The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Navy Reserve Journalist 3rd Class Raul A. Guerra, 24, of Montebello, California, killed during the Vietnam War, was accounted for on Feb. 20, 2019.
(This identification was initially announced on Feb. 25, 2019.)
On Oct. 8, 1967, Guerra was a passenger on board an E-1B Tracer, en route from Chu Lai Air Base to the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany, on which he was stationed. Approximately ten miles northwest of Da Nang, South Vietnam, radar contact with the aircraft was lost, and adverse weather hampered subsequent search efforts. Several days later, aircraft wreckage was spotted along a mountainside, approximately 11 miles northwest of Da Nang. Because of the location and very steep terrain, a ground recovery could not be conducted. Guerra, as well as the four other servicemen on board, were declared killed in action.
DPAA’s predecessor commands, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC,) the Joint Task Force- Full Accounting (JTF-FA,) and the Joint Casualty Resolution Center (JCRC,) interviewed numerous Vietnamese individuals over the years regarding the crash. Between 1993 and 2003, JTF-FA and JPAC teams investigated the incident on 13 Joint Field Activities.
On July 9, 2004, during the 79th JFA, a joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam team located the crash site, recovering aircraft wreckage and material evidence.
On Aug. 15, 2005, the JPAC Central Identification Laboratory received possible human remains from the crash site. On June 12, 2007, four service members were identified. They were: Navy Aviation Electronics Technician Roald R. Pineau, Navy Lt. j.g. Norman L. Roggow, Lt. j.g. Donald F. Wolfe, and Lt. j.g. Andrew G. Zissu. However, relevant family reference samples for Guerra could not be obtained so a DNA match could be made.
To identify Guerra’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and isotopic analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.
DPAA is grateful to the government of Vietnam for their partnership in this mission.
Today, there are 1,589 American servicemen and civilians still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War. Guerra’s name is recorded on the National Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, and the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, along with others who are unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
For family contact information, contact the Navy Casualty Office at (800) 443-9298.
Guerra will be buried April 25, 2019, in Whittier, California.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for 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.
Guerra’s personnel profile can be viewed at https://dpaa.secure.force.com/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt0000000KYqtEAG