Retired Marine Identifying WWII MIAs

Ted Darcy is a private researcher and has spent his last 20 years attempting to identify remains of U.S. soldiers declared missing in action during World War II. To date, he has positively identified the remains of 7 soldiers; he expects to match up to 19 more this week.

The 7 Darcy identified are all from the 1944 Battle of Saipan. This is a fairly significant accomplishment given the entire military confirms only 72 soldiers per year from ALL U.S. wars combined. Darcy turns all his work over to the military for verification and confirmation.

To speed up his work, Darcy meticulously combined two separate sets of government information and built them into his own personal, single, and searchable database. Darcy successfully combined information regarding physical descriptions of MIAs with autopsy information of slain service members buried as unknowns.

Darcy wants to bring home 4,500 American MIAs. Of the 88,000 American MIAs, approximately 78,000 of them are from WWII. To date, Darcy has identified almost 9,000 nameless WWII soldiers and is now working on matching these remains to his list of names.

The military’s Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) is in charge of retrieving the remains of missing and or lost soldiers. Their verification process may include using DNA confirmation, which Darcy does not perform, and can take years to complete. The team consists of:

  • Forensic anthropologists;
  • Archaeologists; and
  • Corroborative experts.

Darcy is using the Battle of Saipan as his test run for his new database. Saipan has 70 unknowns and 141 MIAs and is only 1 of 29 battles he plans on analyzing. In order to identify MIA’s, Darcy looks at a list of factors and if 90% of them match, he will then contact family members for more details. The factors Darcy examines are:

  • Race;
  • Dental records;
  • Shoe size;
  • Height;
  • Weight; and
  • Broken bones.

Darcy performs these searches on his own because, in his opinion, the military involves too much bureaucracy when they do their own searches. This bureaucratic wall, according to Darcy, prevents searches for MIAs being performed as they should be performed.

Learn more about identifying MIAs from WWII.

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