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Pearl Harbor Sailor’s Remains Coming Home to Kansas

Associated Press - May 20, 2016 4:14 pm

The remains of a U.S. Navy member killed in the Pearl Harbor attack will be returned to be buried in his hometown in Kansas nearly 75 years after his death.

The  remains of Navy Seaman 2nd Class Dale Pearce will be flown by military escort to Tulsa.

Family members, escorted by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and local police, will take the casket to Parsons. It’ll be buried Thursday in Dennis, a Labette County town of about 300 people.

According to military records, Pearce’s remains were recovered about a year after the 1941 attack. But advances in DNA technology in recent years have allowed authorities to identify remains of those deceased long ago.

Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency scientists used family DNA and dental comparisons to identify Pearce.

Associated Press information from: The Wichita Eagle

Rose Mary Stone

May 21, 2016 at 10:18 am

Welcome home Sailor! “His lord said to him, Well done, you good and faithful servant…” Matthew 25:21. God Bless you and thank you for your service!

Congratulations to all who investigated this case. The families of over 83,000 brave American heroes who remain missing from all our conflicts dating back to WWII should know that many are working to locate, recover, and help identify our lost heroes to achieve the closure for the families that they deserve.

The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) was finally disbanded after an avalanche of scandals were exposed by NBC, CBS, Fox News, NPR, the AP, and Stars and Stripes. Multiple government investigations then found gross mismanagement and a total lack of leadership. The American public and families of our lost heroes channeled their anger, frustration, humiliation, and feelings of betrayal to demand the immediate removal of those responsible for what the the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, testified was “Disgraceful”.

Sadly, the government’s idea of the massive reform necessary was a superficial name change of the organization and re-shuffling the same poor executives and laboratory managers to new desks and titles in a brand new $85 million dollar building in Hawaii. Even the management planning and construction of the new building was so inept that it’s original design contained no phone or computer lines and was finally completed without the proper fire suppression system for JPAC’s antiquated paper records system, forcing the government’s own researchers to travel offsite to do their job. Disgraceful!

A “new” Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) was created to replace the scandal plagued JPAC. The “new” director of DPAA was reportedly involved in selecting himself. Did he do this because he had just retired from the military and was looking for a new high paying gig? Ethically, does this inbred selection pass the smell test with any tax paying citizen or does it just stink? Disgraceful!

The “new director” simply reassigned the previous JPAC Scientific Director to be in charge of “partnering with private groups”, which was announced as vitally important “to help reinvigorate a troubled POW-MIA accounting mission”. There are many truly dedicated private groups who refuse to deal with DPAA because of the past arrogance and abuse by this same old group of poor leaders and managers who continue to remain in functional control of the “new” organization. Disgraceful!

JPAC had many dedicated men and women in non-management roles who believed in the mission: researchers, military recovery specialists, and field investigators who hack through jungles, climb mountains, and wade rivers only to be sabotaged in their work by a completely dysfunctional command. Those few essential workers that remain at DPAA are dismayed, disillusioned, disheartened, and disgusted at what they experienced at JPAC and what they now see as a lack of action at DPAA in holding those responsible accountable for the abysmal failures of their leadership. Disgraceful!

The “new” director continues to leave unaddressed a long pattern of dysfunction, inefficient practices, wasteful and poor management, lack of leadership, more than 40 pending complaints of sexual harassment by command personnel, EEO violations, criminal investigations, lawsuits, and complaints of managerial reprisal that were detailed in scathing official reports by the Inspector General’s Office and the Government Accountability Office. Even more complaints have been added since JPAC was disbanded. Disgraceful!

The same group of serial offenders responsible for this ineptitude remain in the “new” DPAA. The same group that brought us multiple outrageous scandals including phony “arrival home” ceremonies and the fraud, waste and abuse of government funds that produces only five or six dozen identifications a year with an annual budget that exceeds $130 million. Disgraceful!

In 2015, DPAA produced a grand total of 70 identifications at a gross cost of almost $2 million per identification! This was a whooping one more identification than JPAC’s proven dysfunctional system produced the previous year! Five identifications in 2015 were from remains discovered by a private group at a construction site . Another identification was the result of a family filing a Federal lawsuit to force DPAA’s management to act after JPAC’s own investigation matched the missing serviceman’s identity with a precise burial location! But half of the 70 identifications were from remains turned over by North Korea in 1991 that had been sitting on the JPAC/DPAA Laboratory shelves for 24 YEARS! Disgraceful!

In another 2015 management disaster, DPAA exhumed over 300 bodies from the USS Oklahoma dead buried at Pearl Harbor, promising the families prompt identifications. DPAA then shipped the remains to another DPAA Laboratory in Nebraska after separating the heads from the bodies, keeping the skulls in storage at the DPAA Laboratory in Hawaii. Most families found out about this dismemberment of their loved ones from reading the Washington Post newspaper. Disgraceful!

Meanwhile the JPAC/DPAA management mantra of “Delay, Deny, and wait for the families to Die” continues. The current response time for basic information to families and researchers under the Freedom of Information Act is over ONE YEAR! Federal law requires this information to be provided within 20 days, which DPAA routinely violates without consequences. Disgraceful!

The JPAC/DPAA Laboratory’s antiquated methods and dysfunctional management take years to accomplish identifications of recovered remains. if ever. There is a backlog of over 1,400 sets of remains of American service men and women sitting in cardboard boxes at DPAA awaiting identification right now. The AVERAGE time for identification after remains are received in the DPAA/JPAC laboratory is ELEVEN YEARS! Disgraceful!

Anyone with any management experience knows that the entire operation that was JPAC should have been deconstructed, brick by brick. Such needed massive reform simply did not happen. Just when families of our missing servicemen and women thought things could not get worse, it did. The same infectious disease of JPAC arrogance and lies to the families of American heroes took root all over again at DPAA. This incredibly dysfunctional organization continues and has been added to the VA Hospital, Dover Mortuary, Arlington Cemetery, and the Viet Nam Unknown misidentification debacles. Disgraceful!

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