A private researcher who has labored for years to identify the remains of U.S. service members declared missing in action during World War II says he has matched seven
MIAs with the remains of unknowns and he expects to match as many as 19 more within a week.

Ted Darcy’s list of five Marines and two sailors missing since the 1944 Battle of Saipan may not sound long. But his announcement Tuesday — the 66th anniversary of the battle’s opening day — was remarkable, considering the military’s average of confirming 72 such matches annually from all U.S. wars.

Darcy, a retired Marine Corps gunnery sergeant from Fall River, Mass., has helped bring home three WWII MIAs since 1991 from burial sites in the Philippines, Hawaii and Newport, R.I. Now he is accelerating his work using computerized databases filled with information he painstakingly entered from two sets of government documents: those containing physical descriptions of MIAs and those containing autopsies of slain service members buried as unknowns.

He hands over his findings to the military, which then tries to verify his work.

It sounds simple, but the identifications are the fruit of 20 years’ labor by Darcy, who says he’s determined to bring home thousands of missing WWII fighters.
“If I can bring home 4,500 American MIAs, I’ll be a happy camper,” he said in a recent interview at the Washington National Records Center, a federal repository in Suitland, just east of the nation’s capital.

Soft-spoken, with a thatch of curly, salt-and-pepper hair, Darcy, 59, runs a business, WFI Research Group, that digs up details of decades-old battles for other WWII researchers at $50 an hour. But he doesn’t charge MIAs’ families to find their loved ones, usually buried anonymously in distant cemeteries under white marble crosses inscribed, “Here rests in honored glory a comrade in arms known but to God.”

The Associated Press isn’t naming those identified by Darcy unless they have been officially confirmed.

Source: David Dishneau for AP News.

Up Next

Pakistan: Doctor examines bin Laden hunter from U.S.

A private researcher who has labored for years to identify the remains of U.S.…