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MIA Update - April 21, 2018

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency has announced identification and burial updates for 10 American service members who had been missing in action from WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Returning home for burial with full military honors are:

-- Air Force Reserve 1st Lt. David T. Dinan, III, 25, of Nutley, N.J., whose identification was previously announced, was buried April 13 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. On March 19, 1969, Dinan, a member of the 34th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 288th Tactical Fighter Wing, was piloting an F-105 Thunderchief on a strike mission over northern Laos. During the second strafing pass, Dinan transmitted a distress message before the aircraft crashed. The forward air controller did observe Dinan’s parachute enter the jungle. Search and rescue aircraft conducted an aerial search and located a parachute and confirmed the death of the pilot; however, they were unable to recover the body due to enemy fire. Read about Dinan.
-- Army Sgt. 1st Class Milton M. Beed, 30, of Meadow Grove, Neb., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried April 25 in Norfolk, Neb. Beed was a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. The unit was supporting South Korean forces in the village of Hoengsong, an area known as the Central Corridor in South Korea, when Chinese forces launched a massive counteroffensive, forcing them to withdraw to Wonju. Beed could not be accounted for and was declared missing in action as of Feb. 12, 1951.  Read about Beed.
-- Army Sgt. 1st Class Lester R. Walker, 19, of Ferriday, La., whose identification was previously announced, was buried April 18 in Downsville, La. Walker was assigned to Battery B, 82nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division. On Sept. 3, 1950, Walker was attached to Task Force Haynes in the vicinity of Changnyeong, South Korea, when he disappeared. Based on a lack of information concerning his status, the U.S. Army declared him deceased and his remains non-recoverable. Read about Walker.
-- Army Cpl. Leonard V. Purkapile, 26, of Potosi, Wis., whose identification was previously announced, will buried April 26 in Lancaster, Wis. Purkapile was a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. In late November 1950, Purkapile’s unit was engaged by Chinese forces in the vicinity of Unsan while withdrawing southeast to Yongbyon, North Korea. Purkapile could not be accounted for following the battle and was declared missing in action on Nov. 28, 1950. Read about Purkapile.
-- Army Master Sgt. Finley J. Davis, 39, of Pittsburgh, whose identification was previously announced, was buried April 19 in North Charleston, S.C. Davis was a member of Company D, 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division. On Nov. 25, 1950, Chinese forces initiated an offensive along the 8th Army front, forcing all 8th Army units to withdraw on November 29. Davis’ battalion, assigned to provide security for the division, was attacked again by the Chinese and Davis was reported missing in action as of Dec. 1, 1950. Read about Davis.
-- Army Pvt. Raymond Sinowitz, 25, of Bronx, N.Y., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried April 23 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. Sinowitz was a member of 454th Ordnance Company, 27th Bombardment Group, the Far East Air Force, when Japanese forces invaded the Philippine Islands on Dec. 8, 1941.  After months of intense fighting, Corregidor fell and American forces surrendered on May 6, 1942. Sinowitz was one of the thousands of U.S. and Filipino service members taken prisoner and eventually moved to Cabanatuan POW camp. Read about Sinowitz.
-- Army Pfc. John H. Walker was a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, when he was reported missing in action after his unit engaged in fierce fighting on Hill 207 near Schönthal, Germany in the Hürtgen Forest. With no evidence that Walker had been captured or survived combat, his status was changed to deceased on Nov. 25, 1945. Interment services are pending. Read about Walker.
-- Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. Vincent L. Politte served as a gunner with the 345th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 9th Air Force. He was killed in the summer of 1943 while participating in a raid on the Ploesti Oil Refinery complex north of Bucharest, Romania, during Operation Tidal Wave. During the raid, Politte’s B-24 Liberator aircraft was hit by machine gun fire and crashed. Following the war, his remains could not be identified. Interment services are pending. Read about Politte.
-- Marine Corps Pfc. Clarence E. Drumheiser was assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force. On Nov. 19, 1943, Drumheiser’s unit landed on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll against stiff Japanese resistance. Drumheiser was killed on the third day of the battle, one of approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors killed in the intense fighting. Interment services are pending. Read about Drumheiser.
-- Navy Seaman 2nd Class Joe M. Kelley was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when Japanese aircraft attacked his ship on Dec. 7, 1941. Kelley was one of 429 crewmen killed in the attack. Interment services are pending. Read about Kelley.