You have reached a collection of archived material.

The content available is no longer being updated and may no longer be applicable as a result of changes in law, regulation and/or administration. If you wish to see the latest content, please visit the current version of the site.

For persons with disabilities experiencing difficulties accessing content on, please use the DoD Section 508 Form. In this form, please indicate the nature of your accessibility issue/problem and your contact information so we can address your issue or question.

Skip navigation links
“We are showing today's servicemembers and the families of todayís servicemembers that these people that we send in harm's way will not be forgotten, if, God forbid, something should happen. We will do everything in our power to bring them home and that we will remember their sacrifices.” Air Force Capt. Mary R. Olsen, Pentagon POW/MIA Office in Arlington, Va.
Robert Mann, deputy scientific director at the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, talks about its Central Identification Laboratory, the world's largest skeletal forensic lab and home to the largest concentration of forensic anthropologists in the world. Defense Dept. photo by Fred W. Baker III About 88,000 servicemembers from past wars are still buried on foreign shores and at sea. Quietly, almost behind the scenes of the current conflicts, hundreds of military troops and civilians have gone about the business of bringing them home one by one. They're honoring the nation's pledge to leave no one behind.
Army Sgt. Jared Michalek, a JPAC recovery team noncommissioned officer, looks for any pieces of evidence that can help identify a missing servicemember recovered at a site in Germany. Defense Dept. photo by Fred W. Baker III

 Feature Stories

Sallie Stratton holds what is believed to be the boot sole worn by her husband, Air Force Lt. Col. Charles W. Stratton, whose bomber went down Jan. 3, 1971, over Laos. Her husbandís body was never recovered, and he was missing and presumed dead until 2007. Uniform and boot material found at the site, along with DNA extracted from small pieces of bone found, were used to confirm his death. DoD photo by Fred W. Baker IIIRecovery Efforts Help Write Final Chapter for Missing Pilot's Wife
WASHINGTON, Dec. 3, 2008 – A missing pilot's wife, who found closure after more than 35 years thanks to the efforts of the Defense Department to recover her husband's remains, plans to tell her story at last. Story 
John A. Goines III, chief of the Life Sciences Equipment Laboratory, shows Sallie Stratton the remains recovered from the crash site of her husband, Air Force Lt. Col. Charles W. Stratton, whose bomber went down Jan. 3, 1971, over Laos. The lab, at Brooks City-Base in San Antonio, helps the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, based in Hawaii, identify servicemembers still missing from past wars. DoD photo by Fred W. Baker IIILab Offers Last-Ditch Effort to Identify Servicemembers
BROOKS CITY-BASE, Texas, Nov. 10, 2008 – As U.S. military recovery teams scour the jungles and mountains and woods and fields around the world looking for missing servicemembers from past wars, they hope to find enough remains to identify and return to their families for a proper burial. Story 
Mitochondrial DNA analysts Christina Miller, right, Jamie Steinitz, center, and Jennifer Kappeller work to prepare bone and tooth samples for DNA extraction. The DNA lab is one of the oldest and largest labs in the world that works with ancient DNA testing, or testing from severely degraded samples. DoD photo by Fred W. Baker IIIDNA Lab Helps Return Servicemembers to their Families
WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2008 – Thumb-tacked to the inside of Jennifer O'Callaghan's office cubicle is a picture of Marine Capt. William Francis Mullen. On her desk is a red metal bracelet engraved with his name, and the date the fighter pilot went missing. Story 
Christopher McDermott, a historian for the Central Identification Lab, shows the filing system for cases under investigation at the JPAC. Historians piece together information from databases, tips that come in from around the world and information in case files to determine first if the site is likely to yield the remains of missing servicemembers. Defense Dept. photo by Fred W. Baker IIIHistorians Piece Puzzle Together for Missing Troops
WASHINGTON, Sept. 22, 2008 – Before any American recovery team sets foot on foreign soil in search of missing servicemembers' remains, historians at the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command must painstakingly piece together the servicemembers' final moments in the hopes of pinpointing their location. Story 
Marine Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, shakes hands with Doris Jones of American Legion Post 70 at the Armed Forces Retirement Home, Washington, D.C. at the National POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremony at the Pentagon, Sept. 19, 2008. Defense Dept. photo by Fred W. Baker IIILeaders Pledge Support on POW/MIA Day
WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2008 – On a small parade field at the steps of the Pentagon and across the river from the skyline of the nationís capital, top military and political leaders today pledged to continue looking for missing servicemembers no matter the cost. Story 
Navy Rear Adm. Donna L. Crisp, who commands the JPAC, talks about emerging technologies that are boosting efforts to recover and identify missing servicemembers. Defense Dept. photo by Fred W. Baker IIIAgencies Search For, Bring Home Missing Troops
WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2008 – Hundreds of military troops and civilians are going about the business of bringing missing servicemembers from past wars home, one by one. Story 
Navy Cdr. Kevin R. Torske, lead dentist at the Central Identification Laboratory, shows a human tooth that holds a filling. Dental remains are one of the best pieces of evidence used to help identify missing servicemembers at the Central Identification Laboratory. Defense Dept. photo by Fred W. Baker IIICommand Identifies Missing Soldiers' Remains
WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2008 – Until six years ago, U.S. Navy Seaman Apprentice Thomas Hembree, who was killled in the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, laid in a grave marked "unknown" at the national cemetery there. Now, his family knows where "Uncle Tommy" is because of the work of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command. Story | Slides 
Tech. Sgt. Valda Wilson, a U.S. Air Force photographer, hauls buckets of dirt to the screening station so that it can be filtered for human remains as well as other evidence that would lead to the identification of a missing servicemember. Defense Dept. photo by Fred W. Baker IIIJPAC Teams Serve on Front Lines of Recoveries
WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2008 – Tech. Sgt. Valda Wilson is an Air Force photographer. But last month in a harvested wheat field in the village of Strass near Germany's Hurtgen Forest, she spent most of her days with her hands full of dirt, looking for the remains of a servicemember.
Story | Slides 
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Erik Durant (left), an explosive ordinance technician and U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Kevin Mathews, a field medic, both members of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, work to clear a field at their excavation site in Strass, Germany, on Aug. 30, 2008. JPAC photo by Air Force Technical Sgt. Valda G. WilsonU.S. Military Vows to Bring Every Troop Home
WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2008 – No U.S. servicemembers are now listed as missing or captured during operations in Afghanistan. One U.S. soldier is currently listed as missing-captured in Iraq. The remains of three other U.S. soldiers who had been reported as missing-captured in Iraq were recovered and identified earlier this year. Story 


 On-Site Videos

Navy Rear Adm. Donna L. CrispNavy Rear Adm. Donna L. Crisp
Commander, Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command Video 
Denise ToDenise To
Forensic Anthropologist, JPAC Video 
Marine Master Sgt. Jonathan CouturierMarine Master Sgt.
Jonathan Couturier

JPAC Recovery Team Leader Video 
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Valda WilsonAir Force Tech. Sgt.
Valda Wilson

JPAC Forensic Photographer Video 
Army Staff Sgt. Edward LeeArmy Staff Sgt. Edward Lee
JPAC Team Sergeant Video 
Denise To gives an overview of the German excavation siteSite Description
Denise To gives an overview of the German excavation site. Video 
Team members screen for human remains and other identifying evidenceScreening Process
Team members screen for human remains and other identifying evidence. Video 

 Related Links