BY GRANT COATES, CHAIR
Since April the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Agency (DPAA) has announced identifications of U.S. personnel missing from the Vietnam War listed below:
Lt. Cmdr. Larry R. Kilpatrick Navy 06/18/1972 N. Vietnam
Col. Frederick M. Mellor Air Force 08/13/1965 N. Vietnam
Col. Richard A. Kibbey Air Force 02/06/1967 N. Vietnam
Cmdr. James B. Mills Navy 09/21/1966 N. Vietnam
George L. Ritter Air America 12/27/1971 Laos
Lt. Richard C. Lannom Navy 03/01/1968 N. Vietnam
The total accounted for since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 is 991. The recovery countries are: Vietnam-671, Laos-273, Cambodia-42, and China-3. In addition, 63 U.S. personnel were accounted for between 1973 and 1975, the formal end of the Vietnam War, for a grand total of 1,054.
The DPAA Fiscal Year 2018 Report stated that the agency had accounted for 203 formerly missing persons from past conflicts. The number was the highest yearly total by DPAA or its predecessors. The remains of three additional personnel were identified from previously accounted-for personnel who had been buried as part of group burials. The report gave the following breakdown of personnel by conflict: Vietnam War-10, Korean War-37, and World War II-56.
DPAA is focused on the research, investigation, recovery, and identification of approximately 34,000 out of some 83,000 missing DoD personnel believed to be recoverable who were lost in conflicts from World War II to the first Persian Gulf War.
On September 27 DPAA announced the identification of Army Master Sgt. Charles H. McDaniel of Vernon, Ind., listed as MIA 11/02/1950 and Army Pfc. William H. Jones of Nash County, N.C., listed as MIA 11/26/50. Both were recovered from the fifty-five sets of remains released by North Korea earlier this year.
The Veterans Initiative Needs Your Help. Objects taken from the battlefields of Vietnam are more than souvenirs or war trophies. Maps, stories, after-action reports, pictures, and military items may have a story that could result in locating missing war dead. Can you help? To submit information or documents, or for more information, contact the Veterans Initiative program at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to:
Vietnam Veterans of America
8719 Colesville Rd., Suite 100
Silver Spring, MD 20910