MIA Remains Found

By: Donnitra Gilbert; DOD Press Release Email
By: Donnitra Gilbert; DOD Press Release Email

First Lieutenant. Robert Dees was born in Moultrie in 1928.

Dees graduated from Colquitt County High school in 1945. Shortly after, he enlisted into the Air Force where he was a thunderjet fighter.

In 1952 while on a combat mission, Dees' aircraft took a direct hit and a year later Dees was listed missing in action or presumed dead.

Dental and skeletal remains found were evaluated and linked to First Lieutenant Robert Dees and returned to his family Friday afternoon.

"I really wish the brothers would have been alive to see this my dad would have been thrilled with this whole thing and for us it's nice it's a family thing and it does bring us closure," said Dee's nephew Doug Dees.

Funeral services are scheduled for tomorrow (1-22) in Alabama.

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Department of Defense Press Release

Airman Missing in Action from Korean War is Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today (1-21) that the remains of a serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, has been identified and returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Air Force 1st Lt. Robert F. Dees, 23, of Moultrie, Ga., will be buried Jan. 22 at the Longstreet Historical Cemetery in Ozark, Ala. On Oct. 9, 1952, he was flying an F-84 Thunderjet, attacking several targets in North Korea. After he and three aircraft from the 430th Fighter-Bomber Squadron completed their attack on their primary target, they began their bombing run against enemy boxcars on the railroad near Sinyang. Other members of his flight reported seeing an explosion near the target they were attacking. They believed it to be the crash of Dees' aircraft and could not raise any radio contact with him. Airborne searches over the battlefield failed to locate him or his aircraft.

Following the armistice in 1953, the North Koreans repatriated 4,219 remains of U.S. and allied soldiers during Operation Glory. In November 1954, they turned over remains which they reported were recovered from Sinyang. Accompanying the remains were portions of a pilot's flight suit and a pneumatic life preserver. But after two attempts, the Army's mortuary at Kokura, Japan, was unable to identify the remains. They were buried in 1956 as "unknown" at the Punch Bowl Cemetery in Hawaii.

Beginning in the late 1990s, analysts from DPMO and the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) undertook a concentrated review of Korean War air losses, as well as a review of the Kokura mortuary files. They made a tentative association to Dees, based on U.S. wartime records as well as the information provided by the North Koreans. These remains were disinterred from the Punch Bowl Cemetery in June 2010.

Dees' remains were identified by making extensive dental comparisons with his medical records.

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call 703-699-1169.


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