Jonn’s article yesterday about the recovery of MOH recipient LTC Don Carlos Faith Jr’s remains brought to light something I didn’t know – and which may not be common knowledge. Some of TAH’s readers may be interested.
The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) is the DoD entity having the mission of accounting for US POWs/MIAs. They often use maternal-line mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in the identification of recovered remains. That much is fairly well-known.
However, the JPAC also maintains lists of unaccounted for US personnel from three conflicts for which they still need maternal-line mtDNA samples. These lists are reportedly reasonably complete, and are available in PDF and Excel formats; the PDF versions are linked below:
Excel versions of these lists may be found here under “Search”.
Additionally, the JPAC maintains a partial list of World War II unaccounted for personnel for whom current investigations have a critical need for mtDNA samples. Unfortunately, the list from World War II is not complete due to the sheer magnitude of US personnel still not formally accounted for (78,000+) and the relatively limited scope of JPAC’s work to date on World War II casualty cases.
General contact information for JPAC can be found here; an explanation of who can give a useful sample can be found here. If you or anyone you know have a relative who never came home, please consider seeing if you can help JPAC find them. Even if you can’t give the sample yourself, you may be able to help them locate someone who can.
Everyone deserves a proper burial – if possible, in their homeland.