Airman Missing From Vietnam War Identified (Hanley)

Release No: 13-028 July 8, 2013 PRINT | E-MAIL

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Air Force Maj. Larry J. Hanley, 26, of Walla Walla, Wash., will be buried on July 13, in his hometown. On Nov. 4, 1969, Hanley, an F-105D Thunderchief pilot, was attacking an enemy anti-aircraft position, when his aircraft crashed in Khammouan Province, Laos. Neither Hanley’s wingman, in a separate aircraft, nor the forward air controller directing the attack, witnessed the impact, and the location of the crash site was unknown. As a result of this incident Hanley was declared missing in action.

In 1979, a military review board reevaluated Hanley’s case, and amended Hanley’s status to killed in action.

In 1994 and 1998, joint U.S./Lao People’s Democratic Republic (L.P.D.R.) teams investigated the case in Khammouan Province but were unable to correlate a crash site with the loss of Hanley’s aircraft.

On Feb. 24, 2012, the Joint Prisoner of War Accounting Command (JPAC) received human remains from the Defense Intelligence Agency’s (DIA) Stony Beach division. The remains were obtained from an indigenous source, who found the remains at a crash site in Khammouan Province.

To identify the remains, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial evidence and forensic tools, such as dental comparisons and mitochondrial DNA, which matched Hanley’s mother and sister.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1420.