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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 378-03
May 30, 2003

DASD Jennings Visits Papua New Guinea

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/Missing Personnel Affairs Jerry D. Jennings is visiting Papua New Guinea this week to reaffirm the government’s commitment to recover the remains of those lost in World War II.

The purpose of his delegation’s visit is to thank the Papua New Guinean government for their continued strong support of the mission. Jennings will also meet with U.S. Ambassador Susan Jacobs and her staff, officials from the Papua New Guinean government and the National Museum to discuss WWII recovery operations in PNG. His talks will include discussions with the High Commissioners of Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand to brief them on the status of the U.S. worldwide accounting mission.

Jennings will also visit Lae City and personally recognize the residents of the Bumbu Settlement for their heroic rescue of the pilot and passengers of a recovery helicopter which crashed in the Huon Gulf on May 9, 2003.

Residents of the Bumbu Settlement were among the first on the scene of the crashed near Lae city. The U.S. chartered helicopter carried three members of the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii, one representative from the National Museum of Papua New Guinea, and the pilot. The Australian pilot was pronounced dead at the hospital. The other passengers suffered no serious injuries.

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