Pacific Wrecks

Recovered World War II Missing in Action pilot will be laid to rest in Arlington on National POW/MIA Recognition Day

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 15, 2022 -- U.S. Army pilot 1st Lt. Gabriel Joseph Eggud, 25, of New York, missing from World War II, will be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery on National POW/MIA Recognition Day, September 16.

Pacific Wrecks, a U.S. based not-for-profit dedicated to finding Missing In Action (MIA) servicemen, located the crash site in Papua New Guinea during 2005. Research in the U.S. archives indicated the pilot was Eggud.

“It’s like finding a needle in a haystack. We knew roughly where 1st Lt. Eggud was lost, and we weren’t giving up till we found him,” said Director of Pacific Wrecks Justin Taylan.

After locating Eggud, Pacific Wrecks notified the Department of Defense group that manages MIA recoveries, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). In 2019, DPAA recovered the remains to their forensics laboratory in Hawaii and confirmed Eggud as the decedent.

DPAA figures show that approximately 84,000 American service personnel remain unaccounted for, with the vast majority of 73,000 from World War II.

Taylan says, “I like to think with this burial on this day in this place that we honor all our missing heroes who never returned home.”

On July 6,  1944 on a combat mission against the Japanese over New Guinea, Eggud’s P-39 Airacobra fighter plane exploded. Postwar searches failed to find him and he was listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Eggud will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on September 16 at 11:00am. His granddaughter Tracey McLean and family members will be in attendance. The public and media are invited.


Pacific Wrecks is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to finding MIAs and leveraging new technologies in the study of past conflicts. Founded in 1995, Pacific Wrecks is a partner to DPAA and offers a free online database of WWII wrecks, the world’s largest with over two million views in 2021.


Taylan, 44, of Hyde Park, NY is grandson of a WWII U.S. Army photographer who served in New Guinea. He founded Pacific Wrecks and made dozens of trips to Asia-Pacific surveying crashed airplanes, airfields, shipwrecks, and battlefields.

EPK with photos and video:

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