Airman Missing From Vietnam War Identified (Meroney)

Release No: 12-056 May 24, 2012 PRINT | E-MAIL

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.

Air Force Capt. Virgil K. Meroney III, 25, of Fayetteville, Ark., will be buried June 9, in his hometown. On March 1, 1969, Meroney was a crew member aboard an F-4D Phantom II aircraft that crashed while carrying out a nighttime strike mission in Kahammouan Province, Laos. Nearby U.S. aircrews reported seeing Meroney’s aircraft hit by enemy fire. No parachutes were seen after the aircraft was hit. Heavy enemy presence in the area prevented recovery efforts.

From 1994 to 2011, joint U.S./Lao People’s Democratic Republic (L.P.D.R.) teams conducted several investigations and excavations of the crash site in Khammouan Province, Laos. The teams located human remains, military equipment, a military identification card, and aircraft wreckage of an F-4, including an engine data plate and radio call-sign plate which correlated with crew’s aircraft.

Scientists from the JPAC used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools including dental comparisons, and radiograph comparisons in the identification of Meroney.

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.