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News > Airmen missing from Vietnam War identified
Airmen missing from Vietnam War identified

Posted 1/13/2011   Updated 1/13/2011 Email story   Print story


1/13/2011 - WASHINGTON (AFRNS)  -- The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced Jan. 12 that the remains of two servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

Air Force Col. James E. Dennany, 34, of Kalamazoo, Mich., and Maj. Robert L. Tucci, 27, of Detroit, will be buried as a group Jan. 14, in the Dallas-Ft. Worth National Cemetery.

On Nov. 12, 1969, Colonel Dennany and Major Tucci were flying the No. 3 aircraft of three F-4Ds escorting an AC-130 gunship on a night strike mission over Laos. After the gunship attacked six trucks and set two of them on fire, the AC-130 crew's night-vision equipment was impacted by the glow from the fires. They requested that Major Tucci attack the remaining trucks. During the attack, gunship crew members observed anti-aircraft artillery gunfire directed at Major Tucci's plane followed by a large explosion. No radio transmissions were heard from the F-4D following the attack and no parachutes were seen in the area. An immediate electronic search revealed nothing and no formal search was initiated because of heavy anti-aircraft fire in the area.

Beginning in the mid-1990s analysts at DPMO and the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command developed case leads they collected from wartime reporting and archival research.

In 1994, a joint U.S.-Lao People's Democratic Republic team led by JPAC analyzed leads, interviewed villagers, and surveyed five reported crash sites near the record loss location with negative results.

In 1999, during another joint survey, officials in Ban Soppeng, Laos, turned over remains later determined to be human, two .38 caliber pistols and other crew-related equipment that villagers had recovered from a nearby crash site. Between 1999 and 2009, other joint U.S.-L.P.D.R. teams pursued leads, interviewed villagers, and conducted three excavations. They recovered aircraft wreckage, human remains, crew-related equipment and personal effects.

JPAC scientists used forensic tools and circumstantial evidence in the identification of the remains.

With the accounting of these airmen, 1,702 service members still remain missing from the conflict.

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO website at or call 703-699-1169.

1/29/2011 3:34:36 PM ET
i will try this comment one more time. i was a weapons crew chief stationed at NKP Thailand at the time of this mission and i remember a 4 day SAR operation in this time frame. was this the same operation in which the men were lost we had quite a few acft shot up in this operation but we got a pilot out before we were ordered to stand down.i think abiut this all the time because we never knew if any others were rescued. i remember helping one pilot off the jolly green and he said thanks boys the beer is on me.
edward dotto, uhrichsville ohio 44683
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