CAMDEN — War Memorial Post 30, American Legion, held their annual POW/MIA Remembrance event on Saturday, Sept. 17, on the Camden Village Green by the War Memorial.
In a news release, Post Adjutant Jeff Sukeforth said that according to the Department of Defense accounting office for POW/MIA Affairs the following numbers account for those who remain unaccounted for from Maine from the various wars and conflicts:
World War II – 419
Korean War – 45
Vietnam War – 11
Cold War – Iraq Theater – Global War on Terror NONE
Sukeforth said that a total 72,294 Americans are still listed by Department of Defense, DOD, as missing and unaccounted-for from WWII. A total 7,529 Americans are still listed by DOD, as missing and unaccounted-for from the Korean War. A total 1,584 Americans are still listed by DOD, as missing and unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War. A total 6 Americans are still listed by DOD, as missing and unaccounted-for from the Global War on Terror.
The remembrance began with remarks from Rep. Vicki Doudera, District 94, who spoke on the men who remain unaccounted for and a family relative, Corporal Joseph “Buddy” Mumford, who remains unaccounted from WWII. Buddy was assigned to the 15th Air Force and went to Italy in September 1944. He was attached to the 716th Bomb Squadron, part of the 449th Bomb Group, based in Grottaglie, Italy. Cpl. Mumford was the left gunner on a B-24J aircraft. On November 16, 1944, Mumford was on his eighth combat mission, with Munich, Germany railroad yards as the target. The aircraft received continued flak over the target reported as “moderate to intense, and accurate.”
The aircraft was struck by enemy fire ten minutes after hitting their target. The plane, and its crew of ten, was last seen falling out of formation and heading in the opposite direction, perhaps toward Switzerland. The plane and its crew were never recovered. Cpl. Mumford was subsequently declared as Killed in Action on November 21, 1944, one day after his 21st birthday.
The American Battle Monuments Commission reports that his name is engraved on the “Wall of the Missing” at the cemetery of “Sicily & Rome.” He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.
The remembrance held at the War Memorial at the Camden Village Green remembered the 11 Veterans still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War from Maine. Their names and bio were read after which a bell tolled for each of Maine’s sons.
This remembrance is held in conjunction with the National POW/MIA Day of Remembrance. POW/MIA Day is the one day of every year where all Veteran organizations gather to honor and remember those who remain in captivity or are missing.
“Every Veteran should be a part of this to remember their Brothers and Sisters, from all wars and conflicts who remain captive, missing and killed in action” said Sukeforth.
For more information on this remembrance or to see about becoming a Legion Member call Sukeforth at 236-3310.