The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of four U.S. servicemen, missing in action since the Vietnam War, have been identified. They will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors.
They are: Maj. Jack L. Barker of Waycross, Ga.; Capt. John F. Dugan of Roselle, N.J.; Sgt. William E. Dillender of Naples, Fla.; and Pfc. John J. Chubb of Gardena, Calif. All were from the Army’s 101st Airborne Division. Chubb will be buried in Inglewood, Calif., on Feb. 18. Barker, Dugan and Dillender will be buried on April 12 in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington. D.C.
On March 20, 1971, Barker and Dugan were piloting a UH-1H Huey helicopter with Dillender and Chubb on board. The aircraft was participating in a troop extraction mission in the Savannakhet Province of Laos. As the helicopter approached the landing zone, it was hit by heavy enemy ground fire. It exploded in the air and there were no survivors. Continued enemy activity in the area prevented any recovery attempts.
A refugee in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand, showed an identification tag of Pfc. Chubb and a medallion to a U.S. interviewer in 1986. The medallion was reportedly recovered near the same general location from an F-105 crash site. However, the location and the aircraft type did not correlate with the missing aircraft and soldiers.
Between 1988 and 2001, joint U.S.-Lao People’s Democratic Republic teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), conducted four investigations and three excavations for these soldiers without positive results. An investigation team surveyed three crash sites in 2002 after interviewing local villagers from the province. The team recovered a fragment of human tooth and some crew-related artifacts from one of the crash sites.
In October and November 2004, another joint investigation team excavated the crash site and recovered additional human remains and crew-related evidence. The wreckage was of a UH-1H helicopter, and contained insignia worn by members of the 101st Airborne Division.
The remains included nine fragments of teeth that the forensic anthropologists at JPAC were able to match with detailed information from medical and dental records.
From the Vietnam War, 1,807 Americans are still unaccounted-for with 364 of those from Laos. Another 839 have been accounted-for in Southeast Asia with 208 of those from losses in Laos.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.