Project Recover Mission, Palau.]Photo by Harry Parker Photography

MIA Family Travels To Palau with Project Recover to Uncle’s Crash Site

Lauren Trecosta Families, MIAs 1 Comment

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 …

Execution of WWII POWs and Innocents in Palau - Project Recover is committed to bringing the MIA home. Photos by Harry Parker Photography.com

The Search For Remains: Execution of WWII POWs and Innocents in Palau

Lauren Trecosta MIA Searches, Mission - Pacific 21 Comments

July 2018 Project Recover spent three weeks searching for the remains from the execution of WWII POWs and innocents in Palau in July 2018. It was a land-based mission with two points of focus: Police Hill and Aimeliik. Pat Scannon, M.D., Ph.D., and founder of The BentProp Project, led the mission. Dan O’Brien, a 20 year veteran of BentProp, co-led the mission. The rest of the volunteer team was Jolie Liston, Ph.D. (archaeologist), Dave Bavencoff (police officer), Sarah Johnson (college sophomore), Glenn Frano (geospatial technician), and Joe Maldangesang, a State Conservation Officer and 20+ year veteran of BentProp, who served the mission as jungle guide and skipper We had key support from within Palau: Richard Madrekevet, an unexploded ordnance specialist, …

TBM Avenger

Otis E. Ingram, WWII Gunner, Accounted For By DPAA

Lauren Trecosta MIAs Accounted For, News 7 Comments

Navy Aviation Chief Ordnanceman Otis E. Ingram, a WWII gunner, killed in 1944, has been accounted for by the DPAA.  ACOM Ingram was a turret gunner aboard a TBM-1c Avenger and a member of the U.S. Navy Torpedo Squadron Fifty One (VT-51). Project Recover located that Avenger in 2016 and turned its findings over to the DPAA. Ingram and his crewmates were on a mission to bomb a Japanese base in Malakal Harbor, Palau.  His aircraft took off from the USS San Jacinto on July 27th, 1944, and was in the lead position of four Avengers. According to reports, the aircraft was last seen three to five miles ahead. It was believed to have been spotted on fire in Malakal …

Lt. William Q. Punnell Flag ceremony over his airplane wreck in Palau. Project Recover is committed to bringing the MIA home.

MIA Lt. William Q. Punnell located by Project Recover to be buried May 2

Harry MIAs, Repatriations 2 Comments

April 27, 2018 – MIA Lt. William Q. Punnell located by Project Recover will be buried May 2nd On May 2, 2018 Navy Reserve Lt. William Q. Punnell, 27, of Flandreau, South Dakota will be buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. On July 25, 1944 four divisions (16 aircraft) of F6F-3 Hellcat fighters led by Lt. Punnell, took off from the USS Wasp aircraft carrier on a fighter sweep against targets throughout the islands of the Republic of Palau.  According to eyewitnesses, the tail of Lt. Punnell’s aircraft was shot off during a strafing run against the north Japanese seaplane base on Arakabesan Island.  His plane, continuing to dive, crashed into the waters offshore and sunk without …