The Korean War has been over for almost 65 years . . . or has it?
For the families of any war, we expect our loved-ones to come home or be told when and where they died . . . and when to expect their remains to be returned if possible. Most of the Korean War families of the Missing were essentially told, “Our government doesn’t know what happened to them, so stop asking questions and forget about him!”
Some of us did not accept that answer and we now have the forensic files on more than 800 unknown remains which clearly identify some and will lead to the identification of others.
N-17156 was found at location CT126649. That code narrows down the location within 500 feet. The remains was so badly damage that the race, height and age could not be determined or even estimated. Yet, it was found with aviation parts included. Duh . . . a plane crash! A quick study of air losses in that vicinity indicates that Willie Wall went down within 2.5 miles . . . and Thomas Helton, John Maniatty, and Bernard McManaman all went down within 2 miles of where this remains was found. Perhaps, the families would like to know?
N-17152 surfaced from CT869718. There were no ID tags but aircraft parts were included. Remains were Caucasian and over age 30. Only two missing airmen fit location . . . Walter Clinnin and Marce Dunn, but only Walter was over 30. If anyone knows his family, please contact me.
N-17157 surfaced from CT154636, Caucasian, age 22-24, no ID tags but AF vest included. Ideal candidates include Robert Gross, Charles Gunther, Ernest Oliphant, Joseph Ratti, and William Roy. Only families of Oliphant and Ratti could be found.
N-17121 was found at BU869452. It was determined to be Caucasian, approx. 68.5” tall, and age 25-30. It was shipped as unknown but an oxygen mask and a/c parts were included. Only two airmen come close . . . Elwood Brey (23 years old) and Joseph Collins (29).
N-17110 surfaced from BU467631, undetermined race, but over 30 years old, and included aircraft parts. Only two come close . . . Lyle Moore (27) and Herbert Smith (35)!
N-17111 was found at BU471625. Just by location that narrowed the candidates down to just Edgar Gray, Lyle Moore, and Herbert Smith. Yet, the age was 30 plus. Only Herbert was that old and his estimated crash site is less than a mile away from the remains! Like most, I haven’t found any family members to share this with!
N-17118 was found at BU729552, Caucasian, 68-70” tall, age 28-32. There were no ID tags or teeth, but included flying suit and Mae West. Another . . . Duh! That fits Henry Dixon, Robert Finch, or Alan Hoff!
N-17134 surfaced from CU021039, Caucasian and over 27 years of age. Originally associated with Royce Carruth, a Navy pilot, but could not be confirmed. The only other likely candidate is Eric O’Briant. Fortunately, I was able to contact his nephew who is requesting disinterment and DNA testing.
N-17124 surfaced from CU494753, Caucasian, age 22-26. Only three are close . . . John Lush, Cordice Teague, and Alfred Ziegler.
N-17126 surfaced from CU519528, Caucasian, age 20+, no ID tags, but included flying suit. Closest matches are James Anderle, James Hughes, Richard Jackson, and Harold Podorson. Unfortunately, I have no family contacts for these.
N-17143 surfaced from YC544593, Caucasian, age 30 plus, no ID tags or teeth, but included flying suit and parachute parts. From the location, only one airman is a logical match . . . Bill Elsom.
N-17145 surfaced from YC564859, Caucasian, age 26-30, included flying vest. Robert Lacey and Ray Wilk are primary candidates.
N-17146 surfaced from YC564859, undetermined race, age 25-30, major trauma to remains, included a landing light switch. Only two come close . . . Robert Lacey and Ray Wilk. If anyone knows their family members, please contact me.
N-17147 surfaced from YC564859, undetermined race, age 24-27, included flying vest. These last 3 all came from the same location. Again Robert Lacey and Ray Wilk are prime for each . . . or anyone with an IQ above plants would deduct one of these is Lacey and another Wilk. The closest third loss would be Curtis Smith or Bill Elsom . . . both about 15 miles away.
N-17102 was found at YD364328. It was shipped as unknown but included AF flying suit, crash helmet, parachute line, and Mae West. That narrows down to just 9 individuals, but it is doubtful that any of the families were told.
N-17104 surfaced from YD328567, Caucasian, age 25-30, no ID tags, but parts of a/c included. Barney Casteel and Marlyn Ford are ideal candidates from location and age. Marlyn’s daughter has been notified.
N-17106 surface from YD284553, Caucasian, age 20-23, no ID tags, but included a/c parts. Four men fit this description . . . George Barbiere, Richard Caldwell, Dean Crabb, and Nicholas Palmiotti, yet Palmiotti is the only one for which I have a family contact.
Please note my frustration. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency calls me a “Hobbyist”. Well, if a Hobbyist can pull together this much information, just think what an agency with a 130 million dollar budget should do!!!!!
Please share this with other family members and encourage anyone and everyone to contact me at email@example.com for more information on those missing from the Korean War.
John Zimmerlee is an accomplished researcher on the Korean War POW/MIA issue. He is founder and executive director of the Korean War POW/MIA Network. John's father, Capt. John Zimmerlee, Jr., is missing-in-action.