Assisting the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency

The Search for Missing DoD Personnel 


Area of Research


HJF teams with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency to account for missing Department of Defense (DoD) personnel  

When the DPAA needed expert operational support of their efforts to locate and recover the remains of unaccounted-for DoD personnel from designated past conflicts, they turned to HJF.

Together, the teams work on archeological sites across the globe where missing DoD personnel may be located. HJF assists archeological teams’ terrestrial and underwater activities to recover the remains of U.S. service members. 

Male scientist looks at small beaker

The vital mission: returning loved ones home to their families. 

When HJF joined the effort, more than 82,000 Americans remained missing from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, the Gulf Wars and other conflicts. Of those, 75 percent of the losses are in the Indo-Pacific region. More than 41,000 are presumed lost at sea. Though the effort is far from ever ending, HJF and DPAA together are taking the steps to account for our missing DoD personnel to their families and the nation.  


DPAA is undergoing work at the following sites:

  • Cranfield University – Terrestrial recovery, Germany and Italy  
  • Archeological and Historical Conservancy – Terrestrial recovery, Germany 
  • Institute of Maritime History – Underwater survey/investigation, Germany 
  • Flanders Marine Institute – Underwater investigation, Belgium 
  • BentProp – Underwater investigation, Italy 
  • University of Delaware – Underwater Geophysical search/investigation, Kuwait 
  • University of Queensland – Terrestrial investigation, East New Britain, PNG 
  • University of Malta – Underwater Investigation/Recovery, Malta 
  • University of Illinois, Chicago – Terrestrial investigation/recovery, Laos, Vietnam, Philippines, Italy, U.S. 
  • University of Utah – Isoscapes for Human Provenance Supporting the Repatriation of Remains of American Armed Services Members 
  • Ships of Discovery – Underwater Investigation/Recovery, Palau, Guam  
  • East Carolina University  – Underwater Investigation/Recovery, Marshall Islands
  • Florida Gulf Coast University  – Terrestrial Recovery, Germany
  • SeaLark Maritime Institute  – Underwater Investigation/Recovery, Solomon Islands
  • ECU/Task Force Dagger  – Underwater Investigation/Recovery, Northern Marianas, Italy, Germany
  • Croatian Conservation Institute  – Underwater Investigation/Recovery, Croatia
  • University of Maryland  – Terrestrial Investigation/Recovery, Austria
  • Keil University – Underwater Investigation/Recovery, Germany
  • Archaeological and Historical Conservancy – Terrestrial Investigation/Recovery, Germany 
  • UNO  – Terrestrial Investigation/Recovery, Germany
  • Underwater Archaeology – Underwater Investigation/Recovery, Germany
  • American Veterans Archaeological Recovery – Terrestrial Investigation/Recovery, United Kingdom
  • History Flight – Terrestrial Investigation/Recovery, Tarawa
  • Ohio Valley Archaeology, Inc – Terrestrial Investigation/Recovery, Lithuania
  • California State University, Chico – Terrestrial Investigation/Recovery, Poland