My mother and my aunt Vesta spent a few days in D.C. last week, for a conference where they spent time learning a lot about those who served and died in the Korean War. As Vesta came down from Maine, where my mother and her family are from, her plane fare was paid for.
That first night, my daughter M, boyfriend E, and I joined Vesta and Mom for dinner and socializing. Interestingly, the Cafe Italia was only a few streets away from my late (paternal) grandmother's house in Arlington. If I can figure out how, I may add a photo later. We went to the upper tower of their hotel to view the D.C. skyline before we left.
The next day, their conference settled in for business, including a meeting just with Mom and Vesta on Billy's case. Previously, Mom (and her two surviving siblings, both sisters), provided DNA samples, per request, in hopes of making a match with his remains. My mother said that the overall conference was a lot of information to take in, a lot of good information, just a lot to absorb.
I *think* I have this info correct, from information she relayed last Sunday:
My late Uncle Billy, aka, William Edward Douglas (he listed himself, and his two youngest sisters i.e., Mom and Vesta, with the family name of Douglass), died as a teenaged POW in the Korean War in 1951. He was apparently in Camp 5. My mother said that there were 512 cemetaries in Camp 5. That's a LOT. That the U.S. Government has received 218 boxes. I'm not clear how large these boxes are, and they sounded as if they were not from the area where Billy had been. They do, however, contain many body parts. Jumbled together body parts. The DNA experts could take up to a year (or longer) to know more, having to piece together skeletons. A leg bone may or may not belong with a hip bone.
After all these years, it's encouraging to have any information, any hope. It also gets my mother talking a little bit more about him which has been so difficult over the years. Just, well, it's a slim hope.