More than 20 years ago, Pat Scannon was reading a book late at night on World War in the Pacific. On the last page of the book, the author included a quote from “For the Fallen” by Laurence Binyon.
Finding MIAs represents a new beginning for MIA families. Service members whose remains are located decades later bring families and communities together.
Project Recover welcomes Adam Gray, our newest Project Recover team member. Adam was invited to become a team member on our most recent mission to Palau.
The MIA family of ARM2c Albert “Bud” Rybarczyk, USNR, traveled to Palau to join Project Recover on their most recent mission. Cindy Gray, Bud’s niece, and her son, Adam, flew to Palau in April 2019. They wanted to get as close as possible to where their Uncle Bud flew his final mission. For the family of Bud Rybarczyk, this was another extraordinary event in a series of miraculous unfoldings over the last couple of years. In 2014, Project Recover located his downed TBM Avenger WWII aircraft in the waters off Palau. Rybarczyk crashed after completing a bombing mission on September 8, 1944. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) identified Rybarczyk’s remains and accounted for him on August 16, 2017. Four …
Heaven Can Wait Family Reunion On March 11, 1944, a World War II B-24 bomber called Heaven Can Wait came under anti-aircraft fire and crashed in the waters off Papua, New Guinea, killing all 11 crew members onboard. Seventy-four years later, on October 13th, 2018, relatives of the crew members gathered for a “family reunion” in Victoria, Minnesota. Using side-scanning sonars, high definition images, and underwater robotic technologies, Project Recover located the B-24 in 2017 under 213 feet of water. The family of Bombardier 2nd Lt. Thomas V. Kelly, Jr, provided extensive research helping Project Recover to locate the aircraft within two weeks on the water. Scott Althaus, lead Kelly family researcher and first cousin once removed to the Bombardier, …
ARM3c Walter Mintus, WWII Radioman, was buried with military honors 74 years after being declared MIA. Project Recover located his TBM Avenger in 2016.
Kelly Family Shares MIA Research On Memorial Day 2013, Scott Althaus did what he thought every family should do on Memorial Day; he began searching WWII records for his family’s war heroes and MIAs. One of the men he wanted to research was his cousin once removed, 2nd Lt. Thomas Kelly, Jr., who had been Missing In Action (MIA) since 1944. Lt. Kelly served as a bombardier in an 11-member crew aboard a B-24 bomber called Heaven Can Wait. Their mission that day was to bomb anti-aircraft positions on Awar Point at the northwest corner of Hansa Bay. Kelly’s B-24 took fire, became engulfed in flames, and crashed into the water off Papua New Guinea. According to a 1992 letter …
As locating World War II MIAs makes national headlines, more people want to research their family’s MIA. This post outlines the first three steps to take.
The importance of family was evident at the funeral of Lt. William Q. Punnell, MIA WWII pilot. Punnell’s surviving nephew and grand-nephew attended.
A Memorial Day Service honoring Lt. Thomas Kelly, a World War II bombardier, shortly after Project Recover announced locating his B-24, Heaven Can Wait.
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