The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from World War II, have been identified and returned to his family for burial tomorrow with full military honors.
Seaman 2nd Class Dee Hall, of Syra, Okla. He is to be buried at the Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio.
Hall was one of seven crewmen aboard a U.S. Navy PBY-5 Catalina that took off from Kodiak Island, Alaska on June 14, 1942, to attack Japanese targets in Kiska Harbor, Alaska.
The crew encountered inclement weather and heavy Japanese anti-aircraft fire near the target. Their plane crashed on the Japanese-held Kiska Island, Alaska with all seven crewmen on board.
In August 1943, the United States retook Kiska Island from the Japanese. Wreckage of the PBY-5 was found on the side of Kiska volcano. The remains of the crew were buried in a common grave marked "Seven U.S.N. Airmen" with a wooden marker. Following the war, attempts to locate the common grave were unsuccessful and the remains of all seven were declared to be non-recoverable.
In 2002, a wildlife biologist notified DPMO that he had found the wreckage of a World War II aircraft on the slope of Kiska volcano. Using that information, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) excavated the crash site in August 2003 and found debris from the PBY-5 as well as crew-related items. The JPAC team also located the wooden marker as well as the remains buried nearby. Subsequent JPAC laboratory analysis led to the individual identification of all seven crewmembers.
Of the 88,000 unaccounted-for Americans from all conflicts, 78,000 are from World War II. For additional information visit the DPMO Web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.