MANILA, Philippines — Friday, June 03, 2011, the United States became successful in gaining the consent to look for for the remains of American troops who died or gone missing while combating Japanese World War II (WWII) occupation armed forces in the Philippines.
Ambassador Harry Thomas said that under the contract, Missing-in-Action Accounting Command and Joint Prisoner-of-War teams from Hawaii will make short, cyclic voyage to attempt, with local help, to locate the remains of the fallen.
"Sadly, for over 65 years, many of those Americans who fought alongside Filipinos and gave their lives to liberate the Philippines in World War II have never been accounted for, as their remains have never been found. Thanks to this new undertaking... we now have an opportunity to address this…," Thomas said in a declaration.
Neither side gave details why it had taken so long to reach an agreement.
"The (agreement) honours the shared sacrifices made by the armed forces of both countries that stood together side by side to defend freedom during World War II," the Philippine foreign department said in a statement.
The US and Philippine government didn’t mention how many US military forces gone missing in the Philippines for the duration of the warfare.
The Memorial in the Philippines and Manila American Cemetery has graves of 17,202 Americans who died in WWII action, most in New Guinea and the Philippines. Tablets emblazoned with names of the missing list 36,285, counting some since recovered and known, the burial ground website says.