The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of four U.S. servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors.
They are Maj. Barclay B. Young, of Hartford, Conn.; and Senior Master Sgt. James K. Caniford, of Brunswick, Md. The names of the two others are being withheld at the request of their families. All men were U.S. Air Force. Caniford will be buried May 28 in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C., and Young’s burial date is being set by his family.
Remains that could not be individually identified are included in a group which will be buried together in Arlington. Among the group remains is Air Force Lt. Col. Henry P. Brauner of Franklin Park, N.J., whose identification tag was recovered at the crash site.
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 Young, Caniford and 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.