U.S.-China Officials Discuss MIA Cases

Deputy Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense for POW/Missing Per­son­nel Affairs Bob New­ber­ry con­clud­ed a week-long vis­it to Chi­na today after meet­ing with Chi­nese offi­cials to dis­cuss sev­er­al U.S. MIA cas­es. China’s past coop­er­a­tion has led to the recov­ery of U.S. MIA remains from World War II, the Kore­an War, the Cold War, and the Viet­nam War.

Dur­ing meet­ings with Min­istry of For­eign Affairs and People’s Lib­er­a­tion Army offi­cials in Bei­jing, New­ber­ry shared the details of 19 known Amer­i­can loss­es about which the Chi­nese may have knowl­edge. There were nine cas­es from World War II, five from the Kore­an War, and five from the Viet­nam War.

New­ber­ry high­light­ed two of these cas­es as hold­ing promise for a suc­cess­ful res­o­lu­tion. One involved a C‑47 crash in Guangxi near Wei Ming vil­lage in 1945. Two Amer­i­cans and 35 Chi­nese sol­diers per­ished in the crash and were buried near­by. The site was sur­veyed by a joint U.S.-China team in August 2009.

Anoth­er case he high­light­ed was a Kore­an War crash of a B‑29 near Dan­dong in Liaon­ing Province. Three U.S. crew mem­bers were buried in graves there where Chi­nese cit­i­zens have pro­vid­ed details about the bur­ial loca­tion. U.S. offi­cials con­tin­ue to work with Dan­dong rep­re­sen­ta­tives to estab­lish firm plans for fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tions and exca­va­tions to recov­er the remains.

While New­ber­ry was in Bei­jing, a U.S. team from the Joint POW/MIA Account­ing Com­mand and the Defense POW/Missing Per­son­nel Office was sur­vey­ing an area of Guang­dong in south­ern Chi­na where an Amer­i­can air­craft is believed to have crashed dur­ing the Kore­an War. Details of their find­ings are yet to be ana­lyzed.

From 1975 to the present, 25 Amer­i­can remains have been iden­ti­fied from all con­flicts as a direct result of the sup­port from the PRC, and through agree­ments signed in 2008 and 2009, there has been progress in archival research, where the PLA has already pro­vid­ed doc­u­ments relat­ed to U.S. air loss­es in Chi­na.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)