Airman Missing From Vietnam War Accounted For (Dugan)

Release No: 13-062 Aug. 26, 2013 PRINT | E-MAIL

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of two servicemen, missing from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

The two servicemen are U.S. Air Force Cols. Francis J. McGouldrick Jr., of New Haven, Conn., and Thomas W. Dugan, of Reading, Pa. McGouldrick will be buried Dec. 13 at Arlington National Cemetery. Group remains representing McGouldrick and Dugan will be buried Aug. 21 in Reiffton, Pa. On Dec. 13, 1968, McGouldrick and Dugan were on a night strike mission when their B-57E Canberra aircraft collided with another aircraft over Savannakhet Province, Laos. McGouldrick and Dugan were never seen again and were listed as missing in action.

After the war in July 1978, a military review board amended their official status from missing in action to be presumed killed in action.

Between 1993 and 2004, joint U.S/Lao People’s Democratic Republic (L.P.D.R.) teams attempted to locate the crash site with no success. On April 8, 2007, a joint team located a possible crash site near the village of Keng Keuk, Laos.

From October 2011 to May 2012, joint U.S./L.P.D.R. teams excavated the site three times and recovered human remains and aircraft wreckage consistence with a B-57E aircraft.

In the identification of McGouldrick, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, to include mitochondrial DNA – which matched McGouldrick’s great nephew and niece. The accounting for Dugan was based upon circumstantial evidence as the remains not identified could not be associated with either, or both, Dugan and McGouldrick.

Today there are 1,641American service members that are still unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO website at www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call 703-699-1169.