Navy Pilot Missing From Vietnam War is Accounted-For (Zissu)

Release No: 11-073 April 29, 2011 PRINT | E-MAIL

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.

Lt. j.g. Andrew G. Zissu, of Bronx, N.Y. will be buried on May 4 in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. On Oct. 8, 1967, Zissu and Lt. j.g. Norman L. Roggow were the pilots of an E-1B Tracer en route from Chu Lai Air Base, Vietnam, back to the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany. Also on board were Lt. j.g. Donald F. Wolfe, Atc. Roland R. Pineau and JO3 Raul A. Guerra. Radar contact with the aircraft was lost approximately 10 miles northwest of Da Nang, Vietnam. Adverse weather hampered immediate search efforts, but three days later, a search helicopter spotted the wreckage of the aircraft on the face of a steep mountain in Da Nang Province. The location, terrain and hostile forces in the area precluded a ground recovery.

In 1993 and 1994, human remains were repatriated to the United States by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) with information that linked the remains to unassociated losses in the same geographical area as this incident. Between 1993 and 2004, U.S/S.R.V. teams, all led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), investigated the incident more than 15 times in Da Nang city and Thua Thien-Hue Province.

Between 2004 and 2005, the joint teams surveyed and excavated the crash site. They recovered human remains and crew-related items. During the excavation in 2005, the on-site team learned that human remains may have been removed previously from the site. S.R.V. officials concluded that two Vietnamese citizens found and collected remains at the crash site, and possibly buried them near their residence in Hoi Mit village in Thua Thein-Hue Province. In 2006, another joint U.S./S.R.V. team excavated the suspected burial site in Hoi Mit village, but did not find additional remains. In 2007, more remains associated with this incident were repatriated to the United States by S.R.V. officials.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, Zissu’s remains were identified by making extensive dental comparisons with his medical records.

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.