MIA Update: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced two burial updates and five new identifications for service members who have been missing and unaccounted-for from World War II and Vietnam:
-- Air Force Maj. Paul A. Avolese, 35, of Jamaica, New York, was a radar navigator assigned to the 4133rd Bombardment Wing. On July 7, 1967, Avolese was part of the crew of a B-52D Stratofortress bomber conducting a bombing mission from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, to a target in Vietnam. During a maneuver over the South China Sea, Avolese’s bomber collided with another B-52, causing both aircraft to fall into the sea. Four of the crew members from his aircraft were rescued, but Avolese was never recovered. He was declared dead on July 24, 1967. He was buried July 24, 2021, in Springfield, Oregon. Read about Avolese.
-- Air Force 1st Lt. Alva R. "Ray” Krogman, 25, of Worland, Wyoming, was a pilot assigned to the 504th Tactical Air Support Group, 7th Air Force, on temporary duty with the 23rd Tactical Air Support Squadron operating out of Nakhon Royal Phanom Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. On Jan. 17, 1967, he was flying an O1-F Birddog aircraft on a reconnaissance mission in Savannakhet Province, Laos. Krogman’s aircraft was hit by enemy fire and went down. Search and rescue operations began immediately, but were shut down within a few hours after one of the search and rescue aircraft was also shot down. Krogman was never recovered and was declared killed in action on Jan. 31, 1967. He was buried July 21, 2021, in his hometown. Read about Krogman.
-- Army 1st Lt. James E. Wright, 25, was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Division. On the morning of Sept. 8, 1944, Wright’s unit was part of a larger force ordered to cross the river and take up a position in the woods on the east side. The force held their position against relentless German attack, taking heavy losses. During the night of Sept. 10 and into the morning of Sept. 11 most of the soldiers were able to retreat across the river. However, Wright was among the soldiers reported missing that night. His body was unable to be recovered. Interment services are pending. Read about Wright.
-- Army Pfc. Bill Morrison, 29, was assigned to Company G, 2nd Battalion, 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division. His unit was engaged in battle with German forces in the Raffelsbrand sector of the Hürtgen Forest, near Hürtgen, Germany, when he was reported killed in action on Nov. 8, 1944. His body was not able to be recovered. Interment services are pending. Read about Morrison.
-- Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Alan E. Petersen, 23, was assigned to the 345th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 9th Air Force. On Aug. 1, 1943, the B-24 Liberator aircraft on which Petersen was serving as a bombardier crashed as a result of enemy anti-aircraft fire during Operation Tidal Wave, north of Bucharest, Romania. His remains were not identified following the war. Interment services are pending. Read about Petersen.
-- Army Pvt. Stephen C. Mason, 21, was assigned to Headquarters Co., 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. He was reported missing in action during Operation Market Garden after his patrol failed to return from a mission to the enemy lines near Beek, Netherlands, on Nov. 3, 1944. His body was unable to be recovered. Interment services are pending. Read about Mason.
-- Army Pfc. Berton J. McQueen, 20, was assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division. In August 1944, his unit landed on the southern coast of France as part of Operation Dragoon. He was mortally wounded by German artillery shrapnel and taken to an aid station where he died Nov. 23, 1944. German troops withdrew from the area several days later, but McQueen’s body was not found. Interment services are pending. Read about McQueen.