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
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.