Vietnam Vets Remains Found

Discussion in 'Stories' started by Aggie08, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. Aggie08

    Aggie08 Active Member

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    Kansas Vietnam Vets Remains Found

    Posted: 4:45 PM Oct 2, 2007
    Last Updated: 11:20 PM Oct 2, 2007
    Email Address: [email protected]

    The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of two U.S. servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

    They are Capt. Warren R. Orr Jr., U.S. Army, of Kewanee, Ill.; and Airman 1st Class George W. Long, U.S. Air Force, of Medicine Lodge, Kansas. Long was buried Sept. 30 in Medicine Lodge and Orr's burial is being set by his family.


    On May 12, 1968, the men were part of a crew on a C-130 Hercules evacuating Vietnamese citizens from the Kham Duc Special Forces Camp near Da Nang, South Vietnam. While taking off, the crew reported taking heavy enemy ground fire. A forward air controller flying in the area reported seeing the plane explode in mid-air soon after leaving the runway.

    In 1985 and 1991, U.S. officials received remains and identification tags from sources claiming they belonged to men in this crew. Scientific analysis revealed they were not American remains, but it was believed the Vietnamese sources knew where the crash site was located.

    In 1993, a joint U.S/Socialist Republic of Vietnam team, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, traveled to Kham Duc and interviewed four local citizens concerning the incident. They led the team to the crash site, and turned over remains and identification tags they had recovered in 1983 while looking for scrap metal. During this visit, the team recovered human remains and aircraft wreckage at the site.

    In 1994, another joint team excavated the crash site and recovered remains, pieces of life-support equipment, crew-related gear and personal effects.

    Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA and dental comparisons in the identification of the remains.

    For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office or call (703) 699-1169.


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  2. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    So, the last date of on-site excavation was 1994, and they just got around to indentifying the remains????

    Sounds like the military needs some more up to date equipment...
     
  3. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Indeed. But at least that's 2 less MIAs.

    :salute:
     
  4. Bf109_g

    Bf109_g Member

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  5. R-2800

    R-2800 Member

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    :salute: glad to see more coming home
     
  6. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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  7. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Welcome home boys. :salute:
     
  8. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    God bless them. :salute:
     
  9. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    They could have been our fathers, for the younger generations. :salute:
     
  10. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    One of the MIA's dad lives not to far from me.

    News: Santa Ana father told son's remains found in Vietnam | - OCRegister.com

    Father lays doubts to rest
    Warren Orr Sr. is planning a funeral for his son, who died – he now knows – nearly 40 years ago in Vietnam.
    By DOUG IRVING
    The Orange County Register

    SANTA ANA –The call came in the morning, same as the knock on the door all those years before.

    Warren Orr Sr. was eating his Cheerios when his cell phone rang. The woman on the line said she was calling from the Pentagon. She had some information about his son.

    It had been nearly 40 years since an Army officer had knocked on his door and told him about a plane crash in South Vietnam. He had never really doubted that his son, Warren Jr., had been on that plane. But, until the Pentagon called earlier this year, he had no way to know for sure.

    The Department of Defense officially announced this week that it had identified the remains of two U.S. servicemen missing in action since the Vietnam War. One of them was a young officer with bright blue eyes who always carried candy to give to the kids he saw: Capt. Warren R. Orr Jr.

    “There's always that faint hope flickering,” said Orr Sr., now 86 and living in Santa Ana. “Now that they're going to have a funeral, why, I can have closure, and know that he's in peace.”

    His son grew up in small-town Illinois. He was one month shy of 20 years old when he boarded a bus for Peoria, and went to sign his name at a recruiting station.

    He went to Vietnam first as a military adviser in 1963; later, he re-enlisted for the infantry. “His ambitious and forceful leadership,” his commanding officer wrote in 1967, “made every encounter with the enemy a resounding victory.”

    Capt. Orr wrote his father in May 1968 to say he was on his way to a small base in South Vietnam, to help evacuate the families of South Vietnamese fighters. It was the last letter his father received from him.

    On May 12, 1968, a military transport plane loaded with evacuees thundered down a remote airstrip in South Vietnam. It came under heavy fire, exploded, then crashed into a hillside.

    Witnesses had seen Capt. Orr loading people onto the plane just before it left, but no Americans had actually seen him get on. An investigation in 1969 determined that he “could have sought cover from the mortar fire and become separated or he could have boarded the aircraft.”

    It concluded: “Fate remains unknown.”

    “I knew he was on that plane,” his father says now. “In my heart, I was positive he was on that plane.”

    Orr Sr. had a memorial to his son placed at Arlington National Cemetery. He visited the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., and left flowers.

    In the years that followed, people living near the crash site would find pieces of bone and wreckage when they scavenged the area for scrap metal. In 1993, they led a team of U.S. and Vietnamese investigators to the site.

    They found pieces of old watches, dog tags, 10 keys, a penny, a nickel and a dime. And they found bones, including two pieces of leg bone that held enough DNA to make a positive identification.

    On Sept. 19, a few weeks after the Pentagon had first called, an officer with the Army's Past Conflict Repatriations Branch came to visit the elder Orr. He gave him a spiral-bound booklet that laid out the evidence to prove, finally, that his son had died in that plane crash all those years ago.

    The few bone fragments that remain will be buried with full military honors next month in Arlington National Cemetery, along with Capt. Orr's medals and uniform.

    Orr Sr. still has his son's Army portrait hanging in the living room, above a small table with a case full of medals. He has his son's dog tag now, too, slipped into the corner of the portrait frame.

    714-704-3777 or [email protected]

    Contact the writer: 714-704-3777 or [email protected]
     

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