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.
Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 George A. Howes, 19, of Knox, Ind., will be buried Aug. 5
in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. On Jan. 10, 1970, Howes and three aircrew
members were returning to their base at Chu Lai, South Vietnam aboard a UH-1C Huey
helicopter. Due to bad weather, their helicopter went down over Quang Nam Province, Socialist
Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.). A search was initiated for the crew, but no sign of the helicopter
or crew was spotted.
In 1989, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) gave to U.S. specialists 25 boxes that
reportedly contained the remains of U.S. servicemen related to this incident. Later that year,
additional remains and a military identification tag from one of the other missing servicemen
were obtained from a Vietnamese refugee.
Between 1993 and 1999, joint U.S./S.R.V. teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting
Command (JPAC), conducted three investigations in Ho Chi Minh City and two investigations in
Quang Nam-Da Nang Province (formerly Quang Nam Province). A Vietnamese citizen in Ho
Chi Minh City turned over a military identification tag bearing Howes’ name and told the team he
knew where the remains of as many as nine American servicemen were buried. He agreed to lead
the team to the burial site. In 1994, the team excavated the site and recovered a metal box and
several bags containing human remains. In 2006, the remains of three of the four men were
identified and buried. No remains could be attributed to Howes given the technology of the time.
In 2008, given advances in DNA technology, the remains were reanalyzed.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from
JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used dental comparisons and
mitochondrial DNA – which matched that of Howes’ sister and brother—in the identification of
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.