The remains of the five U.S.Navy servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been accounted for and will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors.
They are Lt. Norman L. Roggow, of Aurelia, Lt. Donald F. Wolfe, of Hardin, Mont., Lt. Andrew G. Zissu, of Bronx, N.Y., Atc. Roland R. Pineau, of Berkley, Mich.; and JO3 Raul A. Guerra, of Los Angeles, Calif., all U.S. Navy. Pineau was buried on Oct. 8 in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. Their families are setting the dates and locations of the funerals for the other servicemen.
On Oct. 8, 1967, Roggow and Zissu were the pilots of an E-1B Tracer en route from Chu Lai Air Base, Vietnam, back to the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany. Also on board were Wolfe, Pineau and Guerra. Radar contact with the aircraft was lost approximately 10 miles northwest of Da Nang, Vietnam. Adverse weather hampered immediate search efforts, but three days later, a search helicopter spotted the wreckage of the aircraft on the face of a steep mountain in Da Nang Province. The location, terrain and hostile forces in the area precluded a ground recovery.
In 1993 and 1994, human remains were repatriated to the United States by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) with information that linked the remains to unassociated losses in the same geographical area as this incident. Between 1993 and 2004, U.S/S.R.V. teams, all led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), investigated the incident more than 15 times in Da Nang city and Thua Thien-Hue Province.
Between 2004 and 2005, the joint teams surveyed and excavated the crash site where they recovered human remains and crew-related items. During the excavation in 2005, the on-site team learned that human remains may have been removed previously from the site. S.R.V. officials concluded that two Vietnamese citizens found and collected remains at the crash site, and possibly buried them near their residence in Hoi Mit village in Thua Thein-Hue Province. In 2006, another joint U.S./S.R.V. team excavated the suspected burial site in Hoi Mit village, but found no additional remains. In 2007, S.R.V. officials repatriated more remains associated with this incident to the United States.
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 www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699- 1169.