POW/MIA Affairs Committee Update September/October 2020

POW/MIA Flag

BY GRANT COATES, CHAIR

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced on July 14 that U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Alva R. Krogman, 25, who was killed during the Vietnam War, had been accounted for the preceding week.

On January 17, 1967, Krogman was a pilot assigned to the 504th Tactical Air Support Group, 7th Air Force, on temporary duty with the 23rd Tactical Air Support Squadron operating out of Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base. That morning he was flying an O-1 Birddog aircraft as one of two planes conducting a visual reconnaissance mission in Savannakhet Province, Laos. At approximately 8:55 a.m., Krogman’s aircraft was hit by enemy fire and went down. Search and rescue operations began immediately, but ended within a few hours after one of the search and rescue aircraft also was shot down. Krogman was not recovered; he was declared killed in action on January 31, 1967.

DPAA reports that as of August 10, there remain 1,586 missing from the Vietnam War. That includes Vietnam-1,246 (North Vietnam-443, South Vietnam-803), Laos-285, Cambodia-48, and China-7.

A total of 997 Americans have been accounted for since April 30, 1975, the end of the Vietnam War. Recoveries were made in Vietnam-672, Laos-280, Cambodia-42, and China-3. In addition, 63 U.S. personnel were accounted for between 1973 and 1975 in Laos-9, Vietnam-53, and Cambodia-1. The grand total is 1,060.

Due to COVID-19 health issues, DPAA has not conducted field activities or disinterments since late March. The last deployed team was brought home on March 21. Unilateral operations in Vietnam began on July 21 using Vietnamese recovery teams. Operations in Laos will resume September 1 and run through October 15, but only if entry and health restrictions lift.

June 25 marked the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War. The Republic of Korea held a Repatriation Ceremony in Seoul for 147 remains. Korea’s Ministry of National Defense Agency for Killed in Action Recovery and Identification was able to identify eight Korean soldiers through DNA. The agency also turned over to the United Nations Command six recovered U.S. remains.

July 11 was the 25th anniversary of the reestablishment of U.S.-Vietnam diplomatic relations.

The USS Oklahoma Project has made 255 identifications, with 25 more in final preparation. Efforts are being made to complete the project in the next several months. DPAA is helping U.S. Navy genealogical teams locate families to collect Family Reference Samples, which have contributed to several additional identifications.

DPAA unveiled the 2020 POW/MIA Recognition Day poster during a ceremony at its Washington, D.C., headquarters July 24. The poster can be ordered at the DPAA website.

VVA’s Veterans Initiative Program needs your help. Objects taken from the battlefields of Vietnam are more than souvenirs or war trophies. Maps, after-action reports, pictures, and other military items may have stories that could help locate missing war dead.

Contact the Veterans Initiative at:

Veterans Initiative Program
Vietnam Veterans of America
8719 Colesville Rd., Suite 100
Silver Spring, MD 20910
vi@vva.org

 


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