Missing Vietnam War Airman Identified (Boston)

Release No: 11-007 July 6, 2011 PRINT | E-MAIL

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a 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 Col. Leo S. Boston, 30, of Canon City, Colo., will be buried on July 15 at the Air Force Academy Cemetery in Colorado Springs, Colo. On April 29, 1966, Boston was aboard an A-1E Skyraider aircraft that disappeared while flying a search-and-rescue mission in North Vietnam. Reports of an enemy aircraft in the area forced him and the pilot of another A-1E to divert to a holding position over Son La Province until the area was clear. When the lead aircraft directed they return, he observed Boston following him but reported no sign of his aircraft once he arrived at the location. Enemy activity in the area precluded search efforts.

Between 1996 and 2005, joint U.S.-Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), analyzed numerous leads, interviewed villagers in Son La Province, and conducted excavations that recovered aircraft wreckage, human remains and crewrelated equipment.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used mitochondrial DNA – which matched that of Boston’s mother and brother – in the identification.

With the accounting of this airman, 1,687 service members still remain missing from the conflict.

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