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 returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Air Force Capt. James H. Graff, 27, of Marengo, Ill., will be buried tomorrow in
Anderson, S.C. On Oct. 3, 1966, Graff’s C-130E, with five men aboard, failed to arrive at Nha
Trang Air Base following their departure from Tan Son Nhut Air Base in South Vietnam. Rescue
personnel found their remains at the crash site in South Vietnam eight days later approximately 40
miles west of Nha Trang. The cause of the crash is not known and the remains of each individual
crew member could not be identified.
Between 1984 and 1996 the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) received
human remains from various sources in Vietnam, tentatively linked to Graff and the other crew
members. But lacking advanced scientific tools and complete records during this time period,
JPAC was unable to make an individual identification of Graff’s remains so he was buried as part
of a group in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. Other remains associated with
the entire group were held at JPAC’s laboratory for future testing.
As DNA testing procedures improved after the late 1990s, JPAC’s forensic
anthropologists applied the latest technologies from the Armed Forces DNA Identification
Laboratory to include mitochondrial testing, a sample of which matched the DNA from his
mother. His dental records also helped confirm the identification.
With the accounting of these airmen, 1,687 service members still remain missing from the
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing
Americans, visit the DPMO web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1420.