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Nation Will Never Leave a Fallen Comrade, Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Says

Sept. 17, 2021 | BY David Vergun , DOD News

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, provided remarks at a POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremony in the Pentagon Hall of Heroes today.

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Hyten spoke of service members still missing in action and thanked the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency for its ongoing efforts to find them.

"We will go to any length to bring you home. We will scour every inch of land. We will dive every shore. We will plunge into every depth of the Pacific and the Atlantic. We will comb every bit of the Korean and Italian peninsulas and the unmarked graves from Belgium to Burma, and we will find you. We will never forget and we will never leave a fallen comrade."

Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff

Austin, speaking to prisoners of war and their families as well as to the families of the missing, said "We're humbled by your sacrifice and your resilience. We still feel the pain of those missing from conflicts for generations ago, and we share the uncertainty that many of you endure. We also thank you for your advocacy and involvement in our work to recover our fallen, and our missing."

More than 81,600 U.S. personnel still remain unaccounted for, but DPAA personnel are still searching for them and identifying their remains when found, the secretary said.

Of the many who were recovered and identified in recent years, Austin mentioned three.

Army Maj. Harvey H. Storms was a member of Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, which was part of the 31st Regimental Combat Team. He was reported missing in action on Dec. 1, 1950, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. Following the battle, his remains could not be recovered. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced he was accounted for July 29, 2019.
Harvey H. Storms
Army Maj. Harvey H. Storms was a member of Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, which was part of the 31st Regimental Combat Team. He was reported missing in action on Dec. 1, 1950, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. Following the battle, his remains could not be recovered. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced he was accounted for July 29, 2019.
Photo By: Army
VIRIN: 200323-A-ZQ077-002M
Soldier poses for photo.
John V. Phillips
Army Sgt. John V. Phillips was a member of Headquarters Company, 31st Infantry Regiment, when Japanese forces invaded the Philippine Islands in December 1941. Intense fighting continued until the surrender of the Bataan peninsula on April 9, 1942, and of Corregidor Island on May 6, 1942. He was captured during the fighting on Corregidor and died as a prisoner of war, July 27, 1942. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced that he was accounted for Dec. 11, 2019.
Photo By: Army
VIRIN: 200121-A-ZQ077-002M
Sailor poses for photo.
Paul C. Charvet
Navy Cmdr. Paul C. Charvet was the pilot of an A-1H Skyraider airplane assigned to Attack Squadron 215 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard. During a mission on March 21, 1967, near Thanh Hoa Province, North Vietnam, his plane disappeared, and he was declared missing in action. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced that he was accounted for March 1, 2021.
Photo By: Navy
VIRIN: 210901-D-UB488-001M

Army Maj. Harvey H. Storms was a member of Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, which was part of the 31st Regimental Combat Team. 

He was reported missing in action on Dec. 1, 1950, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. Following the battle, his remains could not be recovered. DPAA announced he was accounted for on July 29, 2019.

Army Sgt. John V. Phillips was a member of Headquarters Company, 31st Infantry Regiment, when Japanese forces invaded the Philippines. Intense fighting continued until the surrender of the Bataan peninsula on April 9, 1942, and Corregidor Island on May 6, 1942. 

Phillips was captured during the fighting on Corregidor and died as a prisoner of war on July 27, 1942. DPAA announced that he was accounted for on Dec. 11, 2019.

Navy Cmdr. Paul C. Charvet was the pilot of an A-1H Skyraider attack aircraft assigned to Attack Squadron 215 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard.

Troops salute as flag-draped coffin passes.
Disinterment Ceremony
Members of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency render a salute during a disinterment ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii, Sept. 13, 2021. The ceremony was part of the agency’s efforts to disinter and identify the remains of unknown service members lost during the Korean War.
Photo By: Army Staff Sgt. John Miller
VIRIN: 210913-A-FI370-0086M
People run with flags.
Honor Run
A cadre of airmen from the First Sergeant Council at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., participate in a 24-hour remembrance run in honor of prisoners of war and service members missing in action at the base’s fitness center, Sept. 16, 2021. During the run, the names of POW/MIA service members were read aloud over a loudspeaker as a means of remembering them and honoring their sacrifice.
Photo By: Air Force Staff Sgt. Christian Conrad
VIRIN: 210916-F-VG042-1039
 
During a mission on March 21, 1967, near Thanh Hoa Province, North Vietnam, his plane disappeared, and he was declared missing in action. DPAA announced that he was accounted for on March 1, 2021.

Speaking of those still unaccounted for, Austin said "We still seek answers to simple questions: 'Where are they and when can they come home?'"