WWII Marines Accounted ForThe Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that two U.S. Marines missing in action from World War II, have been accounted for and are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors.
U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Henry S. White, 23, of Kansas City, Mo., and Staff
Sgt. Thomas L. Meek, 19, of Lisbon, La., will be buried as a group in a single
casketrepresenting the two servicemen, on Oct. 18, at Arlington National
Cemetery near Washington, D.C.
On July 21, 1943, White and Meek were crew members of an SBD-4 Dauntless
dive-bomber that departed Turtle Bay Airfield on Espiritu Santo Island, New
Hebrides, on a night training mission and failed to return. During the training
mission, the aircraft was reported as crashed on a coral cliff on nearby Mavea
Island. In September 1947, a U.S. Army Graves Registration Service team
investigated the crash on Mavea Island, but recovered no remains. In 2012, a
JPAC team excavated the crash site on Mavea Island, Republic of Vanuatu, and
recovered the remains of White and Meek and non-biological evidence amid the
aircraft wreckage, which included U.S. and Australian coins dating to 1942 and
earlier, U.S. military captain's bars, and a military identification tag that
correlates to Meek by name and service number. What was found at the crash
site, along with the remains, correlate circumstantially to White and Meek,
however, no individual identifications were possible.
There are more than 400,000 American service members that were killed during
WWII, and the remains of more than 73,000 were never recovered or
For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.
We do not have information on individuals beyond what is listed on this site.
For more information, visit www.dpaa.mil or call 703-699-1420.
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