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.
He is Air Force Major Curtis Daniel Miller of Palacios, Texas. He will be buried on March 29 in the Dallas-Ft. Worth National Cemetery.
Miller was part of a 14-man aircrew, all of which are now accounted-for. Remains that could not be individually identified are included in a group which will be buried together in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.
On March 29, 1972, 14 men were aboard an AC-130A Spectre gunship that took off from Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on an armed reconnaissance mission over southern Laos. The aircraft was struck by an enemy surface-to-air missile and crashed. Search and rescue efforts were stopped after a few days due to heavy enemy activity in the area.
In 1986, joint U.S.- Lao People’s Democratic Republic teams, lead by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), surveyed and excavated the crash site in Savannakhet Province, Laos. The team recovered human remains and other evidence including two identification tags, life support items and aircraft wreckage. From 1986 to 1988, the remains were identified as those of nine men from this crew.
Between 2005 and 2006, joint teams resurveyed the crash site and excavated it twice. The teams found more human remains, personal effects and crew-related equipment. As a result, JPAC identified the other crewmen using forensic identification tools, circumstantial evidence, mitochondrial DNA and dental comparisons.
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.