MIA Update: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency has announced identifications of remains and burial updates of seven American servicemen who had been missing in action from World War II and the Korean War. Returning home for burial with full military honors are:
-- Army Air Forces 1st Lt. George W. Betchley, 20, of Yonkers, N.Y., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried Oct. 14 in Clearwater, Fla. Betchley was a member of the 429th Bombardment Squadron, 2nd Bombardment Group, 15th Air Force. On March 22, 1945, Betchley served as navigator on a B-17G Flying Fortress, carrying a crew of 10 on a bombing mission targeting the Ruhland oil refinery near Schwarzheide, Germany. After two of its engines and the left wing were reportedly damaged by German fighters and anti-aircraft fire, the plane crashed in southwest Poland. Eight crewmembers, including Betchley, were not recovered following the crash. Betchley was declared missing in action as of March 22, 1945, but his status was later amended to killed in action. Read about Betchley http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/1338980/funeral-announcement-for-airman-missing-from-world-war-ii-betchley-g/.
-- Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Richard M. Horwitz, 22, of Brookline, Mass., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried Oct. 15 in West Roxbury, Mass. Horwitz was a member of the 716th Bomber Squadron, 449th Bombardment Group. On Feb. 28, 1945, Horwitz and 10 other airmen departed Grottaglie Army Air Base, Italy, in a B-24J Liberator aircraft for a combat mission targeting Isarc-Albes railroad bridge in northern Italy, which was part of Brennan Route, used by Germans to move personnel and equipment out of Italy. After the bombing run, Horwitz’s aircraft was reported to have damaged at least two engines after skimming the mountain tops near Lake Wiezen, Austria, on the way to the rally point. No parachutes were reported and Horwitz was reported as missing in action. Read about Horwitz http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/1338346/funeral-announcement-for-airman-missing-from-world-war-ii-horwitz-r/.
-- Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Don O. Neher, 28, of Kansas City, Mo., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried Oct. 16 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. Neher was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, when Japanese aircraft attacked his ship on Dec. 7, 1941. Neher was one of 429 crewmen killed in the attack. Read about Neher http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/1337974/funeral-announcement-for-uss-oklahoma-sailor-killed-during-war-ii-neher-d/.
-- Navy Seaman 2nd Class Harold L. Head was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, when Japanese aircraft attacked his ship on Dec. 7, 1941. Head was one of 429 crewmen killed in the attack. Interment services are pending. Read about Head http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/1340424/uss-oklahoma-sailor-killed-during-world-war-ii-accounted-for-head-h/.
-- Marine Corps Cpl. Walter G. Critchley, 24, of Norwich, N.Y., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried Oct. 18 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. Critchley was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division. On Nov. 20, 1943, Critchley's unit landed on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll against fierce Japanese resistance. Critchley was killed on the first day of the battle. Read about Critchley http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/1338982/funeral-announcement-for-marine-missing-from-world-war-ii-critchley-w/.
-- Navy Reserve Pharmacist’s Mate 2nd Class Thomas J. Murphy was assigned to Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, Fleet Marine Force. On Nov. 20, 1943, Murphy's unit landed on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll against stiff Japanese resistance. Murphy was killed on the first day of the battle, one of approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors killed in the intense fighting. Interment services are pending. Read about Murphy http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/1340413/sailor-killed-during-world-war-ii-accounted-for-murphy-t/.
-- Army Sgt. Kermit J. Lejeune was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. In late November 1950, his unit engaged with Chinese forces in the vicinity of Unsan County, North Pyongan County, North Korea. Lejeune was reported missing in action on Nov. 28, 1950. Lejeune was later reported to have been captured and died in a North Korean POW camp in early 1951. Interment services are pending. Read about Lejeune http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/1337913/soldier-captured-during-the-korean-war-accounted-for-lejeune-k/.
Presss releases from the DPMO, JTFO, and other related information sources.
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