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MIA Search Organizations: Note from Pat Ranfranz: I have been in contact with the following MIA search organizations. I have extensively shared information with some of the organizations and others I have had limited contact, however, all the organizations I have listed below are honorable and are truly dedicated to locating MIA's and helping others such as myself with my Missing Air Crew Project. It's equally as important what organizations are not listed below. I have been in contact with a few groups that I would not recommend to my worst enemy. Unfortunately, a few groups that claim to be working to solve MIA cases are not trustworthy and should be avoided at all costs. Please feel free to email me if you feel a group is missing from this list and/or if you have a question about a MIA search group. I would welcome the opportunity to share information from my perspective.

  • History Flight is a 501C3 non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and honoring American WWII aviation history. History Flight director Mark Noah has been very helpful to the Missing Air Crew Project!
  • The BentProp Project: Dr. Patrick J. Scannon's BentProp Project is dedicated to finding MIAs in the jungles and waters of Palau. Pat has put together a fantastic group of researchers and searchers. Pat has been very helpful to the Missing Air Crew Project!
  • The BentStar Project : The BentStar Project LTD, a California 501(c)3 Charitable Corporation, was formed to support and document the efforts of Scannon's BentProp Project. The BentStar Project Limited was formed by team members and supporters of BentProp and exists to ensure that Scannon's expeditions will be fully documented and will continue unencumbered. The BentStar Project has provided a lot of research help to the Missing Air Crew Project!
  • The Pacific Wreck Database (PWD) is a free, non-profit website compiles the work of veterans, authors, travelers & visitors from around the world. This site has resulted in the discovery and identification of new sites, reporting new history, return of relics, and historical advocacy. Created by Justin Taylan, this site continues to grow with the help of collaborators worldwide.
  • AAIR Aviation Archaeological Investigation & Research: Aviation Archaeological Investigation and Research, AAIR, is a helpful source for U.S. military aircraft accident reports and individual aircraft record (history) cards and aviation archaeology information. Craig Fuller, the principal and founder of AAIR, has shared information with the Missing Air Crew Project.
  • Pacific War Airfields Project : The mission of the Pacific Airfields Project is to document, through description and photos, each airfield that was used in the Pacific War during World War II. This includes airfields used by both Axis and Allied powers from Hawaii to Austrailia to China to the Aleutians and everywhere in between. Our goal is to have the most comprehensive list and documentation available anywhere and to provide it freely to researchers, authors, teachers, and students.

Sites to Search for Data about Losses

  • Golden Arrow Military Research
    Order Military Service Records from all Branches of the U.S. Military: We specialize in the research of individual veterans of WWI, WWII, and the Korean War. We can trace the steps of individual U.S. Veterans to show you where they were and what they did during their military service. If you are hoping to discover what your father or grandfather did during the war, we can find you the Military Service Records that will show you exactly what they did during the war. Our military research specialists are on-site at the National Archives and can locate a wide variety of records for you. Click on a link below to start researching your U.S. Veteran.
  • Identifinders International
    Identifinders has been involved in some of the most exciting forensic identification projects in recent years. Our large repertoire has required much versatility and creativity. It's no wonder that we are sought out for the most difficult cases where others have failed. In projects ranging from uncovering Misha Defonseca's Holocaust memoire fraud, to identifying the remains of a serviceman killed in an airplane crash in 1948, we have demonstrated an unequalled degree of success.
    An informative and respected website designed to offer resources for obituaries, funerals and genealogy search
  • American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC): World War II Listing
  • AAIR Missing Air Crew Reports (MACR) Search
  • AAIR Database Search

Sites Related to

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Books & Videos/DVDs: Click on the following liks to view more information on

    Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption : On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.
    Finding Billy: An Internet Odyssey by Diana Thompson Dale Finding Billy: An Internet Odyssey by Diana Thompson Dale: Finding Billy chronicles the author's search to find out about the circumstances of her uncle's death. Billy Wisner was a World War II pilot who wemt "missing in action" over Italy in October, 1944. That was all the information his family had for over 50 years, though his mother never gave up hope that she would see him again. Diana Dale's simple question on an internet veterans' message board (Does anyone remember my uncle?) led to the resolution of this family's story. Along the way, Dale's internet acquaintances become real friends, and Dale completes the puzzle in the way the US Army could not. Dale uses family letters to paint a picture of Billy's life, and her emails trace the progression of the investigation. Her personality shines through the prose, as do those of the many people she meets, first online and then in person. Not just for WWII aviation buffs, Finding Billy will appeal to anyone who likes the satifaction of a mystery solved, or who is haunted by the loss of a loved one. Highly recommended.
    The Spectator : A World War II Bomber Pilot's Journal of the Artist as Warrior
    From Greenwich Village to Guadalcanal in just over a year, David Zellmer would find piloting a B-24 bomber in the South Pacific a far cry from his life as a fledgling member of the Martha Graham Dance Company. He soon discovered the unimagined thrills of first flights and the astonishment of learning that an aerial spin was merely a vertical pirouette which one spotted on a barn thousands of feet below, instead of on a doorknob in Martha's studio. Reconstructed from letters home, this captivating account traces Zellmer's journey from New York to the islands of the South Pacific as the 13th Air Force battled to push back the Japanese invaders in 1943 and 1944.
    Morotai: A Memoir of War
    According to the official histories, says John Boeman, the U.S. Army trained 193,440 pilots between 1 July 1939 and 31 August 1945. Boeman was one of them -- a B-24 bomber pilot. He had never been in an airplane, had never felt himself "born to fly," and felt "no sudden surge of patriotism." But from the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, he says there was no question in his mind that he would enter military service. President Roosevelt's blueprint for total war made this clear. Boeman's memoir takes the reader from flight training through combat missions. The day-to-day life of inexperienced Boeman and his crew, as part of the 307th Bombardment Group, is detailed with humor and pathos -- the apprehension of his first mission; the long hours on the ground; the remembrances of "growing up"; the excitement, the "ice" in the stomach, or the unexpected.
    Safely Rest
    From 1945 to 1950, the United States returned 178,000 dead American servicemen back home and reburied another 80,000 in overseas cemeteries at their families' request. Never before had a nation returned so many of its fallen warriors from distant battlefields. But another 78,000 servicemen were still missing in action-their bodies never to be found-their families never to know the peace of closure. Safely Rest recalls this virtually forgotten episode of WWII through the recollections of the survivors and the letters and histories of the dead themselves. It tells of those who struggled to absorb their loss and rebuild their lives-and of those who would never be able to move on. Most memorably, it tells of Lt. Jesse D. "Red" Franks, Jr--first reported missing, then dead, then reported to be alive-and of his extraordinarily devoted father, who gave up everything to work as a missionary in war-torn Europe for years until he discovered what truly happened to his son.
    Devil at My Heels: A WW II Hero's Epic Saga of Torment, Survival, and Forgiveness
    A juvenile delinquent, a world-class NCAA miler, a 1936 Olympian, a World War II bombardier: Louis Zamperini had a life fuller than most when it changed in an instant. On May 27, 1943, his B-24 crashed into the Pacific Ocean. Louis and two other survivors found a raft amid the flaming wreckage and waited for rescue. Instead, they drifted two thousand miles for forty-seven days. Their only food: two shark livers and three raw albatross. Their only water: sporadic rainfall. Their only companions: hope and faith -- and the ever-present sharks. Somehow Zamperini survived and he returned home a hero. The celebration was short-lived. He plunged into drinking and brawling and the depths of rage and despair. Nightly, the Bird's face leered at him in his dreams. It would take years, but with the love of his wife and the power of faith, he was able to stop the nightmares and the drinking. A stirring memoir from one of the greatest of the "Greatest Generation," Devil at My Heels is a living document about the brutality of war, the tenacity of the human spirit, and the power of forgiveness.
    Flyboys: A True Story of Courage
    Flyboys is the true story of young American airmen who were shot down over Chichi Jima. Eight of these young men were captured by Japanese troops and taken prisoner. Another was rescued by an American submarine and went on to become president. The reality of what happened to the eight prisoners has remained a secret for almost 60 years. After the war, the American and Japanese governments conspired to cover up the shocking truth. Not even the families of the airmen were informed what had happened to their sons. It has remained a mystery—until now. Critics called James Bradley's last book "the best book on battle ever written." Flyboys is even better: more ambitious, more powerful, and more moving. On the island of Chichi Jima those young men would face the ultimate test. Their story—a tale of courage and daring, of war and of death, of men and of hope—will make you proud, and it will break your heart.
    Shot at and Missed: Recollections of a World War II Bombardier
    Myers writes his story of flying bombing missions over some of the toughest targets in German occupied Europe during 1944. When they weren't getting shot at over their targets they were chasing, and catching, the Italian signourinas. Each page demands that you continue reading to see what these young flyers do next. Odd ball characters, like Earl Ruhlin the co-pilot, keep jumping out of the story as he goes from one adventure to the next. You will laugh when you read how the navigator ends up sleeping with a 90 year old crone by mistake. Terrifying and hilarious. Dont miss "Shot at and Missed".
      B-24 Nose Art Name Directory: Includes Group, Squadron and Aircraft Serial Numbers and Photo Availability
    A must for B-24 Buffs! Wally has expanded his format to include data on AF Wings and their component bomb groups for most of the USAAF. His B17 Nose Art Directory was concerned with the 8th, 15th, and 20th AFs. And rather than searching the total list for group aircraft he has listed the a/c assigned to each group by group number. Definitely a source book for important data (names, serial numbers, photo availability) on this aircraft.
    Consolidated B-24 Liberator (Osprey Production Line to Frontline 4)
    Commissioned to replace the B-17, the Liberator was built in near-record time. The machine was designed around the long-span low-drag Davis wing, a new concept at the time of production. Early models were soon superseded on all production lines by the J model, the most successful B-24 of all time. When production ceased on 31 May 1945, 18,475 Liberators had been made, making it the most produced American aircraft of WW2. A special feature in this book is a selection of wartime black and white photos and colour company advertisements, the latter not seen since the end of the war.
    Consolidated B-24 Liberator
    Hardcover: 192 pages. Publisher: Crowood Pr Ltd (September 1, 1998).

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