathan Phillips Is A Liar, Not A Victim”:

        https://nypost.com/2019/01/23/nathan-phillips-is-a-liar-not-a-victim/

        suenathanphillips

  7. OWB says:

    Welcome home, elder brothers. Peace to your families.

  8. Sparks says:

    Welcome home Brothers. Rest in peace in your home soil now.

  9. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    Welcome Home Fallen Warriors, Rest In Peace.

  10. RGR 4-78 says:

    Welcome Home.