The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) 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.
Navy Lt. Cmdr. William P. Egan, 35, of Denton, Texas, will be buried on July 16 in
Webster, Texas. On April 29, 1966, Egan was killed after his A-1H Skyraider crashed as a result
of enemy ground fire during an attack on targets in Khammouan Province, Laos. His wingman
observed the crash and immediately flew over the area but saw no sign of Egan.
Between 1994 and 1998, joint U.S.-Lao People’s Democratic Republic (L.P.D.R.) teams
led by JPAC, analyzed leads, interviewed villagers, surveyed possible crash site locations and
conducted excavations. During several joint field surveys, teams recovered crew-related
equipment and aircraft wreckage—that directly correlated to Egan’s aircraft—but no human
remains. In late 2009, a Laotian farmer turned over bone fragments recovered from his field,
approximately 10 meters from a joint excavation site.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC
and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used mitochondrial DNA—which matched that
of Egan’s niece—in the identification of his remains.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing
Americans, visit the DPMO web site at www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.