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News Release

Press Release | Oct. 27, 2022

Soldier Accounted For From Vietnam War (Finger, S.)

WASHINGTON  –   The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Sanford I. Finger, 29, of Miami Beach, Florida, killed during the Vietnam War, was accounted for Aug. 23, 2022.

In October 1971, Finger was assigned to the U.S. Army Element Vietnam, Army Air Force Regional Exchange, Pacific Exchange (Manager of the An Son Post Exchange), U.S. Army Headquarters Area Command. On Oct. 26, Finger was lost when the CH-47B Chinook helicopter on which he was a passenger went down over water in bad weather while flying from Tuy Hoa to Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam. Remains of four of the 10 Soldiers on board were recovered during search and rescue operations following the crash, but Finger was not accounted for.

An unsuccessful recovery attempt was made in 1974 when divers from the Joint Casualty Resolution Center dove on what was believed to be the crash site. A number of investigation and recovery efforts took place between 1994 and 2021 with a June 2021 recovery mission finding possible human remains and material evidence.

To identify Finger’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as material and circumstantial evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and autosomal DNA (auSTR) analysis.

Finger’s name is recorded on the National Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., and the American Battle Monuments Commission’s 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.

Finger’s burial date and location is yet to be determined.

For family and funeral information, contact the Army Casualty Office at (800) 892-2490.

DPAA is grateful to the government of Vietnam for their partnership in this mission.

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 https://www.linkedin.com/company/defense-pow-mia-accounting-agency.

Finger’s personnel profile can be viewed at https://dpaa-mil.sites.crmforce.mil/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt0000000BThREAW.