MIA Update - November 17, 2017

Presss releases from the DPMO, JTFO, and other related information sources.
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MIA Update - November 17, 2017

#1 Postby boardman » Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:07 am

MIA Update: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency has announced identification of remains and burial updates of eight American servicemen who had been missing in action from World War II and Korea. Returning home for burial with full military honors are:

-- Army Sgt. Gerald J. Mueller, 20, of Saint Paul, Minn., whose identification was previously announced, was buried Nov. 8 in Fort Snelling, Minn. Mueller was a member of Battery D, 82nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion (Automatic Weapons), 2nd Infantry Division. The unit, part of Support Force 21, was providing artillery fire support for South Korean forces on Feb. 11, 1951, when Chinese forces launched a massive counter-offensive, driving the support force to withdraw. After fighting their way south through ambushes and roadblocks to Wonju, Mueller could not be accounted for and was declared missing in action as of Feb. 13, 1951. He was later reported captured and taken to Suan Bean Camp, where Chinese and North Korean forces later reported he died while in their custody. Read about Mueller http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/1368635/funeral-announcement-soldier-captured-during-the-korean-war-mueller-g/.
-- Marine Cpl. Anthony G. Guerriero, 22, of Boston, whose identification was previously announced, will be buried Nov. 14 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. Guerriero was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division. Guerriero’s unit landed on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll on Nov. 20, 1943, against stiff Japanese resistance. Guerriero was killed Nov. 21, 1943, and buried in a battlefield cemetery on the island. His remains, then unidentified, were later interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. Read about Guerriero http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/1368719/funeral-announcement-for-marine-killed-during-world-war-ii-guerriero-a/.
-- Marine Corps Pvt. Vernon P. Keaton, 18, of Lubbock, Texas, whose identification was previously announced, will be buried Nov. 16 in Lula, Okla. Keaton was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when Japanese aircraft attacked his ship on Dec. 7, 1941. Keaton was one of 429 crewmen killed in the attack. Read about Keaton http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/1369106/funeral-announcement-for-uss-oklahoma-marine-killed-during-world-war-ii-keaton-v/.
-- Marine Corps Reserve Assistant Cook Frank L. Masoni, 21, of Gilroy, Calif., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried Nov. 18 in his hometown. Masoni was a member of Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Division. Masoni’s unit was one of those tasked with securing the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll. Encountering fierce resistance by the Japanese, almost 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed and another 1,000 were wounded in the battle. Masoni was killed on the second day of the battle, Nov. 21, 1943, and buried in a battlefield cemetery on the island. His remains, then unidentified, were later interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. Read about Masoni http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/1369144/funeral-announcement-for-marine-killed-during-world-war-ii-masoni-f/.
-- Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Homer A. Spence, 22, of Manteca, Calif., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried Nov. 18 in his hometown. Spence was a member of the 96th Fighter Squadron, 82nd Fighter Group. On July 20, 1944, Spence flew his P-38J on a bomber escort mission targeting Memmingen Airdrome in Germany. On the return flight, his aircraft was seen diving into the clouds and there was no further communication from him. Read about Spence http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/1370472/funeral-announcement-for-airman-missing-from-world-war-ii-spence-h/.
-- Marine Corps Sgt. William D. Ball, 21, of Hollywood, Calif., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried on the 74th anniversary of his death, Nov. 21, in Arvin, Calif. Ball was a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force. Ball’s unit was one of those tasked with securing the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll. Encountering fierce resistance by the Japanese, almost 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed and another 1,000 were wounded in the battle. Ball was wounded on the first day of battle, Nov. 20, 1943, and was identified for evacuation to the USS J. Franklin Bell for treatment. Ball never made it to the ship and his status was adjusted from wounded in action to missing in action as of Nov. 21, 1943. His remains, then unidentified, were later interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. Read about Ball http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/Article/1371652/funeral-announcement-for-marine-killed-during-world-war-ii-ball-w/.
-- Navy Fireman 2nd Class Martin A. Gara was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored off Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, when Japanese aircraft attacked his ship on Dec. 7, 1941. Gara was one of 429 crewmen killed in the attack. Interment services are pending. Read about Gara http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/1370289/uss-oklahoma-sailor-killed-during-world-war-ii-accounted-for-gara-m/.
-- Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. William H. Harth, Jr., was a bombardier assigned to the 329th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 93rd Bombardment Group (Heavy), which was known as “The Traveling Circus.” On Aug. 1, 1943, Harth’s B-24D aircraft, nicknamed “Hell’s Angels,” participated in a historic mission, code-named Operation TIDAL WAVE. This mission was the first large-scale, low-altitude attack by U.S. heavy bomber aircraft. As Harth’s aircraft approached Ploesti, Romania, it was hit by German antiaircraft fire. Harth was killed when the aircraft crashed. Interment services are pending. Read about Harth http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/1370339/airman-killed-during-world-war-ii-accounted-for-harth-w/.
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