The Vietnam-Era Prisoner-of-War/Missing-in-Action Database

This database is designed to assist researchers in accessing U.S. government documents related to American military personnel who are unaccounted for from the Vietnam War. The formal title of this collection is “Correlated and Uncorrelated Information Relating to Missing Americans in Southeast Asia.” The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA; formerly the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office) within the U.S. Department of Defense declassifies these documents on a continuous basis and releases them to FRD. The division in turn makes them available to the public.

In November 1992, FRD analysts began indexing these records to facilitate easier searching of the original documents provided by DPAA, which were microfilmed and placed in the Library of Congress’s collections. At that time, researchers searched the database at a dedicated workstation within the Library and then viewed the microfilmed documents in one of the reading rooms. In October 1994, the Library uploaded the database to its website, making the collection accessible worldwide.

Today, DPAA digitizes the microfilmed documents and supplies the scanned images to FRD analysts, who then link the image files to the online index records. This joint effort enables researchers to view most of the original documents online. Although FRD no longer microfilms the files, it continues to post the electronic copies as they become available.

Researchers may view the linked documents by clicking on the “PDF Image File” button below the index record. The linking process, however, is not complete. Until FRD is able to upload digital copies of all of the documents, the remaining unlinked records will be available only on microfilm.

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