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More than 78,000 World War II military members still missing

October 03, 2007|By DON AINES

There are 78,773 soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen still listed as missing in action from World War II, with another 8,100 from the Korean War and 1,773 from the Vietnam War, according to the Web site www.aiipow/mia.com.

Work to recover and identify remains continues decades after those wars ended, and families who have members listed as missing in action can assist in the process, said Paul Bethke of the Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operations Center in Virginia.

"We're always looking to expand the data base," Bethke said. Maternal DNA from family members can be used to identify remains or in the exclusion process, he said.

Bethke encourages relatives of MIAs to contact the Past Conflict Repatriations Branch of the U.S. Army at 1-800-892-2490 for information on how to contribute to the DNA data base.

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The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command is responsible for the identification of remains of service members, Bethke said.

"The whole purpose of the organization is to brief the families ... and give them the answers," he said.

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