A serviceman missing in action from the Vietnam War has been identified and returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
He is Chief Master Sergeant Luther L. Rose of Howe, Texas.
On June 23, 1966, Rose was serving as a gunner on an AC-47 Spooky gunship on a nighttime armed reconnaissance mission over southern Laos. At about 9:25 p.m., the aircraft radioed we have a hot fire, and another radio transmission was heard to order bail out. Witnesses reported the aircraft was on fire, then crashed into a heavily wooded area 30 miles northeast of Tchepone, in Khannouan Province, Laos. No parachutes from the six-member crew were observed and no emergency beepers were heard. An aerial search of the site found no evidence of survivors.
In cooperation with the Lao government, a joint team of U.S. and Lao specialists traveled to a suspected crash site in Khammouan Province in October 1994 where a villager took them to an area where personal effects, aircraft wreckage, crew-related materials and a crew members identification tag were found.
In May-June 1995, a joint U.S.-Lao team excavated the site where they recovered human remains as well as identification media of other aircrew members. The U.S. recovery team members were from the Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii (CILHI). CILHI scientists applied a wide array of forensic techniques to the recovered remains, including comparisons of dental charts and x-rays, as well as the use of mitochondrial DNA sequencing.
The DNA sequencing was done by the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, whose results aided the CILHI scientists in making the final identification of CMSgt Rose and the other crewmembers. More than 88,000 Americans are missing in action from all conflicts. Of these, 1,855 are from the Vietnam War.
For more information please call the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) at (703) 699-1169, or visit http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/.