The U.S. Department of Defence Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Accounting Agency (DPAA) recovered the remains and will return them to the United States.
The brief ceremony paid tribute to the valour of those lost and underlined how their sacrifice reinforced the enduring tie between the people of the United States and Papua New Guinea.
U.S. Ambassador Catherine Ebert-Gray, representatives from foreign diplomatic missions, and members of the PNG Defence Force, participated in the event at the VIP Terminal (APEC Lounge) of Jacksons International Airport on Monday, June 10.
The ceremony follows a successful investigation and recovery mission on Kovu village, Gulf Province, and a series of missions carried throughout the course of the year on East Sepik, Morobe, and Northern (Oro) provinces. The United States remains committed to achieving the fullest possible accounting of Americans lost during the Second World War.
DPAA conducts global search, recovery, and laboratory operations to identify unaccounted-for Americans from past conflicts in order to support the U.S. Department of Defence’s personnel accounting efforts.
In order to ensure mission success and the return of unaccounted-for Americans, DPAA routinely engages in technical negotiations and talks with representatives of foreign governments to promote and maintain positive in-country conditions wherever DPAA teams deploy.
DPAA works closely with host nation officials and local or regional government representatives during all investigative and recovery missions. The cooperation and joint efforts of organisations like the PNG National Museum and University of Papua New Guinea are essential for DPAA to accomplish its mission.
(Members of the United States Navy and PNG Defence Force at the DPAA Repatriation Ceremony at the Jackson’s International Airport)