Since the late 1970s the U. S. Government and Department Of Defense (DoD) are tasked with locating, recovering and identifying American Missing In Action (MIA). Over the past decades, three organizations have been task with this mission.
During the late 1970s until November 2003, the Central Identification
Laboratory, Hawaii (CILHI).
In November 2003,
Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) was the second organization. This
was a change in name, but the mission, laboratory, personnel and recovery work continued and CILHI remained as laboratory component conducting forensic, dental and DNA identifications.
On January 30, 2015 the
Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) and the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) were disbanded and replaced by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). This
was a change in name, but their mission, laboratory, personnel and recovery work continued.
According to the Department of Defense (DoD) as of November 6, 2015 there were 48,103 WWII dead in the Pacific Theatre and 7,832 from the Korean War. In total, there are 73,515 individuals listed as Missing In Action (MIA) from World War II. [Sources: Missing In Action, DoD March 2009 and DPAA - Past Conflicts]
Pacific WWII MIA
World War II left over 78,000 Missing In Action (MIA) with more than half in the Asia/Pacific region. Every year, wrecks are discovered that have
been missing since the war. CILHI is the organization that is charged
with investigating these sites, and bringing the remains of US servicemen
home, for identifying, and return their family members. Learn about
three important CILHI recovery operations, and the recent Pacific
MIAs Conference in Port Moresby that was attended by several collaborators
to Pacific Wrecks.
The Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii
(CILHI) is the organization that recovers American Missing In Action
(MIAs) worldwide, from all conflicts US soldiers have fought. Created
after the Vietnam War to investigate MIA sites, their role has expanded
to a worldwide mission including all conflicts.
CILHI is made up of military personnel from all branches of the military
and civilian staff. Their work involves sending recovery
teams to suspected sites and conducting excavations for MIA remains.
American remains are then flown to the CILHI Laboratory in Hawaii where
they undergo forensic identification to match the remains
using DNA, dental, medical, military records and any other means to make a positive
Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) Official Website
DoD / DPMO Fiscal Year 2000 WWII Report to Congress / Annex Papua New Guinea via Wayback Machine April 17, 2009
JPAC Family Reference Samples mDNA Program