The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from the Vietnam War, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Air Force Reserve 1st Lt. David T. Dinan, III, 25, of Nutley, New Jersey, accounted for on Aug. 7, 2017, will be buried April 25 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. On March 17, 1969, Dinan was a member of the 34th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, 7th Air Force, and was the pilot of the number two aircraft in a flight of two F-105s on a strike mission over northern Laos. During the second strafing pass over the target, Dinan transmitted a distress message. The Forward Air Controller then observed Dinan’s parachute enter the jungle, as well as an aircraft crash. Search and rescue aircraft conducted an aerial search and located a parachute and confirmed the death of the pilot, however, due to enemy fire in the area and the hazardous location, his body could not be recovered. The U.S. Air Force subsequently reported Dinan as killed in action.
In March 2014, a joint U.S./Lao People’s Democratic Republic (L.P.D.R.) team investigated a site near Ban Khap, Xiangkoang Province, associated with Dinan’s loss, recovering personal effects associated with Dinan.
In June 2016, a joint U.S./L.P.D.R. team excavated the same site near Ban Khap, recovering osseous remains and material evidence. The remains were sent to DPAA for analysis.
To identify Dinan’s remains, DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA), as well as dental and anthropological analysis, and circumstantial evidence.
The support from the government of Laos was vital to the success of this recovery.
Today there are 1,598 American servicemen and civilians that are still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War. Dinan’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at www.dpaa.mil or call (703) 699-1420.