Joseph Thompson was adopted out of my husband's family before any of us could have known him. The family knew of him and always wondered what had become of him.
On December 22, 2002 a woman from Australia contacted us by phone. Sandy, Joseph's daughter, had been looking for us since 1983. What a wonderful Christmas present for all of us.
Through many e-mails back and forth we rewrote our family trees. Most of the information contained on this page has come from Sandy. She never knew her father as he was MIA before she was born. Please feel free to search the links provided highlighted throughout the text. They help tell the story and where we are now. I can only hope that you are moved to action by reading our story.
Joseph was a private in the Army Air Corps. He was attached to the 5th AAF, 43rd brigade, 63rd Squadron. His plane, B24D-60-CO serial #42-40475, went down on December 3rd, 1943 over Papua New Guinea. He was declared MIA.
It was thought that his plane went down over the ocean as searches on land found no sign of a downed plane. His unit looked for the plane for as long as they could but had to give up the search as the war raged on. Time travel to 2002.
A native found the wreckage in February 2002. He brought back the dog tags from one of the crewmen to prove the site was legitimate and for identification of the plane. The information was reported to have been turned over to JPAC/CIL formerly CILHI, a government office in charge of recovering MIAs. JPAC/CIL is ultimately responsible for recovery and Identity of the remains. They use Mitochondrial DNA (which our family has already donated) to identify ancient remains. A team from MIA Hunters went in June and July of 2003 to chart out the location and get more pictures and numbers from the plane to send to JPAC/CIL. With this new information, JPAC/CIL went and recovered the crew in April 2004. (Arlington Bound) (The Final Farewell)
There are MIAs from WWI, approximately 78,000 Americans missing from World War II (of those, an estimated 35,000 are deemed recoverable, with the others lost at sea or entombed in sunken vessels), 8,100 missing from the Korean War, 1,800 missing from the Vietnam War, and 120 missing from the Cold War...still waiting to be found and brought home. Write the President , Vice President, First Lady and Mrs. Biden. Contact your congressmen, both House and Senate links provided. Sign this petition to bring more of our heroes home Project Homecoming. Ask for specific answers. Demand to know what is being done to find and bring home our servicemen. Tell them JPAC needs more funds for more teams. And if you receive a "form letter" write again. I have also included an example letter to assist you. This is a debt owed by each and every one of us, long neglected and overdue. Please mention Joseph Thompson from MN who was brought home with state and US congressional help in your letter. Let's find them and bring them home.
Another site I'd like you to visit is Vet's Memorial. There are many MIA/POW's listed as well as "Hero's" of our many wars who made it home.