Friday, 18 September 2015. National POW/MIA Recognition Day in the United States.

pow_mia_poster_2015From the Defense POW MIA Accounting Agency, this information on the observance:

“Observances of National POW/MIA Recognition Day are held across the country on military installations, ships at sea, state capitols, schools and veterans’ facilities. It is traditionally observed on the third Friday in September each year. This observance is one of six days throughout the year that Congress has mandated the flying of the National League of Families’ POW/MIA flag. The others are Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day.

The flag is to be flown at major military installations, national cemeteries, all post offices, VA medical facilities, the World War II Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the official offices of the secretaries of state, defense and veterans affairs, the director of the selective service system and the White House.”

For the 35th Photo reconnaissance Squadron, it is a day to remember. Although the squadron has no known POW’s, it does still have personnel Missing in Action after all these years.

 
Three original enlisted members of the 123r d Observation Squadron, which became the 35th Photo Recon squadron in 1943, went missing on 20 April 1944 aboard the Liberty ship SS Paul Hamilton. At that time they had been reassigned to the 32nd Photo Recon Squadron and were in the Mediterranean Sea en route to duty in Italy. German aircraft torpedoed their ship and all hands were lost. The men are listed alphabetically:

Master Sergeant Bruce C. Green, 32d PRS (formerly assigned to the 123d Obs Sqn). MIA 20 Apr 44 aboard SS Paul Hamilton in Mediterranean Sea off Algeria. He is remembered on the Tablets of the Missing at the North Africa American Cemetery in Carthage, Tunisia. He was awarded the Purple Heart.

S/Sgt Leonard W. Mayer, 32d PRS (former 123d Obs Sqn). MIA 20 Apr 44 aboard SS Paul Hamilton in Mediterranean Sea off Algeria. He is remembered on the Tablets of the Missing at the North Africa American Cemetery in Carthage, Tunisia. He was awarded the Purple Heart.

T/Sgt Albert R. Miller, 32d PRS (former 123d Obs Sqn). MIA 20 Apr 44 aboard SS Paul Hamilton in Mediterranean Sea off Algeria. He is remembered on the Tablets of the Missing at the North Africa American Cemetery in Carthage, Tunisia. He was awarded the Purple Heart.

Three pilots of the 35th Photo Recon Squadron went missing during the squadron’s time in China, and their names are listed alphabetically:

First Lieutenant (1st Lt.) Merroll J. “Jack” Berringer, 35th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron, went MIA on 21 November 1944 during a photo recon mission flying F-5E-2 serial number 44-23237 from Flight “H” at Suichuan, China (MACR 10095). He is remembered on the Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines. He was awarded the Purple Heart.

1st Lt. Phillip L. French, 35th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron, went missing on 31 August 1945; reported missing during an administrative flight flying F-5E-2 serial number 43-28397 between Chanyi and Chihkiang (MACR 14836). He is remembered on the Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines. He was awarded the Air Medal.

1st Lt. Franklin H. McKinney, 35th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron, went MIA November 5, 1944, on a photo mission from Flight “G” at Yunnan-yi, China, while flying F-5E-2 serial number 43-28615 (MACR 10057). He is remembered on the Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines – there is a undated report found in Thailand circa 2012 that McKinney’s remains may have been found at an aircraft crash site near Chiang Mai, Thailand. No update since then but his status has not changed in the American Battle Monuments Commission database as of this posting. He was awarded the Purple Heart.

On this National POW/MIA Recognition Day, we remember these brave airmen, who gave their lives in service to our country.  There is hope that at least some of these lost may yet be found.  Hand salute!

150917-D-TE668-005

Reference

National POW/MIA Recognition Day, poster, at: http://www.dpaa.mil/Families/Posters.aspx

ABMC Database entry for Franklin McKinney, at:  https://www.abmc.gov/search-abmc-burials-and-memorializations/detail/WWII_122104#.VfzVSJdOS70

Advertisements