MIAs

Menstuff® has compiled the following information on men who are still Missing in Action (MIAs).

The Prisoner of War Issue
Military Casualties
Gulf War: In Saddam's Bloody Grip
Related Issues:
POWs, War

The Prisoner of War Issue


Every year, by proclamation, the President of the United States declares April 9th as "National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day." This date honors those that CAME HOME. In the past decade, an average of TWELVE returnees have died EACH DAY. 

National POW/MIA Recognition Day is by law, the 3rd Friday in September every year. This date honors those men and women still held in enemy hands or buried on foreign soil.

On August 10, 1990, the Congress passed a bill recognizing the black and white, POW/MIA flag as "the symbol of our Nation's concern and commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fate of Americans still prisoner, missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia..."

In 1997, bills passed the House and Senate mandating the POW/MIA flag be flown on specific holidays. The 1998 Defense Authorization act noted that the flag MUST be flown on: Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day, Flag Day, Veterans Day, Independence Day, POW/MIA Recognition Day. 

In 1998, the Veterans Administration noted the flag will fly EVERY day at their facilities. 

Military Casualties:


Note: ALL POW/MIAs are now noted as PFOD except Gulf War Michael Speicher.
KIA - Killed in Action, W - Wounded, POW-Prisoner of War, MIA-Missing in Action

 

KIA
Wounded
POW/MIA

WWI

116,708
204,002
3,350

WWII

407, 316
670,846
78,777

Korea

54,246
153, 303
7,190*

Vietnam

58,151
303, 678
2,459

Iranian
Hostage Crisis

8
NA
0

Lebanon

265
NA
0

Grenada

19
NA
0

Panama

23
NA
0

Gulf War

382***
467
37

Somalia

1
NA
0

Haiti - 1993-96

59
NA
0

War on Terror

1998

3
NA
NA

2001 Post 9/11

3
NA
NA

2002

83
NA
NA

2003

28**
NA
NA

9/11

125*****
NA
NA

Gulf War II

2363****
16,653
1
Resource: * 4,428 repatriated; 8177 MIA; ** as of 05/20/03) (Does not include losses from air crashes WITHIN U.S.) DOES include Philippines (10 - some KIA/BNR), Afghanistan, Med Sea., Puerto Rico. Includes bombing in Saudi Arabia 05/2003... *** Outside Combat theater: 1,590 KIA; **** As of 3/22/03 ***** 118 remains recovered The Department of Defense has recently released updated casualty statistics for Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq) and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). As of March 5, 2006, 277 American servicemembers have perished in Afghanistan, since that conflict began on October 7, 2001. 685 have been wounded. **** As of April 12, 2006

World War I (Please note this does not include MIAs, only known captured.)


Captured and Interned 4,120, Died while POW 147, Refused Repatriation 0, Returned to US Military Control 3,973, Alive as of Jan1, 1998 5 (Ex-POW Bulletin, February 1998)

World War II (Please note this does not include MIAs, only known captured.)


Does NOT include Merchant Marines - 4,780 MIA, 882 Dead (including 37 POws) and 572 released from captivity. 201 alive as of 01/01/2002. Captured and Interned 130,201, Died while POW 14,072, Refused Repatriation 0, Returned to US Military Control 116,129, Alive as of Jan 1, 1998 52,531 (Ex-POW Bulletin, February 1998 and 2002)

406,872 Killed in Action / 78,750 Missing in Action or Prisoners of War. The State Department knew of more than 5,000 American prisoners in the hands of the Soviets and their European satellites. (New York Times, January 5, 1954)

On May 19, 1945, British Intelligence told U.S. officials that Soviet Marshall Tolbukhin had in his possession at Odessa, nearly 16,000 American and 8,000 British ex-POW's. (National Archive copy of Cable)

"...a lot of documents that, taken together, indicate that Moscow imprisoned 20,000 or more American and several thousand British soldiers at the end of World War II. The record further shows that U.S. officials knew it and let it happen." (Bill Paul, Wall Street Journal, August 13, 1987. Documents in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. )

A 1972 Senate Judiciary Committee study on Communist treatment of POW's disclosed that captives freed by the Soviet Union had provided evidence "that several hundred thousand of the missing persons (from WWII) were still being held forced laborers or prisoners" in the 1950's. (Army Times, October 13, 1986)

"Approximately 78,750 Americans were unaccounted for following World War II... Another 8,177 of our comrades in arms are still missing in action and 389 known prisoners of war unaccounted for nearly 35 years after the end of the Korean Conflict...." (Col. Charles D. Cooper, USAF Ret., "The Stars and Stripes, May 9, 1988)
 

Korea (Please note this does not include MIAs, only known captured.)


Captured and Interned 7,140, Died while POW 2,701, Refused Repatriation 21, Returned to US Military Control 4,418, Alive as of Jan1, 1998 2,814 (Ex-POW Bulletin, February 1998)

Prisoner of War. "Whereas 944 soldiers of the United State are now Prisoners of the Chinese Communist forces in Korea... " (Congressional Record, June 29, 1954, Rep. Thomas O'Neill Jr.)

Vietnam War (Please note this does not include MIAs, only known captured.)


57,685 Killed in Action - at least 2,459 Missing in Action or Prisoner of War. Captured and Interned 772, Died while POW 144, Refused Repatriation 0, Returned to US Military Control 658, Alive as of Jan1, 1998 625 (Ex-POW Bulletin, February 1998)
 

Gulf War: In Saddam's Bloody Grip


(Allied Prisoners of War and Missing in Action U.S. Veteran Dispatch February 1991)

Desert Shield


United States Missing In Action Or Captured

October 8, 1990

PFC THOMAS R. ADAMS, JR. — U.S. Marine Corps, age 21, Baton Rouge Parish Louisiana

GARY S. DILLON — U.S. Marine Corps, age 29, Stark County, Ohio

KEVIN R. DOLVIN — U.S. Marine Corps, age 29, DuBose County, Illinois

WILLIAM D. CRONIN, JR. — U.S. Marine Corps, age 29, Merrimack County, New Hampshire

WILLIAM J. HURLEY — U.S. Marine Corps, age 27, Cook County, Illinois

KENNETH T. KELLER — U.S. Marine Corps, age 26, Cook County, Illinois

JOHN R. KILKUS — U.S. Marine Corps, age 26, Norfolk County, Massachussetts

TIMOTHY W. ROMEI — U.S. Marine Corps, age 22, San Francisco County, California

At approximately 0513 hours on October 8, 1990, two UH1N helicopters from HMM 164 embarked on the USS OKINAWA for an at-sea NVG training operation off the coast of Oman.

The two helicopters disappeared from radar and failed to respond to radio calls during the training mission. Searches revealed no sign of the aircraft of its crew and all were declared missing at sea.

The eight U.S. Marines men aboard the two helicopters are the first military personnel to become missing in Operation Desert Shield.

December, 1990

AVIATION ORD. 3RD CLASS ANTHONY J. FLEMING — U.S. Navy, age 25, Buffalo, New York

In December, 1990, one of the USS SARATOGA's ferries overturned and twenty-one people were lost. Twenty sets of remains were recovered, leaving only Fleming unaccounted for.

Desert Storm: U.S./Allied Missing in Action or Captured

January 17, 1991

NAVIGATOR ADRIAN JOHN NICOL — Royal Air Force, age 27, Great Britain

FLIGHT LIEUTENANT JOHN GYRT PETERS — Royal Air Force, age 28, Great Britain

On January 17, 1991, Allied forces began concentrated air strikes on Iraqi military targets in Iraq and Kuwait. Participating in the strikes were U.S., British and Kuwaiti air forces. The United Kingdom had the second largest military contingent of troops after the U.S. with 35-40,000 troops, 75 Tornado fighter/bombers, and sixteen warships.

Flight Lieutenant John G. Peters was the pilot and Navigator Adrian J. Nicol the backseater, of a Tornado GR1 fighter/bomber which flew in the first wave of strikes. Peters and Nicol were from 15 Squadron, Royal Air Force. During their bombing strike over an Iraqi airfield, two British fighter jets were shot down, including Peters' Tornado.

Nicol and Peters bailed out of their aircraft safely, and although rescue efforts were mounted, Peters and Nicol were captured by Iraqi forces. In all, seven Allied airmen were captured in the first waves of strikes.

On January 20, 1991, Peters and Nicol appeared on Iraqi television in an apparent propaganda effort by their Iraqi captors. First the voice interviews, followed by the videotapes, were released by Cable News Network (CNN). Peters and Nicol appeared to be speaking under extreme duress. Also on January 20, the Iraqis stated that their prisoners would be used as "human shields" to protect Iraqi military targets from strikes by Allied forces.

January 17, 1991

LT.COL. DONNIE R. HOLLAND — U.S. Air Force, age 42, Bastrop, Louisiana

MAJ. THOMAS F. KORITZ — U.S. Air Force, age 37, Rochelle, Illinois

LtCol. Donnie R. Holland and Maj. Thomas F. Koritz are Air Force officers from the 335th Tactical Fighter Squadron based at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina. When their squadron shipped out to Saudi Arabia, the two worked as the crew of an F15E fighter/bomber. Holland was weapons/systems operator and Koritz was the pilot. Koritz was also an Air Force surgeon. Holland had been in the Air Force for 17 years, but this was the first combat mission he had flown.

Koritz and Holland flew in the first wave of attacks on Iraqi military targets on January 17, 1991. Three hours after the aircraft in the first wave returned to base, Holland and Koritz had not returned and they were listed missing in action.

Donnie R. Holland is married and has two children, Heather, age 13 and Matthew, age 11. His parents, Doug and Christine Holland, reside in Bastrop, Louisiana.

Thomas F. Koritz is married and has three sons, age 8, 6 and 4. His parents, Dr. Thomas and Mary Koritz, reside in Rochelle, Illinois. Koritz is a former high school football player.

January 17, 1991

CAPTAIN MAURIZIO COCCIOLONE — Italian Air Force, Italy

On January 12, 1991, Italian Air Force Captain Maurizio Cocciolone flew a Tornado GR1 fighter/bomber in the first wave of strikes on military targets in Iraq and Kuwait. During the strike, Cocciolone's Toronado was shot down.

Cocciolone was captured by Iraqi forces. In all, seven Allied airmen shot down and captured in the first waves of strikes.

On January 20, Cocciolone appeared on Iraqi television with other Coalition POWs. Cocciolone appeared to be speaking under extreme duress. Also on January 20, the Iraqis stated that their POWs would be used as "human shields" to protect their important military targets from strikes by Allied forces.

January 17, 1991

LT.COL. MOHAMMED MUBARAK — Kuwaiti Air Force, Kuwait

Kuwaiti Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Mubarak was a pilot of an A4 flying in the first wave of air strikes on January 17. During the mission, his aircraft was shot down. Mubarak ejected from his aircraft and was captured by Iraqi forces.

On January 20, a subdued Mubarak appeared with other Coalition POWs on an Iraqi television broadcast. The prisoners appeared to have been beaten and some spoke haltingly. No further information has surfaced regarding Mubarak.

January 17, 1991

COL. DAVID WILLIAM EBERLY — U.S. Air Force, age 43, Goldsboro, North Carolina

MAJ. THOMAS EDWARD GRIFFITH, JR. — U.S. Air Force, age 34, Goldsboro, North Carolina

In the early days of hositlities in the Middle East, about one dozen American pilots were shot down and declared missing. The Pentagon, reluctant to release more information than was necessary, released only name, rank, branch of service and age of each missing man. Family members, friends and media sources reported more.

On January 20, 1991, the Pentagon announced that Col. David W. Eberly and Maj. Thomas E. Griffith, Jr., the pilot and navigator of an F15E, had not returned from their January 17 mission over Kuwat or Iraq, and had been declared missing. Both men were from the 335th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 4th Tactical Fighter Wing based at Seymour Johnson Air Base in Goldsboro, North Carolina. No further information was given as to date of loss location of loss or probability of survival.

Eberly's mother spoke with Associated Press later that day and gave further information on her son. Eberly is a native of Brazil, Indiana, and graduated from Brazil High School in 1965. He graduated from Indiana University in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in business administration. While at IU, Eberly was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity and the Reserve Officers Training Corps. Eberly is married and is currently stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base where he is the deputy commander for the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing. Eberly and his wife, Barbara, have one 18-year-old son. Eberly's mother, Evelyn Wallace, resides in Brazil, Indiana.

On January 25, video of Col. Eberly was shown on CNN. He was unshaven and complained of suffering from a neck injury, but otherwise seemed to be in fair condition. He identified himself and said his targets had been "Scud missile and associated chemical facilities."

Another man interviewed identified himself as Maj. Thomas Edward Griffith, 34, said he was an F15E navigator based at al-Kharj, Saudi Arabia.

January 17

LT.CDR. MICHAEL SCOTT SPEICHER — U.S. Navy, age 33, Jacksonville, Florida

Scott Speicher was raised in Kansas City and moved to Jacksonville Florida, during high school. Scott continued his education at Florida State University, receiving a degree in accounting and management. Speicher went on to join the U.S. Navy and received flight training. During the Mid-East Crisis, he was one of 2,500 airmen assigned to the USS SARATOGA in the Red Sea, and flew the F18 "Hornet" fighter/bomber.

On January 17, 1991, Speicher's aircraft was hit by an Iraqi SAM (surface-to-air missile) and crashed during the first Coalition offensive of Desert Storm. Initial reports by Defense Secretary Dick Cheney stated that Speicher had been killed. One military source said reports indicated the aircraft had "exploded to bits" in the sky, apparently having suffered a direct SAM hit.

Iraqi officials soon announced the capture of several American pilots. Speicher's chances of safe ejection were considered to be slim, but he was listed Missing in Action. Most recent media reports indicate that he was probably "confirmed killed." However, the Methodist church in Florida where Scott Speicher has been a Sunday School teacher has held prayer and candlelight vigils for his safety. They have not given up hope that he is still alive.

January 18, 1991

LT. ROBERT WETZEL — U.S. Navy, age 30, Metuchen, New Jersey

LT. JEFFREY NORTON ZAUN — U.S. Navy, age 28, Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Lt. Robert Wetzel was one of nine children in his family raised in Metuchen, New Jersey. Wetzel graduated from Metuchen High School in 1978 where he played soccer and baseball and received the school's scholar/athelete aware. He subsequently attended the New Jersey Institute of Technology and went on to join the U.S. Navy in about 1986. Wetzel eventually took pilot training on the A6 Intruder fighter/bomber.

Jeffrey N. Zaun was raised in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. At Cherry High School West, Zaun was an ROTC member and active in gymnastics. Following his graduation in 1980, Zaun was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, from which he graduated in 1984. Zaun took flight training, but eyesight problems kept him from his desired position of pilot. He trained as weapons systems operator, a rear-seat position, in the A6E.

The Grumman A6 Intruder is a two-man all weather, low-altitude, carrier-based attack plane, with versions adapted as aerial tanker and electronic warfare platform. The A6A primarily flies close-air-support, all-weather and night attacks on enemy troop concentrations, and night interdiction missions. Its advanced navigation and attack system allows small precision targets, such as bridges and fuel depots to be located and attacked in all weather conditions, day or night. Their crews are among the most talented and most courageous to serve the United States.

Wetzel and Zaun are assigned to Oceana Naval Air Station at Virginia Beach, Virginia with Attack Squadron 35 (VA35 - "Black Panthers"). Ultimately, their squadron shipped out on the USS SARATOGA and was stationed in the Red Sea when hostilities began in the Middle East in 1991.

On January 18, 1991, Wetzel was the pilot and Zaun flew as backseater on an A6E in early attacks on Iraqi military targets. Their target was the H3 Airfield in Southwest Iraq. The aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft artillery over the desert, and Zaun, at least, ejected from the aircraft and was captured by Iraqi forces.

On January 20, 1991, a video interview of Zaun was broadcast in the first interviews with Coalition POWs on Iraqi television. Zaun's face, which has since been widely published, was covered with small wounds, and his voice very strained. While the Pentagon did not immediately confirm the identity of the Americans in the film, Zaun's family confirmed that the man appearing in the interview was their son. Wetzel was not mentioned in the report.

Robert Wetzel is unmarried, but is scheduled to be married to Jaqui Curtin of Virginia Beach in late February. His parents, William and Kathleen Wetzel, reside in Vero Beach, Florida.

Jeffrey N. Zaun is unmarried, and is a 1984 graduate of the United Stated Naval Academy at Annapolis. He is the son of Calvin Zaun.

January 18, 1991

LT. WILLIAM THOMAS "TOM" COSTEN — U.S. Navy, age 27, St. Louis, Missouri

LT. CHARLIE TURNER — U.S. Navy, age 29, Richfield, Minnesota

Tom Costen and Charlie Turner were assigned to Attack Squadron 155 at Whidby Island, Washington. Their unit shipped out to the Middle East onboard the USS RANGER when U.S. military buildup began there in January 1991. Costen and Turner had been in the region only ten days when hostilities began and they were asked to fly combat missions on Iraqi military targets in the first wave of offensive strikes of the war. Costen was the pilot of an FA6 Intruder, and Turner his navigator.

Costen and Turner failed to return from missions on the morning of Friday, January 18. The Pentagon has been reluctant to release information related to the missing, and no information is yet available as to location of loss or probability of survival. Costen's parents, Dr. William S. Costen and Barbara Wilkins of St. Louis, state that the Navy is still running search and rescue operations looking for the downed airmen.

On January 20, Associated Press released information that Navy Lt. Charlie Turner of Minneapolis, Minnesota was missing. Turner's name as of January 20 had not appeared on Pentagon lists, but the information was received from family members that Turner was the bombadier/navigator of an A6 lost on January 19, 1991 over Kuwait. Both men remain missing in action.

Tom Costin was raised in Independence, Missouri, and later moved to St. Louis. He is a graduate of John Burroughs High School in Ladue, Missouri, and the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. He has been in the Navy about six years.

Charlie Turner graduated from Richfield High School in Richfield, Minnesota. He is 29 years old, married, and has a six-month-old son. His mother, Helene Turner of Minneapolis, supplied the information that Turner has been reported missing.

January 18

WING COMMANDER THOMAS NIGEL CHARLES ELSDON — Royal Air Force, age 39, Great Britain

FLIGHT LIEUTENANT ROBERT MAXWELL COLLIER — Royal Air Force, age 42, Great Britain

Royal Air Force Wing Commander Thomas N.C. Elsdon and Flight Lieutenant Robert M. Collier were pilot and navigator of a Tornado GR1 fighter/bomber which flew in early offensive strikes.

On January 18, 1991, Collier and Elsdon were shot down and declared missing. No further information relating to their loss has been released.

January 19, 1991

LT.COL. CLIFFORD M. ACREE — U.S. Marine Corps, age 29, Oceanside, California

CWO GUY L. HUNTER, JR. — U.S. Marine Corps, age 46, Camp Pendleton, California

The OV10 Bronco was among the aircraft most feared by the Viet Cong and NVA forces during the Vietnam war because whenever the Bronco appeared overhead, an air strike seemed certain to follow. Although the glassed-in cabin can become uncomfortably warm, it provides splendid visibility. The two-man crew has armor protection and can use machine guns and bombs to attack, as well as rockets to mark targets for fighter bombers. This versatility enables the plane to fly armed reconnaissance missions in addition to serving as vehicle for forward air controllers.

LtCol. Clifford Acree and Chief Warrant Officer Guy L. Hunter, Jr. were the crew of an OV10 Bronco in the Middle East when U.S. air forces were again called into action in January 1991. Acree was the pilot of the aircraft while Hunter was the observation officer. The two were assigned to Marine squadron VM02, of which Acree was the commander. Both had been stationed at Camp Pendleton, California, prior to being sent to the Persian Gulf. During the first wave of offensive strikes against Iraqi military targets, the aircraft was flying a reconnaissance mission and was downed by a surface-to-air missile (SAM) and both Acree and Hunter were captured by Iraqi forces. Their loss location is uncertain, as various reports state they were lost in southern Kuwait or Iraq.

On January 20 Hunter and Acree appeared on Iraqi television with the first group of Coalition POWs interviewed. Both men appeared to be under a great deal of strain, and had perhaps been beaten. Their voice inflections indicated coercion.

Clifford M. Acree's wife, Cindy, is confident that he will endure the ordeal of being a POW saying he is "dedicated to serving his country and he will persevere." Acree has an 11-year-old daughter, Stephany, from a former marriage who lives with her mother in San Diego. Acree is the son of Marvin "Bill" and Delia Acree, and has a sister, Brayman, of Lynnwood, Washington. Acree grew up in the Seattle, Washington, area and attended Shoreline Community College there.

Guy Hunter is married and has three children, ages 12, 9 and 7. His wife, Mary, resides in Camp Pendleton, California. The Hunter family had moved from North Carolina to California in early January. Hunter was a Vietnam veteran, having served four tours in Southeast Asia. Hunter's brothers and wife feel confident he will "persevere" because of his dedication to his country and his extraordinary training and experience.

January 19, 1991

FLIGHT LIEUTENANT DAVID J. WADDINGTON — Royal Air Force, age 24, Great Britain

British news services announced that Flight Lieutenant Waddington went missing in action on January 19, 1991. No further information was released.

January 20, 1991

CAPT. HARRY MICHAEL ROBERTS — U.S. Air Force, age 30, Savannah, Georgia

MAJ. JEFFREY SCOTT TICE — U.S. Air Force, age 35, East Rockhill, Pennsylvania

The Pentagon announced on January 20 that Capt. Harry M. Roberts and Maj. Jeffrey S. Tice were missing from early offensive strikes over Iraq and Kuwait. No further information was given as to date of loss, location of loss or probability of survival. Later media releases indicate that Roberts was stationed at Torrejon Air Base in Spain. He and Tice were flying from Doha Qatar airfield on a strike against an oil refinery south of Baghdad.

On January 22, Iraqi television broadcast post-capture interviews of Roberts and Tice. As was the case on January 20, these two POWs appeared to be subdued and under extreme stress — but alive and less severely injured than the first group. Roberts and Tice indicated their targets were south of Baghdad and that their aircraft had been shot down by surface-to-air missiles (SAM). Jeffrey Tice's father, Darwin Tice of Sellersville, Pennsylvania, positively identified the man in the interview as being his son.

Harry M. Roberts is 30 years old and is from Savannah, Georgia. He attended Benedictine Military School in Savannah and later excelled at the United States Air Force Academy. Prior to being sent to the Middle East, Roberts was stationed near Madrid, Spain, at Torrejon Air Base. He has two step-children and wife Patty, who lives in Spain, is expecting a baby in February.

Jeffrey Scott Tice graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1977 with a degree in electrical engineering. He joined the Air Force in 1978 and was stationed near Madrid, Spain, at Torrejon Air Base prior to being sent to the Middle East. His wife and daughters, ages 6 and 4, live in Spain.

January 21, 1991

LT. LAWRENCE RANDOLPH SLADE — U.S. Navy, age 26, Norfolk, Virginia

Lt. Lawrence R. Slade was assigned to Fighter Squadron 103 onboard the USS SARATOGA when it was deployed to the Middle East. He flew as Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) in the early combat missions against targets in Kuwait and Iraq, and was shot down on a night mission on January 21, 1991. No further information was released by the Pentagon.

On January 25, three Coalition POWs appeared on Iraqi television, including Lt. Lawrence R. Blake. A check of Navy records indicated that media sources had mistakenly reported "Blake" instead of "Slade" because of the similar sound of the names and the difficulty in hearing the statements of the POWs. Slade stated that his mission was protecting allied forces on bombing runs. He was not certain what had hit his F14 Tomcat fighter/bomber.

The U.S. Navy subsequently released information that the pilot of the aircraft, Lt. Devon Jones, ejected from the aircraft over the desert and was rescued.

January 22, 1991

SQUADRON LEADER KEVIN PAUL WEEKS — Royal Air Force, age 37, Great Britain

SQUADRON LEADER GARY KIRKWOOD STEWART LENNOX — Royal Air Force, age 34, Great Britain

British news agencies announced that Squadron Leader Weeks and Squadron Leader Lennox went missing on January 22, 1991. No further information was released.

January 23, 1991

SQUADRON LEADER BOB ANKERSON — Royal Air Force, age 40 Great Britain

FLIGHT LIEUTENANT SIMON BURGESS — Royal Air Force, age 23, Great Britain

Squadron Leader Bob Ankerson and Flying Officer Simon John Burgess were the crewmen of a Tornado GR1 fighter/bomber which was shot down January 23, 1991. Both airmen were declared missing.

January 24, 1991

ROBERTO ALVAREZ — Civilian, CBS Photographer

PETER BLUFF — Civilian, CBS Producer

JUAN CALDERA — CBS Soundman

BOB SIMON — Civilian, age 49, CBS Correspondent

When war began in the Middle East in January, international news agencies struggled to compete for up-to-date news on this, the first "live-time" war the world had seen.

On January 24, CBS News correspondent Bob Simon, producer Peter Bluff, soundman Juan Caldera and photographer Roberto Alverez, apparently seeking a story, traveled unescorted to the Saudi/Kuwait border. Their abandoned automobile, still containing their personal effects, camera equipment and $6,000 in U.S. currency, was found by Saudi Arabian troops. The vehicle had run out of gas.

On January 28, a UPI story stated that Saudi Arabian authorities reported that an Iraqi deserter told them he may have seen the four men, and that CBS, as of that date, was trying to confirm the report and speak to the deserter to obtain information on the crew.

The mechanisms protecting civilians and military personnel in combat zones are varied. While civilians are under the protection of the United States, they are, in theory, the responsibility of the U.S. State Department. Greater priority in actual recovery efforts are given military personnel, who are under the protection of the Department of Defense.

Bob Simon is a seasoned war reported who covered conflicts in Vietnam, Israel, Lebanon and Northern Ireland. He has worked with CBS since 1967. Simon was last heard from at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, January 21, according to CBS sources.

January 28, 1991

CAPT. MICHAEL C. BERRYMAN — U.S. Marine Corps, age 28, Yuma, Arizona

The Harrier, or AV-8B, is a fighter-bomber notable for its ability to make vertical takeoffs by directing thrust from its engines downward. The peacetime favorite at airshows is used extensively by the U.S. Marines in Operation Desert Storm. Capt. Michael C. Berryman has been a Harrier pilot for six years. Of the 60 pilots in his unit, he has the second-most experience. In the Middle East, Berryman is stationed at a Marine base about 60 miles from the Kuwaiti border.

On Monday, January 28, Berryman was on a bombing mission over Kuwait when his aircraft was shot down. Other airmen in the area saw the Harrier explode when it struck the ground, but were unable to determine if Berryman ejected from the aircraft.

The following day, Berryman's family was notified that he was missing in action. The Marine Corps requested that the family not make public statements regarding Berryman's loss. They have hope "that maybe he got out of the plane before it crashed."

Michael C. Berryman is from Cleveland, Oklahoma and now lives with his wife in Yuma, Oklahoma. He graduated from high school there in 1980. He received a degree in construction engineering at the University of Oklahoma in 1985. Following Navy ROTC years at OU, Berryman joined the Marine Corps. His parents, Loy and Esther Berryman, live in Cleveland. Berryman's brother, Brian, is an instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy.

January 30, 1991

SPEC. DAVID LOCKETT — U.S. Army, age 23, Bessemer, Alabama

MELISSA A. RATHBUN-NEALY — U.S. Army, age 20, Newaygo, Michigan

On 30 January 1991, Spec. David Lockett, and Spec. Melissa Rathbun-Nealy, both from the 233rd Transportation Company, 70th Ordnance Battalion out of Fort Bliss, Texas, became missing near the border of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Lockett and Rathbun-Nealy were in one of two humvees (the U.S. military's modern jeeps) delivering equipment to troops when the two jeeps took a wrong turn and ended up in the middle of fighting as Iraqi tanks, armored patrol vehicles and troops moved into the city of Khafji, Saudi Arabia.

One of the jeeps managed to speed out, but the second ran off the road and crashed into a wall. Marines from the 1st Marine Division deployed just two miles south of the city organized a rescue party after the humvee that got away requested help.

As the Marine vehicles crept into the outskirts of the city, two Cobra helicopters flew shotgun overhead. When they arrived at the spot where the humvee crashed, they found the jeep abandoned with the passengers' duffel bags and gas masks inside the vehicle. The material they had been transporting was gone. The doors of the vehicle were open and the weapons gone. The wheels were still spinning. No sign of the occupants of the jeep was found; there were no bloodstains seen.

It was first believed that the crashed jeep was occupied by Rathbun-Nealy and Lockett. Both were declared Missing in Action. Later, Pentagon sources revealed that the two missing from the crashed jeep had been rescued, but declined to name them. Rathbun-Nealy and Lockett, the Pentagon said, were lost some distance away from this loss location.

A later unconformed report stated that the two had been captured, but no further information has surfaced regarding this report. The Iraqi government has made public statements that it currently holds U.S. women prisoners although no woman is listed POW by the Pentagon and only Rathbun-Nealy is listed missing.

David Lockett is from Bessemer, Alabama. He was based in Mannheim, Germany, before shipping out to Saudi Arabia. His wife, Kirsten, and their three children live in Germany and his mother, Betty Lockett, lives in Bessemer.

Melissa Rathbun grew up in Cedar Rapids, Michigan, and graduated from Creston High School in 1988. Following graduation, she joined the Army - for adventure and to earn money for college - according to family friends. While in the Army, Melissa was married briefly and divorced.

Melissa Rathbun-Nealy is twenty years old and is an only child. Her parents, Leo and Joan Rathbun live at Newaygo, Michigan. Rathbun-Nealy has been in the Army for two and one-half years and is stationed at Ft. Bliss, Texas. She has been in Saudi Arabia since October, 1990. She is the first woman military member reported Missing in Action since World War II.

January 30, 1991

STAFF SERGEANT THOMAS CLIFFORD BLAND, JR. — U.S. Air Force, age 26, Fort Walton Beach, Florida

STAFF SERGEANT JOHN P. BLESSINGER — U.S. Air Force, age 33, Fort Walton Beach, Florida

SENIOR MASTER SERGEANT PAUL G. BEUGE — U.S. Air Force, age 43, Mary Esther, Florida

SERGEANT BARRY M. CLARK — U.S. Air Force, age 26, Hurlburt Field, Florida

CAPTAIN ARTHUR GALVAN — U.S. Air Force, age 33, Navarre, Florida

CAPTAIN WILLIAM D. GRIMM — U.S. Air Force, age 28, Hurlburt Field, Florida

STAFF SERGEANT TIMOTHY R. HARRISON — U.S. Air Force, age 31, Ft. Walton Beach, Florida

TECHNICAL SERGEANT ROBERT K. HODGES — U.S. Air Force, age 28, Hurlburt Field, Florida

SERGEANT DAMON V. KANUHA — U.S. Air Force, age 28

MASTER SERGEANT JOHN B. MAY II — U.S. Air Force, age 40, Fort Walton Beach, Florida

STAFF SERGEANT JOHN L. OELSCHLAGER — U.S. Air Force, age 28, Niceville, Florida

STAFF SERGEANT MARK J. SCHMAUSS — U.S. Air Force, age 30, Hurlburt Field, Florida

CAPTAIN DIXON L. WALTERS, JR. — U.S. Air Force, age 29, Navarre Beach, Florida

MAJOR PAUL J. WEAVER — U.S. Air Force, age 34, Alamosa, Colorado

The Lockheed C130 Hercules aircraft is a multi-purpose four-engine prop aircraft known in military circles for precise radar targeting and awesome firepower. The aircraft is used as transport, tanker, gunship, drone controller, airborne battlefield command and control center, weather reconnaissance craft, electronic reconnaissance platform; search, rescue and recovery craft.

The AC130H Spectre is an armed version of the C130 Hercules transport. It bristles with side-firing cannons, including a 105mm howitzer. Gunships are used to attack tanks and other vehicles as well as stationary ground targets, often under cover of night when the lumbering four-engine turboprops are harder to spot, even at low altitudes. The Spectre missions, especially those of the U.S. Air Force's 16th Special Operations Squadron, are often classified missions.

The C130 was used in the abortive attempt to rescue hostages held at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1980. The C130 was again in action in the December, 1989, invasion of Panama, spearheading the attack by knocking out Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega's military headquarters. In 1990, the C130 was again to see combat in Operation Desert Storm.

On January 30, 1991, an AC130H was shot down over Kuwait. The crew of the aircraft included Major Paul J. Weaver; Capt. Dixon L. Walters; Capt. Arthur Galvan; Capt. William D. Grimm; 1Lt. Clifford Bland, Jr.; SSgt. Timothy R. Harrison; TSgt. Robert K. Hodges; Sgt. Damon V. Kanuha; MSgt. James B. May II; SSgt. John L. Oelschlager; SSgt. Mark J. Schmauss; SSgt. John P. Blessinger; SMSgt. Paul G. Buege; and Sgt. Barry M. Clark. The men were all from the 16th Special Operations Squadron based at Hurlhburt Field, Florida. It has been speculated that the aircraft was part of a special operations mission behind Iraqi lines.

The families were notified on the following day that the aircraft was down and that all aboard were Missing in Action. Searches were ongoing for the aircraft and/or survivors, families were asked not to speak to media representatives, and little information is available about the crew or the mission on January 30.

Thomas C. Bland, Jr. is originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Timothy R. Harrison's parents, Orval and Lorelei Harrison, reside in Maxwell, Iowa.

James B. May, II is originally from Jonesborough, Tennessee. He and wife Chris have two children, Scott, 4, and April, 2.

Dixon L. Walters, Jr. is originally from Barnwell, South Carolina. He is an Intelligence Warfare Specialist. His wife, Kim Toler Walters is an English teacher and the couple have two children.

Paul J. Weaver is originally from Sparta, New Jersey. As the highest ranking crew member, he is probably commander of the aircraft.

February 3, 1991

1 LT. JORGE I. ARTEAGA — U.S. Air Force, age 26, Trumbull, Connecticut

1LT. ERIC D. HEDEEN — U.S. Air Force, age 27, Malaga, Washington

CAPT. JON JEFFREY OLSON — U.S. Air Force, age 27, Blytheville, Arkansas

On February 3, a B52 bomber crashed about 2,500 miles east of Saudi Arabia over the Indian Ocean. The aircraft, carrying six crew members, was returning to Diego Garcia Air Base from a mission over Iraq. Three crew members were rescued from the water, but three - Arteaga, Hedeen, and Olson - remained missing. The aircraft was returning from a night of the most intense bombing for Air Force B-52s to date in the war. Mechanical difficulties were blamed for the crash of the aircraft.

Jon J. Olson was the navigator of the aircraft. His father, retired LtCol. Norris Olson, of Fargo, North Dakota, and his brother, Marc Olson, Minot Air Force Base, are both B52 pilots.

Jorge I. Arteaga's father is a United Nations liaison to Bolivia. Arteaga had been married less than 24 hours before shipping out to the Middle East.

CAPT. RICHARD D. STORR — U.S. Air Force, age 29

The Pentagon released the name, rank, age and branch of service of Capt. Storr following the release of the names of the C130 crew lost on January 28. No further information was released.

Source: www.pownetwork.org/statistics.htm

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You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake. - Jeannete Rankin




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