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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Missing in Action

Our Mission

The University of Wisconsin Missing in Action Recovery and Identification Project honors the sacrifice of brave Americans who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. We educate students and communities, bring closure to families, and build the next generation of servant-leaders who will affect positive change in the world.

Missing In Action Recovery & Identification Project

The University of Wisconsin Missing In Action (MIA) Recovery and Identification Project (commonly abbreviated as the UW MIA RIP) focuses on advancing the recovery of MIA service members by involving an academic blend of knowledge and research as well as educating students in a number of scholarly disciplines.  Recent team tasking by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) has been focused on the recovery and identification of World War II US Forces in the European Theater.

L.Gordon picture Four primary scholarly disciplines are engaged in site survey, discovery, careful exhumation, and the identification of remains: History, Archaeology, Forensic Anthropology, and Genetic Analysis. Researchers, students, veterans, student-veterans, alumni, and volunteers comprise a multi-disciplinary team to help accelerate the recovery of lost service members.

In 2014 the Center helped identify the remains of Private First Class (Pfc.) Lawrence S. Gordon, a Canadian who enlisted in the United States Army, was killed in action on August 13th, 1944 in northern France (Falaise Pocket, Normandy) and buried as an American unknown, but whose remains were later re-interred, misidentified as a German soldier's, and consequently buried in a German cemetary.

In the summers of 2016 and 2017, the team led the successful discovery and recovery of First Lieutenant (1LT) Frank Fazekas, a P-47 Thunderbolt fighter pilot who was shot down and killed in action (KIA) over the village of Buysscheure, northern France (Nord department, Hauts-de-France region) on May 22nd, 1944.

In summer 2018, the team successfully recovered the remains of Second Lieutenant (2LT) Walter B. Stone, also a P-47 Thunderbolt fighter pilot, who was shot down and KIA near Quercamps, northern France (Pas-de-Calais department, Hauts-de-France region) on October 22nd, 1943.

In summer 2019, the team executed an attempted recovery mission of a WWII American service member's remains in Northern Europe, with efforts currently ongoing.

The project's primary goal is to identify new tactics and technologies to enhance the recovery and identification process and apply these technologies with the development of new protocols.

Donations to the UW-Madison MIA Recovery and Identification Project are tax deductible and are welcomed:

For more information, please contact

Wisconsin Missing in Action Service Member Information Request Form


Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Walter B. Stone, killed during World War II, was accounted for on Feb. 20, 2019. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) thanked the University of Wisconsin for assistance in the recovery.

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