MIA Update

National VFW - 4/10/2017

-- Marine Corps Pfc. James O. Whitehurst, 20, of Ashford, Ala., will be buried April 12, in Cowarts, Ala. Whitehurst was assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. On Nov. 20, 1943, Whitehurst's unit landed on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll against stiff Japanese resistance. Whitehurst was killed on the first day of the battle, one of approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors killed in the intense fighting. Read more about Whitehurst.
-- Army Master Sgt. Joseph Durakovich, 30, of Gary, Ind., will be buried in April in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. Durakovich was a member of Company G, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. His unit was attacked by Chinese forces while establishing a defensive position in Pongmyong-ni east of Kuni-ri, North Korea, on Nov. 28, 1950. After the battle, Durakovich could not be accounted for and was reported missing in action. Read more about Durakovich.
-- Navy Seaman 1st Class George A. Coke was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when Japanese aircraft attacked his ship on Dec. 7, 1941. Coke was one of 429 crewmen killed in the attack. Interment services are pending. Read more about Coke.
-- Machinist's Mate 1st Class Fred M. Jones was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when Japanese aircraft attacked his ship on Dec. 7, 1941. Jones was one of 429 crewmen killed in the attack. Interment services are pending. Read more about Jones.
-- Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Ewart T. Sconiers served as a bombardier on the B-17F Flying Fortress with the 414th Bombardment Squadron, 97th Bombardment Group. On Oct. 21, 1942, his plane was severely damaged during a mission to bomb the German U-boat pens at Lorient, France. The crew parachuted safely and were rescued from the water, only to be turned over to German forces as prisoners of war. Sconiers was transferred to Stalag Luft II in present-day Zagan, Poland, where he remained until 1944. He was reported deceased on Jan. 24, 1944. Interment services are pending. Read more about Sconiers.
-- Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Jack J. Fox was assigned to Company L, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division. On Nov. 20, 1943, Fox's unit landed on the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll against stiff Japanese resistance. Fox was killed on Nov. 22, 1943, one of approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors killed in the intense fighting. Interment services are pending. Interment services are pending. Read more about Fox.
-- Army Pfc. Reece Gass served with Company E, 33rd Armored Regiment, 3rd Armored Division. On Jan. 14, 1945, tanks from Gass’ unit began a three-pronged advance against enemy forces moving toward Cherain, Belgium. Gass was declared deceased after his tank was hit by enemy fire. Interment services are pending. Read more about Gass.
-- Army Cpl. Daniel F. Kelly was assigned to C Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. In late November 1950 his unit was ordered to advance as part of an offensive push to drive the North Koreans to the Yalu River. They were attacked by Chinese forces and Kelly was declared missing on Nov. 26, 1950. Interment services are pending. Read more about Kelly.
-- Army Cpl. Freddie L. Henson served with Battery A, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division, part of the 31st Regimental Combat Team deployed east of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. The RCT was attacked by an overwhelming number of Chinese forces in late November 1950. Henson was among 1,300 members of the RCT killed or captured in enemy territory. He was reported missing as of Dec. 6, 1950. Interment services are pending. Read more about Henson.