Repatriation Ceremony Honors WWII American Servicemen (May 13, 2016)

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea: The Government of the United States of America held a repatriation ceremony for the remains of servicemen killed in action in Papua New Guinea during World War II. The remains will be returned to the United States. The remains were found during a recent mission carried out by the U.S. Department of Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Accounting Agency (DPAA). The ceremony paid tribute to the valor of those lost and underlined how their sacrifice had led to enduring ties between the people of the United States and Papua New Guinea.

Representatives from foreign diplomatic missions, U.S. Ambassador Catherine Ebert-Gray, members of the Papua New Guinea Defense Force (PNGDF), and National Museum and Art Gallery participated in the event at Jacksons International Airport on Friday, May 13.

The ceremony follows successful investigation and recovery missions on Kawa Island, Milne Bay Province and an underwater recovery in the vicinity of Rabaul, East New Britain Province earlier this year.

 Ambassador Ebert-Gray paid tribute to those who had fallen. She said, “We meet this morning for an honorable purpose: to respectfully repatriate the remains of American service men. We will not forget them. We promise them and the families of those still unaccounted for that the search will continue.”

The Ambassador emphasized that the United States is committed to DPAA’s mission. She thanked those who attended the repatriation ceremony and praised the excellent cooperation the Mission received from the Government of the Papua New Guinea, the National Museum and Art Gallery, and the people of PNG. Finally, the Ambassador commended the DPAA team for their outstanding work in bringing home America’s missing.

The United States remains committed to achieving the fullest possible accounting of Americans lost during the Second World War. With continued support from the government and people of Papua New Guinea, DPAA plans to continue successful operations.

DPAA continues to search for over 3000 missing American servicemen lost during World War II in the defense of Papua New Guinea, spanning from the seas to the mountains, across the width and breadth of the country.

DPAA relies upon key partners to help locate and find the missing. Among them, the National Museum and Art Gallery, the PNGDF, the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, the United States Embassy Port Moresby, and the other private research organizations.

If anyone has information that pertains to U.S. World War II remains or crash sites in Papua New Guinea, please contact Mr. Joses Veleke at +675 321 1455 extension 2190 or mobile +675 7200 9414. You may also contact the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby at email address: