Release No: NR-598-14
December 01, 2014
The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today
that the remains of servicemen, 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 Lts. William D. Bernier of Augusta, Montana; Bryant
E. Poulsen of Salt Lake City, Utah and Herbert V. Young Jr. of
Clarkdale, Arizona; Tech Sgts. Charles L. Johnston of Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania and Hugh F. Moore of Elkton, Maryland; Staff Sgts. John E.
Copeland of Dearing, Kansas and Charles J. Jones of Athens, Georgia; and
Sgt. Charles A. Gardner of San Francisco, California, have been
accounted for and will be buried with full military honors. Gardner will
be buried Dec. 4 in Arlington National Cemetery.
On April 10, 1944, Gardner, along with 11 other 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.
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, the Joint POW/MIA
Accounting Command (JPAC) teams excavated the site and recovered human
remains and non-biological material evidence.
To identify Gardner’s remains, scientists from JPAC and the Armed
Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial
evidence and forensic identification tools, including, mitochondrial
DNA, which matched Gardner’s maternal niece and nephew.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO website at www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call 703-699-1169.