Military Scours The World To Find Remains Of The Fallen
Our military never stops seeking the remains of fallen soldiers, even years after the wars they fought.
No nation has ever tried so hard to recover so many remains from battlefields so distant and so old. This is manifest each Memorial Day at new grave sites bearing remains discovered or identified over the past 12 months. Since Memorial Day 2011, the bodies of 79 servicemen from wars past have been accounted for, including 20 from World War II.
The military’s “full accounting mission,” originally focused on Vietnam, is expanding. As many World War II cases have been investigated over the past two years as in the six previous, according to the POW/MIA Accounting Command. Last year, the war was the focus of a third of the military’s 63 recovery expeditions.
Only the United States has the technology, the personnel (a force of about 600) and the money for such a task. Recovering a single set of remains can involve everything from ground-penetrating radar to hand-panning mud, and easily cost a million dollars.