The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the
remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and
will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Capt. Charles R. Barnes, 27, of Philadelphia, Pa., will be buried May 2, in Arlington
National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. On March 16, 1969, Barnes and four other service
members departed Qui Nhon Airfields bound for Da Nang and Phu Bai, in a U-21A Ute aircraft.
As they approached Da Nang, they encountered low clouds and poor visibility. Communications
with the aircraft were lost, and they did not land as scheduled. Immediate search efforts were
limited due to hazardous weather conditions, and all five men were list as missing in action.
From 1986-1989, unidentified human remains were turned over to the U.S. from the
Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) in several different instances. None of the remains were
identified given the limits of the technology of the time.
In 1993, a joint U.S./S.R.V. team, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command
(JPAC), conducted investigations in Quang Nam-Da Nang, and Thua Thien-Hue Provinces.
They interviewed a local Vietnamese citizen who supplied remains and an identification tag
bearing Barnes’ name, which he claimed to have recovered from an aircraft crash site.
In 1999, another joint U.S./S.R.V. team interviewed additional Vietnamese citizens about
the crash and they were led to the crash site. In 2000, a joint U.S./S.R.V. team excavated the site
and recovered human remains and material evidence.
Scientists from the JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used
circumstantial evidence, and forensic identification tools such as mitochondrial DNA – which
matched that of Barnes’ sister – in the identification of the remains.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing
Americans, call (703) 699-1420 or visit the DPMO Web site at www.dtic.mil/dpmo.