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First World War




Numerous organizations are committed to achieving a full accounting of all POW/MIAs from the Gulf War, Vietnam War, Cold War, Korean War World War II and beyond. This means returning living POWs, the repatriation of their remains, or finding convincing evidence why neither of these is possible. This further means locating and returning remains whenever and wherever possible. In all ways, we amplify those efforts.

WWI> 4,422 Servicemembers

WWII > 81,000+ Servicemembers



Circ 1972


1972     50 YEARS     2022

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History of the POW/MIA flag


From their first formation as civilian-clad recruits until the ink is dry on their DD-214, every Servicemember makes and receives the promise that no one who rallies to their flag—whether it is of their nation, state, branch or unit—will be left behind.


For Navy Lieutenant Commander Michael G. Hoff, that promise is still outstanding.


In 1970, his F-4 Phantom was shot down while flying a combat mission in notoriously

dangerous airspace over Laos. Commander Hoff is presumed killed in action (KIA),

and his remains have not been recovered.

“I never stopped thinking he wasn’t coming home,” Mary Hoff told the Times-Union in 2004.

Mary is Commander Hoff’s wife, a mother of five, and an Orange Park native.

“I know he isn’t coming home alive, but I never stopped thinking he wasn’t coming home.”


Navy Lieutenant Commander Michael G. Hoff


By Jim "moe" Moyer


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Mary refused to sit idle while she could take action to bring awareness to the plight of POW/MIA Servicemembers and their families. Despite her anguish and immense responsibilities to her children, which kept her homebound, she reached out to the vice president of Annin & Co. after reading an article about the flagmaker in the newspaper. The company began designing the POW/MIA flag emblem in collaboration with graphic designer Newt Heisley, who served as a pilot in the Pacific during WWII. The initial concept was modeled after the bright Blue Star and Gold Star Banners found in WWII-era military homes, but it did not seem appropriate, considering the sense of dismay Mary and her allies felt.


“I had seen a picture of one of those POWs wearing black-and-white pajamas…We need a stark, black-and-white flag,” Hoff told the Times-Union in 2009. From this vision emerged the white-on-black silhouette of a POW (Jack Heisley, an Army Veteran of Vietnam, served as the model for the POW) in front of a guard tower seen on the flag today. Initially, the design came on banners Mary distributed from her home. After meeting with a local branch of the National

League of Families of Prisoners of War, and state-level involvement of the same group, the design was adopted as the organization’s logo and made into a flag.

As of November 2019, the POW/MIA flag championed by Mary is the only flag, aside from the U.S. flag, authorized to fly over the White House. It’s also the only other flag that can fly on the same flagstaff as the American flag.


The prominent display of this flag serves as a stark reminder of the sacrifices made by American Servicemembers and ensures that no one—including Commander Hoff and his 1,586 unaccounted for comrades—is left behind.



History of the POW/MIA flag

By Matthew Snowberger

National League of POW/MIA Families


The League’s sole mission is to obtain the release of all prisoners, the fullest possible accounting

for the missing and repatriation of all recoverable remains of those who died serving our nation during the Vietnam War.

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National POW/MIA Recognition Day

Observed on the third Friday in September. 

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA)



Provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel to their families and the nation.

As this map shows, at present, more than 81,600 Americans remain missing from WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and the Gulf Wars/other conflicts. Out of the more than 81,600 missing, 75% of the losses are located in the Indo-Pacific, and over 41,000 of the missing are presumed lost at sea (i.e. ship losses, known aircraft water losses, etc.).

National Alliance of Families 


The goals of the National Alliance of Families are simple. The return of any live Prisoners of War, and accurate accounting of the missing, the recovery and scientific identification of remains or a reasonable explanation as to why return, recovery or accounting is impossible.

History Flight


History Flight is a privately operated, 501(c)3 Non-Profit organization dedicated to researching, recovering and repatriating America’s service members back to United States of America. 

American Ex-Prisoners of War 


A not-for-profit, Congressionally-chartered veterans’ service organization advocating for former prisoners of war and their families.

Rolling Thunder®, Inc. / Rolling Thunder® Charities, Inc.


The major function of Rolling Thunder®, Inc. is to publicize the POW-MIA issue: 

To educate the public that many American Prisoners of War were left behind after all previous wars and to help correct the past and to protect the future Veterans from being left behind should they become Prisoners Of War-Missing In Action. We are committed to helping American Veterans from all wars.

Rolling Thunder® Charities, Inc. was created in 2007 to start a fund from which we could address the needs of Veterans, our active duty Military and their families.

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