Tampa woman on mission to help uncover remains of missing military members

TAMPA, Fla. — A Tampa woman is making it her life’s mission to help uncover the remains of missing military members who she calls the “truly forgotten soldiers.”

Tonja Anderson-Dell’s relentless drive to find our grandfather’s remains was rooted in a family mystery.

“I was the grandchild who really wanted to find out what happened,” said Anderson-Dell.


U.S. Airman Isaac Anderson died when his military cargo plane crashed into an Alaskan glacier in 1952. Anderson-Dell says the government never searched for her grandfather’s remains, or the remains of the other 51 people on board, because they were killed during a “non-mission.”

“To me their country turned their backs on them when they don’t look for them because they’re what you call an operational loss,” said Anderson-Dell.


As ABC Action News previously reported , Anderson-Dell’s search for the truth paid off earlier this year. Airman Anderson’s remains were finally brought back home to Tampa.

Republic F-84D missing Nov 20,1950

ate: 20-NOV-1950
Type: Silhouette image of generic f84 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Republic F-84D Thunderjet
Owner/operator: 55th FBS, 20th FBW, USAF (55th FBS, 20th FBW, United States Air Force)
Registration: 48-762
C/n / msn:
Fatalities: Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities: 0
Aircraft damage: Aircraft missing
Location: English Channel, off the south coast of Kent –    United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature: Training
Departure airport: RAF Manston, Kent (MSE/EGMH)
Destination airport:

Crashed 20/11/1950: Went missing on a sortie from RAF Manston, Kent, and was never seen again. Presumed to have crashed into the English Channel off the south coast of Kent. Pilot (Billy G. Shoemaker) posted as KMIS (Killed/Missing In Sea).




Is there an active database of all missing soldiers categorized as a “operational loss”?

I have been asking if there is a database I can request to help me understand how many soldiers are missing. I get the same answer every time I ask. No Ms. Anderson-Dell there is none.

I said to myself what is going to be the best way to get this answer? Well, let’s say I am very busy these days creating one.  1st, request a roll of accident reports from Maxwell AFB.  2nd, I go through each page until I find a report with missing soldiers. 3rd, I search the internet to confirm the accident is still missing. 4th, I  take the information and add it to a spreadsheet I have created to track my findings.


Hello world!

I find it very hard that there is no agency that looks for our missing soldiers. These soldiers are not MIA, POW or KIA they are soldiers that are missing during an operational loss.

I need for everyone to get upset like that get upset about the POW, MIA, and KIA soldiers.

Meet Airman Anderson missing since November 22, 1952, in Alaska.