The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
He is Maj. John L. Carroll, U.S. Air Force, of Decatur, Ga. He will be buried on Nov. 13 at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
On Nov. 7, 1972, Carroll was flying a Forward Air Controller mission over Xiangkhoang Province, Laos, when his O-1G Bird Dog aircraft was hit by enemy ground fire and forced to land. Once on the ground, he radioed the Search-and-Rescue (SAR) helicopters on his intent to stay in the aircraft. Two SAR helicopters attempted a recovery, but intense enemy fire forced them to depart the area. A second pickup attempt was made later, but the pilot of that helicopter saw that Carroll had been fatally wounded. The recovery attempt was unsuccessful due to nearby enemy forces that opened fire on the helicopter.
In 1993, a joint U.S./Lao People’s Democratic Republic (L.P.D.R.) team, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), investigated the incident and surveyed the crash site. During the site survey, the team found small fragments of aircraft wreckage.
Between 1996 and 2007, joint U.S./L.P.D.R./Socialist Republic of Vietnam teams, led by JPAC, conducted several interviews concerning the incident. One witness provided the team with identification media which belonged to Carroll. In another interview, a former People’s Army of North Vietnam officer turned over some of Carroll’s personal effects and told the team that local residents had buried Carroll. Another witness later led a team to the burial site.
In 2007, a joint team excavated the burial site and found his remains.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC also used 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 http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/
or call (703) 699-1169.