An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
Official websites use .mil
website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
Secure .mil websites use HTTPS
means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.
Skip to main content (Press Enter).
Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency
Fulfilling Our Nation's Promise
Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency
Recently Accounted For
World War II
World War II Summary
Battle of Tarawa
Attack on Pearl Harbor
Service Personnel Not Recovered Following WWII
Korean War Summary
Battle of Chosin Reservoir
Battle of Unsan
Korean Air Battles
The Inchon Campaign
The Pusan Perimeter
The DMZ Campaigns
Korean War Disinterments
Korean War POW/MIA List
Vietnam War Summary
Vietnam War Identification Project
Battle of Khe Sanh
Battle of Ia Drang
Vietnam War POW/MIA List
Iraq & Other Conflicts
Searchable List of the Missing
Searchable Map of the Missing
News & Stories
Recent News & Stories
Year In Review
AFMES DNA Laboratory
Publicly Released Documents
Family/VSO Update Notes
Family Member Guide
POW/MIA Day Toolkit
Report a Site
Donate to the Mission
| Oct. 12, 2018
Funeral Announcement For Army Pilot Killed During Vietnam War (Nopp, R.)
WASHINGTON – 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.
Army Lt. Col. Robert G. Nopp, 31, of Salem, Oregon, accounted for on Feb. 1, 2018, will be buried October 18 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. On July 13, 1966 Nopp was assigned to the 131st Aviation Company, serving as a pilot aboard an OV-1C aircraft, on a night surveillance mission from Phu Bai Airfield over Attapu Province, Laos People’s Democratic Republic (L.P.D.R.). Visibility was poor due to heavy thunderstorms. Radar and radio contact were lost with the aircraft, which was not uncommon due to the mountainous terrain in that part of Laos. When the aircraft did not return as scheduled, search efforts were initiated, but no crash site was found. Also lost in the crash was Army Staff Sgt. Marshall F. Kipina, 21, of Calumet, Michigan, the aircraft’s observer.
During the 1990s and 2000s, joint U.S./L.P.D.R. teams investigated the incident and recommended a potential crash site in Attapu Province, L.P.D.R. for excavation. The site, located in extremely difficult terrain, required multiple missions to excavate. The teams recovered osseous material, personal equipment and material evidence. Analysis of the aircraft indicated the crash was of the same aircraft Nopp was flying, and an ejection seat component indicated at least one person was in the aircraft when it crashed. Kipina was identified corrently with Nopp.
To identify Nopp’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), as well as anthropological analysis and circumstantial evidence.
DPAA is grateful to the government of Laos for their assistance in accounting for Nopp.
Today there are 1,594 American servicemen and civilians that are still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War. Nopp’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 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.
Nopp’s personnel profile can be viewed at https://dpaa.secure.force.com/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt0000000BTgnEAG