The Team

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.

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

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

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

Juan Garcia III
Asst Sec of Navy 2009-2015

Matt Byrd - Advisory Council

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

Amanda Hughes - Advisory Council

Amanda Hughes
Director, The Friedkin Foundation

Tom Henricks - Advisory Council

Mary L. Landrieu
Senior Policy Advisor Van Ness Feldmanis. U.S. Senate 1997-2015

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)


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.
Dr, Andrew Pietruszka
Michelle Abbey

Director of Community and Donor Relations

Before joining our team, Michelle played a pivotal role in a local veteran service nonprofit, spearheading the growth of their fundraising program. Through donor stewardship, outreach, volunteer recruitment, and event management, Michelle achieved remarkable results. In just one year, she helped to double the organization's donation income, and they were well on their way to doubling it again in year two. Her passion for honoring and bringing home our MIAs, is unwavering. Michelle deeply resonates with Project Recover's core values of respect, responsibility, perseverance, joy, and participation, aligning seamlessly with her own personal beliefs. When she's not actively championing the Project Recover mission, you'll find Michelle exploring nature trails, crafting culinary delights in the kitchen, or savoring a delightful cocktail with friends. For the past nine years, Michelle has had a strong family connection to this mission through her husband Derek. Together, they call Bend, Oregon, their home.
Dr, Andrew Pietruszka

Tom Daggett

Family Outreach Coordinator

Tom Daggett has been with Project Recover since 2020. As part of the Family Outreach Team, he provides initial research and communication for families requesting information and assistance regarding their family members who are Missing in Action. Tom also provides assistance in maintaining and documenting a growing list of case files within the Project Recover archives. He feels deeply connected to our service members who have served and sacrificed throughout our nation's history. Helping to provide information and ultimately 'closure' for our MIA families helps to fulfill our nation's promise to bring home all who have served.  As part of the Project Recover team, Tom is grateful and honored to play a role in this incredibly important mission.
Dr, Andrew Pietruszka

Christian J. Malerba

Chief Development Officer

Christian joins Project Recover after nearly four years of fundraising with the United Service Organizations (USO), a nonprofit that supports the men and women in the U.S. military. Christian brings a wealth of experience, having raised over $5,000,000 in revenue in his previous positions. At the USO, Christian played a key role in increasing donor engagement throughout New England, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Delaware. Prior to his work at the USO, Christian was Director of Alumni Relations at Cheshire Academy, an independent boarding school in Connecticut. He was crucial in increasing Cheshire Academy’s annual fund, doubling the total number of yearly donors, and planning & executing over 15 annual events throughout the country. He has a strong passion for military nonprofits and takes pride in building long-lasting relationships with donors. Christian’s grandfathers and his wife’s grandfather are U.S. Military veterans, and his brother-in-law and sister-in-law currently serve on active duty in the U.S. Navy.

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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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