US team hunting American WWII dead in Poland

18th April 2009, Comments 0 comments

The team from the Department of Defense's Prisoner of War and Missing Personnel Office in Washington will spend until May 1 conducting research and interviews in connection with several unresolved cases, the embassy said.

Warsaw -- American officials who are trying to establish the fate of servicemen missing since World War II arrived in Poland Friday for two weeks of in-depth research, the US embassy said.

"US researchers are particularly interested in information related to aircraft shoot downs, crash sites, the capture or burial of persons believed to have been US servicemen, and any groups who may have aided downed air crews," it said in a statement.

The team from the Department of Defense's Prisoner of War and Missing Personnel Office in Washington will spend until May 1 conducting research and interviews in connection with several unresolved cases, the embassy said.

The United States was at the forefront of the aerial campaign against Nazi Germany, which lost swathes of territory to Poland under post-war border changes.

The Washington team was therefore due to travel to several formerly German communities which were pounded by Allied air attacks, including the port city of Szczecin in northwest Poland, known before the war as Stettin.

In addition, US planes were downed by the Germans over occupied Poland itself, notably as they flew the risky route from liberated Italy to drop arms and supplies to the Polish resistance during the failed 1944 Warsaw Uprising.

The Nazis also set up prisoner of war camps across what was then eastern Germany as well as occupied Poland.

Allied troops who died in captivity were generally buried on site, and in some cases the passage of time made it difficult to identify the locations of graves or documentary evidence about the person who was laid to rest was lost.

AFP/Expatica

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