Missing WWII Airmen who were shot down over New Guinea Accounted For

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency has announced on 24th of February that the remains of U.S. servicemen, who were missing in action from World War II, have been accounted for and are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

  • Army Air Forces 1st Lt. William D. Bernier of Augusta, Mont., buried there Sept. 19, 2014
  • 1st Lt. Bryant E. Poulsen of Salt Lake City, Utah
  • 1st Lt. Herbert V. Young Jr. of Clarkdale, Ariz., buried Oct. 15, 2014, in Prescott, Ariz.
  • 1st Lt. William D. Bernier of Augusta, Mont., buried there Sept. 19, 2014
  • Tech. Sgt. Charles L. Johnston of Pittsburgh, to be buried March 2 in Arlington National Cemetery
  • Tech. Sgt. Hugh F. Moore of Elkton, Md., buried there Nov. 11, 2014
  • Staff Sgt. John E. Copeland of Dearing, Kan.
  • Staff Sgt. Charles J. Jones of Athens, Ga., to be buried there Feb. 28
  • Sgt. Charles A. Gardner of San Francisco, buried Dec. 4, 2014, in Arlington National Cemetery

On April 10, 1944, 12 B-24D Liberator crew members took off from Texter Strip, Nazdab Air Field, New Guinea, on a mission to attack an anti-aircraft site at Hansa Bay. The aircraft was shot down by enemy anti-aircraft fire over the Madang Province, New Guinea. Four of the crewmen were able to parachute from the aircraft, but were reported to have died in captivity.

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Following World War II, the Army Graves Registration Service (AGRS) conducted investigations and recovered the remains of three of the missing airmen. In May 1949, AGRS concluded the remaining nine crew members were unrecoverable.

In 2001, a U.S.-led team located wreckage of a B-24D that bore the tail number of this aircraft. After several surveys, DoD teams excavated the site and recovered human remains and non-biological material evidence.

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1 thought on “Missing WWII Airmen who were shot down over New Guinea Accounted For”

  1. Is there an updated list of missing soldiers lost over the jungles of Papau New Guinea. My husbands Uncle to date has not been recovered. He was an Army aerial photographer his plane went down in the jungle. His name was
    James (Jimmy) Beattie from Bristol, Ct He had 12 siblings and to my knowledge all have past. His nephews and
    nieces are all between 40 and 75. What a gift it would be to know his remains were found a military ceremony
    would be provided. Thanks

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