Another Four Are Home

| March 29, 2020

DPAA appears to be only partially and/or intermittently updating its “Recently Accounted For” webpage again. However, per recent DPAA press releases the following individuals have been announced as having been accounted for during the past week.

From World War II

2nd Lt. Earl F. Ferguson, US Army, assigned to 329th Bombardment Squadron, 93rd Bombardment Group (Heavy), 8th Air Force, US Army Air Forces, was lost at Ploetsi, Romania, on 1 August 1943. His accounting was announced on 24 March 2020.

2nd Lt. Earl W. Smith, US Army, assigned to 80th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group, 5th Air Force, US Army Air Forces, was lost near Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, on 20 August 1943. His accounting was announced on 24 March 2020.

From Korea

MAJ Harvey H. Storms, US Army, assigned to Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, was lost in North Korea on 1 December 1950. His accounting was announced on 23 March 2020.

CPL Ralph L. Cale, US Army, assigned to B Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, was lost in North Korea, Germany, on 2 December 1950. His accounting was announced on 23 March 2020.

From Southeast Asia

None

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

You’re home now. Rest easy.

. . .

Over 72,000 US personnel remain unaccounted for from World War II; over 7,500 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: None

Comments (10)

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  1. 5th/77th FA says:

    Welcome Home Warriors. We Salute your Service and pay Honors to your Sacrifice. Ploetsi Romania Refineries was probably the most dreaded target for any of the bomber crews. There is a very nice “Mighty Eighth” Museum in Pooler Georgia, just west of Savannah.

    Thanks Hondo, again, for these posts. Now we’ll just wait to see if ninja shows up with “the rest of the story.” Where is ninja, been MIA this week?

  2. AW1Ed says:

    Welcome home.

  3. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    Welcome Home Fallen Warriors, you’ve earned your place in History and Valhalla.

    *Slow Salute*

  4. George V says:

    Grant unto them Eternal Rest, O Lord.

    A question – how is DPAA accounting for those lost in North Korea? Are they actually working with North Korea to repatriate the remains of our soldiers, or were these men brought back as “unidentified” during the conflict?

    • Hondo says:

      At least some of them are remains recently returned by North Korea. Read the DPAA press releases at the link in the article for more info.

      FWIW: North Korea has returned multiple sets of remains on multiple occasions. Prior to the most recent group (during the past 5 years if I recall correctly), at least one other group was returned in the 1990s.

    • Mike B USAF Retired says:

      I remember reading about US and NK holding Nuke talks and the remains of US military personnel was brought up.

      In the summer of 2018 55 boxes of remains were repatriated to the US from North Korea. These remains are some of the KW remains that are currently being identified.

      Some of these remains, had equipment, dog tags etc mixed in with them.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/01/us/north-korea-mia-remains.html

      I’m assuming the boxes held more than one set of remains.

    • Ken USMC 3531 says:

      A friend, a Marine Gunnery Sgt. at the time, was part of the support detachment for a DPAA mission to North Korea when the Norks were allowing them in, certainly for some sort of “quid pro quo”. I think it was in the 1990’s. They were up at the Chosen Reservoir. They did recover some American remains but the Norks would not allow them to bring back any ROK remains, claimed they were all NK troops. One of the highly valued items sitting on my desk is a small plastic container of soil from the Reservoir, dangerous contraband that my friend brought out.

  5. Sparks says:

    Welcome home Brothers. Rest in peace now.

  6. Green Thumb says:

    Welcome home, men.

    Rest well.

  7. UpNorth says:

    Rest In Peace, brothers.