POW/MIA Affairs Committee Update May/June 2021

BY GRANT COATES, CHAIR

According to the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency (DPAA), as of April 15, there were 1,584 still missing from the Vietnam War.

One U.S. Navy officer has been recovered and identified. The Navy Casualty Office has been unable to reach the primary next of kin, so DPAA has not released the name. No other missing U.S. personnel have been accounted for from the Vietnam War since September 21, 2020.

The countries and number of missing are: Vietnam-1,244 (North Vietnam-442, South Vietnam-802), Laos-285, Cambodia-48, and the Peoples Republic of China-7.

The total accounted for since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 is 998. Since April 30, 1975, recoveries were made in the following countries: Vietnam-673; Laos-280, Cambodia-42, and China-3. In addition, 63 U.S. personnel were accounted for from 1973-75 and recovered in the following countries: Laos-9, Vietnam-53, and Cambodia-1, for a grand total of 1,061.

On April 8 VVA President Rowan received a telephone call from the White House informing him that the POW/MIA flag would be on display above the White House under the American flag. The official said the POW/MIA flag will remain there.

During the Trump administration the flag was moved from atop the White House to a dedicated flagpole on the South Lawn, which was less visible to the public. According to a White House video posted in June 2020, it was relocated in a private ceremony with full military honors, months after President Trump signed into law a bill requiring the flag to be flown at certain federal properties, including the White House, every day.

As of April 15 DPAA has identified 326 of the 394 sailors and Marines missing from the U.S.S. Oklahoma, sunk in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

The Veterans Initiative Program needs your help. Objects taken from the battlefields of Vietnam are more than souvenirs or war trophies. Maps, stories, after-action reports, pictures, and other military items may have a story that could result in locating missing war dead. Contact the Veterans Initiative at:

Veterans Initiative Program
Vietnam Veterans of America
8719 Colesville Rd., Suite 100
Silver Spring, MD 20910
vi@vva.org


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