The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency has announced identification and burial updates for 10 American service members who had been missing in action from Vietnam, Korea and WWII. Returning home for burial with full military honors are:
— Army Cpl. Ernest L.R. Heilman, 19, of Greenup, Ky., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried June 8 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. Heilman was a member of Battery B, 15th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division and was declared missing in action when his unit was breaking a roadblock in the vicinity of Hoengsong, South Korea, on Feb. 13, 1951. Read about Heilman.
— Army Sgt. Julius E. McKinney, 23, of Clay, Ark., whose identification was previously announced, was buried June 8 in Corinth, Miss. McKinney was a member of Heavy Mortar Company, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. In late November 1950, his unit was assembled with South Korean soldiers in the 31st Regimental Combat Team on the east side of the Chosin River, North Korea, when his unit was attacked by Chinese forces. McKinney was among more than 1,000 members of the RCT killed or captured in enemy territory and was declared missing on Dec. 2, 1950. Read about McKinney.
— Army Pfc. Oscar E. Sappington, 19, of Dawson, Okla., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried June 9 in Tulsa, Okla. Sappington was a member of 3rd Platoon, Company C, 1st Battalion, 309th Infantry Regiment, 78th Infantry Division. On Jan. 10, 1945, the 309th Infantry launched a number of attacks in the Hürtgen Forest of Germany. At some point during the two days of action, Sappington stepped on a landmine. Though he was mortally wounded, no soldiers from his unit could reach him during the vicious fighting to render aid or confirm his death. He was reported missing in action as of Jan. 11, 1945. Read about Sappington.
— Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Robert R. Keown, 24, of Scottsboro, Ala., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried June 15 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. Keown was a P-38 pilot assigned to the 36th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group. On April 16, 1944, Keown and three other aircraft escorted a B-25 medium bomber on an aerial search near the mouth of the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea. The fourship encountered heavy overcast conditions after charting their course home. Heavy rain forced them to turn toward the open ocean, where Keown and his wingman became separated from the other aircraft. His last known location was listed as more than a mile north of Yalu Point. None of the four aircraft returned from the mission. Read about Keown.
— Army Air Forces Tech Sgt. John S. Bailey, 28, of Woodstock, Va., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried June 13, in Winchester, Va. Bailey was a member of the 38th Bombardment Squadron, (Heavy), 30th Bombardment Group, stationed at Hawkins Field, Helen Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands. On Jan. 21, 1944, Bailey’s B-24J bomber crashed shortly after takeoff. Read about Bailey.
— Marine Corps Reserve Pvt. Charles A. Drew, 29, of Coalinga, Calif., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried June 11, in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. Drew was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. Drew’s unit landed on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll on Nov. 20, 1943, against stiff Japanese resistance. Drew was killed on the first day of the battle. Read about Drew.
Navy Seaman 1st Class Henry G. Tipton, 20, of Imboden, Ark., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried June 8 in Ravenden, Ark. Tipton was stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft on Dec. 7, 1941. The battleship sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen. Read about Tipton.
— Naval Reserve Lt. Cmdr. Larry R. Kilpatrick was a member of Attack Squadron One Hundred Five (VA-105) on board the USS Saratoga (CVA-60). During a night armed reconnaissance mission over northern Vietnam, Kilpatrick’s wingman lost radio contact with him outside of Ha Tinh City shortly after he announced he had sighted a target and was commencing an attack. After daybreak, search and rescue aircraft observed remnants of a parachute near Kilpatrick’s last known location, but could not identify it as Kilpatrick’s. Interment services are pending. Read about Kilpatrick.
— Army Air Forces Sgt. Alfonso O. Duran was a nose gunner on a B-24H Liberator, assigned to the 724th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 451st Bombardment Group, 15th Air Force. On Feb. 25, 1944, the final day of Operation Argument, Duran’s aircraft came under attack by German fighters and anti-aircraft fire while he was on a bombing mission targeting Regensburg, Germany. Nine of the 10 crew members were able to bail from the aircraft before it crashed, but were later captured and told one body had been found in the aircraft wreckage. Interment services are pending. Read about Duran.
— Navy Musician 1st Class Henri C. Mason was stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft on Dec. 7, 1941. The battleship sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen. Interment services are pending. Read about Mason.