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B-17 Flying Fortresses fly over Russia during World War II.

B-17 Flying Fortresses fly over Russia during World War II. (U.S. Air Force)

At least 16 service members from World War II and the Korean War were accounted for last month by the Defense Department agency tasked with recovering U.S. troops listed as missing in action or prisoners of war.

Fourteen of the identifications made in September by the Hawaii-based Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency were killed during WWII. The others fought in Korea, according to DPAA news releases.

Three were U.S. Army Air Forces members killed aboard a B-17G Flying Fortress shot down during a “huge bombing mission” near Leipzig, Germany, May 29, 1944, the agency said.

Accounted for on Sept. 9 were the pilot, 1st Lt. Carl Nesbitt, 23; the bombardier, 1st Lt. Melvin Meyer, 25; and the navigator, 2nd Lt. Wayne Dyer, 22.

“Six of the 10 crew members were able to escape the plane before it crashed near Horst, while the rest, including Nesbitt, Meyer and Dyer, were killed,” DPAA said.

Another of September’s WWII identifications died a prisoner of war in the Philippines after enduring the Bataan Death March in April 1942, the agency said.

U.S. Army Pvt. James Tash, 20, was captured when Japanese forces invaded the Philippines in late 1941 and died at the Cabanatuan POW camp on July 19, 1942, according to DPAA. He was accounted for on Sept. 27.

Two died as prisoners of war in Korea, agency news releases said.

Army Pfc. Ithiel Whatley, 19, was reported missing in action on July 12, 1950, after a “fighting withdrawal” south of Chochi’won, South Korea. Army Cpl. Cark Worline, 20, was reported missing in action on Nov. 26, 1950, after battling Chinese volunteer forces near Sinjang, North Korea.

Whatley was accounted for on Sept. 7 and Worline on Sept. 9, DPAA said.

Information about DPAA’s other identifications can be found here.

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