The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, accounted-for from the Vietnam War, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Air Force Maj. James B. White, 27, of St. Petersburg, Florida, accounted for on June 16, 2017, will be buried June 19 in West Point, New York. On Nov. 24, 1969, White, a member of the 357th Tactical Fighter Squadron, was aboard an F-105D aircraft, in a flight attacking enemy troops. During the mission, weather conditions deteriorated and contact with White was lost after his first pass. On Nov. 28, an Air America helicopter sighted wreckage, thought to be White’s aircraft. A Laotian ground team searched the area and found small pieces of wreckage, but no remains were recovered. White was subsequently declared missing in action.
In August 1998, a Laotian villager led a joint U.S./Lao People’s Democratic Republic (L.P.D.R.) team to a crash site. The team searched the site and found wreckage and material evidence, possibly correlating the site to White’s incident.
In the spring of 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2016, joint U.S./L.P.D.R. teams excavated an F-105D crash site associated with the loss and recovered possible human remains and material evidence. After each excavation, remains were sent to the Central Identification Laboratory, where they were consolidated.
To identify White, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence.
The support from the government of Laos was vital to the success of this recovery.
Today there are 1,597 American servicemen and civilians who are still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War. White’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, along with 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, find us on social media at www.facebook.com/dodpaa or call (703) 699-1420/1169.
White’s personnel profile can be viewed at https://dpaa.secure.force.com/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt0000000BTSREA4