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 will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
He is Maj. Marion R. McCown Jr., U.S. Marine Corps, of Charleston, S.C. He will be buried on Jan. 18 in Charleston.
Representatives from the Marine Corps Mortuary Office met with McCown’s next-of-kin to explain the recovery and identification process and to coordinate interment with military honors on behalf of the secretary of the Navy.
On Jan. 20, 1944 McCown was the pilot of an F-4U Corsair aircraft that failed to return from a combat mission over Rabaul, New Britain, Papua New Guinea.
In 1991, a Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) team excavated an F-4U crash site in Rabaul and recovered human remains and McCown’s identification tag. However, forensic science at that time precluded an identification.
In 2006, a JPAC team surveyed the crash site in preparation for a recovery. While at the site, a villager living in the area turned over to the team human remains that he claimed to have recovered from the site. In 2008, another JPAC team excavated the site and recovered additional human remains.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC used dental comparisons in the identification of McCown’s remains.
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) 699-1420.