DNA Samples Needed for MIA Identifications
More than 6,300 families need to be located in order to collect DNA samples to identify missing soldiers from World War II and the wars in Korea and Vietnam. There are 83,000 missing and unaccounted for Americans from World War II forward, yet many families of the missing have yet to provide a family reference sample to assist in DNA identifications.
The military maintains a database of mitochondrial DNA samples from family members of missing-in-action soldiers in the Armed Forces DNA Identification Lab, according to Army Lt. Col. Julius Smith, chief of past conflict repatriation for Army Casualty and Mortuary Affairs.
Currently, 89 percent of Korean War families have provided samples, as well as 83 percent of Cold War families and 81 percent of Vietnam War families, but only 4 percent of WWII families have. The government last year identified 107 MIAs, but more could have been identified—and faster—if more family reference samples were on file.
If you have any information available, you can contact one of the numbers below or contact Quartermaster Steve Milbourn at Greenwood Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5864 at 317-525-7291 or firstname.lastname@example.org.