POWs and MIAs during the Cold War

If the Korean War is excluded, the Cold War era of the 1950s did not involve the United States in major air, land and sea battles resulting in large numbers of military casualties. Instead, this period was characterized by our country’s intelligence-gathering operations conducted in a veil of strict secrecy. Nevertheless, military personnel, aircraft, vessels and equipment were used to collect this intelligence and military actions resulted when the enemy identified spy flights and retaliated. These actions resulted in the confirmed capture or death of some personnel but also the disappearance of others. Admitting to the loss of military personnel and accounting for their fates became a sensitive matter for government officials, in part because of the need to keep the operations secret.

  1. Documents