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 Col. David H. Zook, Jr., U.S. Air Force, of West Liberty, Ohio. He will be buried Oct. 4 in West Liberty.
On Oct. 4, 1967, Zook was on a psychological warfare operation over Song Be Province, South Vietnam, when his U-10B Super Courier aircraft collided in mid-air with a C-7A Caribou. The C-7 pilot said he saw the other aircraft hit the ground and explode. Several search and rescue attempts failed to locate Zook’s remains.
In 1992, a joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) team, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), investigated the incident in Song Be Province. The team interviewed Vietnamese citizens who witnessed the crash and saw remains amid the wreckage. The team surveyed the site and found evidence consistent with Zook’s crash. While later examining the evidence recovered from the site, a small fragment of bone was found.
In 1993, another joint team excavated the crash site and recovered a bone fragment and non-biological material including small pieces of military clothing. In March 2008, a final excavation was conducted and more human remains were recovered.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and also used dental comparisons in the identification of Zook’s remains.
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) 699-1169.