About Project Recover


Project Recover is a collaborative effort to enlist 21st-century science and technology in a quest to find and repatriate Americans missing in action (MIA) since World War II to provide recognition and closure for families and the Nation.

Project Recover began as Dr. Pat Scannon’s vision to bring MIAs home from Palau in 1993. Formerly known as The BentProp Project, the organization has grown from a grassroots effort to a team of dedicated professionals and volunteers using innovative science to bring our MIAs home.

Over nearly three decades, the team has repatriated over 17 MIAs and located more than 60 US World War II aircraft associated with more than 200 MIAs in missions around the globe. There are 100+ MIAs awaiting recovery around the globe as a result of Project Recover's work.

In 2012, Project Recover was informally founded as a collaborative partnership between the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the University of California, San Diego, and the University of Delaware. In 2016, the partnership was formalized. In 2018, The BentProp Project officially changed its name to Project Recover. The organization works in close partnership with Scripps and UDel.

Fast Facts:

Based on Project Recover's Work


Completed Missions


Countries & Territories


Aircraft Located


Associated MIAs


MIAs associated with on going investigations.


Repatriated MIAs 


Awaiting MIA Recovery Missions


Cases in growing database 


Mark Moline, Ph.D.

Mark Moline, Ph.D.
Co-Founder, Harrington Professor of Marine Studies in UD’s School of Marine Science and Policy.

Pat Scannon, M.D., Ph.D.

Pat Scannon, M.D., Ph.D.
Founder, The BentProp Project, Limited. President Emeritus, Project Recover

Eric Terrill, Ph.D.

Eric Terrill, Ph.D.
Co-Founder, Director, Coastal Observation Research & Development Center, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Principal Investigators

Pat Scannon, M.D., Ph.D.

Pat Scannon, M.D., Ph.D.
Founder, The BentProp Project, Limited. President Emeritus, Project Recover

Mark Moline, Ph.D.

Mark Moline, Ph.D.
Co-Founder, Director, School of Marine Science and Policy, University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment

Eric Terrill, Ph.D.

Eric Terrill, Ph.D.
Co-Founder, Director, Coastal Observation Research & Development Center, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Board of Directors

Derek Abbey, Ph.D. - President & CEO

Derek Abbey, Ph.D.
President / CEO

at Scannon, M.D. Ph.D. - President Emeritus

Pat Scannon, M.D. Ph.D. President Emeritus

Daniel T. O'Brien - Treasurer

Daniel T. O'Brien
Treasurer / Admin

Val Thal-Slocum - Secretary

Val Thal-Slocum

Flip Colmer Team - Innovator

Flip Colmer
In Memoriam, Team Innovator


Lead Historian

Dr. Colin Colbourn is Project Recover’s Lead Historian and a Postdoctoral Researcher with the University of Delaware. Since 2016, he has managed historical operations including archival research, data management, case analysis, and field investigations. Through these efforts, Project Recover has developed a massive internal archive comprised of thousands of historical reports, maps, and images. Learn more about Colin and his work with MIA Families

Lead Archaeologist

Dr. Andrew Pietruszka is an underwater archaeologist specializing in the search, documentation, and recovery of U.S. service members missing in action as a result of our nation’s past conflicts. He received an M.A. in Underwater Archaeology/Maritime Studies from East Carolina University and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Syracuse University. Learn more about Drew Pietruszka and the archaeology behind the search MIAs.

Dr, Andrew Pietruszka

Dave Bavencoff

Recruitment Coordinator

Dave Bavencoff has been with Project Recover since 2017, and his experience investigating cold case homicides have been useful in those efforts. Dave has over 20 years of experience as a law enforcement officer. He has worked a range of assignments in law enforcement, including several years as a homicide detective. If you interested in becoming a volunteer start with our Mission - Vision - Values Page.

Dr, Andrew Pietruszka
Aldo Costigliolo

European Regional Director

Aldo Costigliolo is Project Recover European Regional Director. Aldo offered his expertise in ground or sea logistics for Project Recover missions in Italy and emerging missions in Europe. Aldo is a Brigadier General in the Italian Army, Retired Reserve. Aldo has had the honor of giving military honors to repatriated Italian soldiers when Italy’s Onorcaduti (Honor the Fallen) repatriated some fallen soldiers (Alpini) in the early nineties when he was a young Captain.

Advisory Council

Darcy Anderson - Advisory Council

Darcy Anderson
Vice Chairman, Hillwood Management

Matt Byrd - Advisory Council

Matt Byrd
Colonel,USAF (ret.), President and CEO, Hillwood Aviation

Matt Byrd - Advisory Council

Jeff Cathey
Head, Military and Veteran Affairs,
Senior V.P.
Bank of America

Matt Byrd - Advisory Council

Shane Doucet
Lieutenant Colonel, USAF (ret.)
Principal, Doucet Consulting Solutions


Juan Garcia III
Asst Sec of Navy 2009-2015

Amanda Hughes - Advisory Council

Amanda Hughes
Director, The Friedkin Foundation

Tom Henricks - Advisory Council

Tom Henricks
Colonel, USAF (ret.) and former US Astronaut

Darcy Anderson - Advisory Council

Jack McGrory
Jack McGrory is CEO of La Jolla MJ Management, LLC

Darcy Anderson - Advisory Council

Courtney Mitchell, CFRE
Chief Development Officer, Travis Manion Foundation

T.M. Moseley - Advisory Council

T.M. Moseley
General, USAF (ret.) Former Chief of Staff of the US Air Force

Eric Williamson - Advisory Council

Eric Williamson
President, Friedkin Aviation
V.P., The Friedkin Business Development Group

T.M. Moseley - Advisory Council

Mary L. Landrieu
U.S. Senator from Louisiana (1997–2015)

Amanda Hughes - Advisory Council

Kevin Zimmerman
National Director Help For Heroes at Springstone, Inc

Join our Mission in Keeping America's Promise

To Bring our MIAs Home

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Contact us

We are a small organization. We will make sure your message gets to the right person and will do our best to get back to you within a few days. If you are interested in applying to become a team member, please go to our Mission and Values page. If you are writing about your family MIA, please make sure to meet our historian, Dr. Colin Colbourn.
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