The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today
that a Navy Pilot, missing from the Vietnam War, has been accounted-for and will be buried with
full military honors along with his crew.
Navy Lt. Dennis W. Peterson, 28, of Huntington Park, Calif. was the pilot of a SH-3A
helicopter that crashed in Ha Nam Province, North Vietnam. Peterson was accounted for March
30, 2012. Also, aboard the aircraft was Ensign Donald P. Frye, 23, of Los Angeles, Calif.;
Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare Technicians William B. Jackson, 32, of Stockdale, Texas; and
Donald P. McGrane, 24, of Waverly, Iowa. The crew will be buried, as a group, on May 2, at
Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.
On July 19, 1967, the four servicemen took off from the USS Hornet aboard an SH-3A Sea
King helicopter, on a search and rescue mission looking for a downed pilot in Ha Nam Province,
North Vietnam. During the mission, an enemy concealed 37mm gun position targeted the
helicopter as it flew in. The helicopter was hit by the anti-aircraft gunfire, causing the aircraft to
lose control, catch fire and crash, killing all four servicemen.
In October 1982, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) repatriated five boxes of
remains to U.S. officials. In 2009, the remains within the boxes were identified as Frye, Jackson,
In 1993, a joint U.S./ S.R.V. team, investigated a loss in Ha Nam Province. The team
interviewed local villagers who identified possible burial sites linked to the loss. One local
claimed to have buried two of the crewmen near the wreckage, but indicated that both graves had
subsequently been exhumed.
Between 1994 and 2000, three joint U.S./ S.R.V. teams excavated the previous site and
recovered human remains and aircraft wreckage that correlated to the crew’s SH-3A helicopter.
In 2000, U.S. personnnel excavated the crash site recovering additional remains. Analysis from
the Joint POW/MIA Command (JPAC) Central Identification Laboratory (CIL) subsequently
designated these additional remains as the co-mingled remains of all four crewmen, including
DoD scientists used forensic tools and circumstantial evidence in the identification of the
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) 699-1420.