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 Gunnery Sgt. Richard W. Fischer, U.S. Marine Corps, of Madison, Wis. He will be
buried on Nov. 19 in Madison.
On Jan. 8, 1968, Fischer was assigned to M Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st
Marine Division, on an ambush patrol south of Da Nang in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam.
Fischer became separated from his unit and subsequent attempts by his team members to locate
him were met with enemy fire.
In 1992 and 1993, joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) teams, led by the
Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), conducted three investigations and interviewed
several Vietnamese citizens. The citizens said that Fischer was killed by Viet Cong and his
remains were buried in a nearby cultivated field.
In 1994, a joint team excavated the burial site and recovered human remains and other
material evidence including uniform buttons.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from
JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA in the
identification of Fischer’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) 699-1420.