Croatian Minister of Veterans’ Affairs Tomo Medved and Director of the Defence POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) Kelly McKeague will sign today in Zagreb a memorandum of understanding on conducting procedures for searching, locating and transferring remains of missing US soldiers who went missing in Croatia during the Second World War, reports Večernji List on November 13, 2018.
The memorandum of understanding, as explained by Veterans’ Affairs Minister Tomo Medved, define the relations of the stakeholders and ways of cooperation in locating and transferring the remains of US staff believed to have gone missing in the territory of Croatia during the Second World War.
“The memorandum is a continuation of the regulation of relations between our two countries in the area of search for the missing persons. Last year, we searched for missing US pilots on the island of Vis,” said Medved, adding that similar agreements were signed recently with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.
More than 87,000 US soldiers from the two world wars are still missing, of which 29,000 in Europe and about 200 in the territory of the Republic of Croatia. In July 2017, Croatia provided assistance to the United States in locating the remains of missing US soldiers, members of the B-24 Tulsamerican aircraft crew, who crashed near the island of Vis on December 17, 1944, while returning from a combat task. Next to the wreckage, which was accidentally discovered 1.2 miles south of the island of Vis in 2009, the remains of bones were found.
“This is the first in a series of initiatives which we want to use to find as many as 203 missing American soldiers. They have carried out their mission, and now it is up to us to do our best to demonstrate they have not been forgotten,” said the then US ambassador to Croatia, Julieta Valls Noyes.
The Ministry of Veterans’ Affairs is working on developing the Croatian model of searching for missing persons, which includes positive experiences of international organizations dealing with this issue.
For more on Croatia-USA relations, click here.
Translated from Večernji List (reported by Tea Romić).