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, Project Recover has been working in full cooperation with host nations and the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). During this time Project Recover has repatriated over 17 MIAs and located more than 65 US World War II aircraft associated with more than 250 MIAs in missions around the globe. Currently, based upon the work of Project Recover, there are over 100 MIAs awaiting recovery worldwide, over 700 cases in our growing database, and over 3,000 associated with ongoing investigations.
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.
Based on Project Recover's Work
Countries & Territories
MIAs associated with on going investigations.
Awaiting MIA Recovery Missions
Cases in growing database
Board of Directors
Vice Chairman, Hillwood Management
Colonel,USAF (ret.), President and CEO, Hillwood Aviation
Lieutenant Colonel, USAF (ret.)
Principal, Doucet Consulting Solutions
Rear Admiral Tim Gallaudet, PhD, US Navy (ret)
CEO Ocean STL Consulting
Juan Garcia III
Asst Sec of Navy 2009-2015
Colonel, USAF (ret.) and former US Astronaut
Director, The Friedkin Foundation
Mary L. Landrieu
Senior Policy Advisor Van Ness Feldmanis. U.S. Senate 1997-2015
Jack McGrory is CEO of La Jolla MJ Management, LLC
Courtney Mitchell, CFRE
Chief Development Officer, Travis Manion Foundation
General, USAF (ret.) Former Chief of Staff of the US Air Force
President, Friedkin Aviation
V.P., The Friedkin Business Development Group
Mary L. Landrieu
U.S. Senator from Louisiana (1997–2015)
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
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.
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.
European Regional Director
Director of Community and Donor Relations
Family Outreach Coordinator
Christian J. Malerba