The Long Way Home
About 82,000 American service members are listed as Missing in Action – 72,000 from World War II alone. Many of these MIAs were lost at sea when their aircraft were shot down over open water. Recent technologies like robotic submersibles, advanced sonar, and DNA matching are making it easier for recovery operations to find the downed airplanes, and identify the remains of service members. In this episode, Emily, Matt, and Nick tell the story of one of those service members, from an aerial battle in the Pacific in 1944, to recovery and repatriation more than 70 years later. And we hear from the head of one of these recovery organizations who describes the herculean effort and coordination that goes into each recovery operation, all with the goal of providing an honorable homecoming to the fallen.