Pentagon Steps Up Hunt for Missing WWII Soldiers
Search intensifies as aging witnesses die
By Mat Probasco,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2009 6:26 AM CDT
A member of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command digs to search for remains of US soldiers killed during the 1950-53 Korean War.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
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(Newser) – After years of searching for missing US soldiers in the jungles of Southeast Asia, the military's POW/MIA Accounting Command has intensified the hunt for the 74,000 WWII troops still unaccounted for, reports the New York Times. Searching for the nearly-65-year-old remains is a race against time, however, as historians and eye witnesses die.

Some $55 million of the Pentagon's annual half trillion dollars budget goes into the search for US soldiers, which identifies more than 70 of the missing each year. At that rate, however, it will take 500 years to find all of the 35,000 of those classified as potentially “recoverable." Many thousands of the total 84,000 Americans missing from all the nation's previous wars were lost at sea.