The Department of Defense POW/ Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that
the remains of two servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified.
They are TSgt. Donald R. Hoskins, Madison, Ind. and SSgt. Calvin C. Cooke, Washington,
D.C. A third person from the crew, Maj. Harry A. Amesbury, has been previously identified. The
funeral for Cooke will be at Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington D.C. on June 20, with full
On April 26, 1972, Amesbury was piloting a C-130E Hercules to An Loc City, South Vietnam
for an emergency resupply mission. Hoskins and Cooke were among those aboard the aircraft when it
was hit by enemy fire and crashed. Enemy activity prevented any recovery attempts until three years
later in 1975 when a Vietnamese search team recovered artifacts and remains that were later identified
as belonging to another crewman.
In 1988, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) confiscated remains from a Vietnamese
national in Ho Chi Minh City and returned them to the U.S. custody. The remains were attributed to
Cooke by the Vietnamese.
In April 1989, a Vietnamese woman living in Thailand told U.S. interviewers that she
witnessed the crash of a C-130 in 1972 near An Loc City. She was a schoolteacher at the time of the
incident but moved due to hostilities in the area. She told interviewers that two of her former students
found the complete remains of one of the crewmen, a uniform, identification tags and other items they
were keeping at one of their homes. The students gave her a bone fragment and information from the
identification tag of Amesbury, both of which she turned over to the interviewers.
The S.R.V. repatriated additional remains to the United States in June 1989, and January and
November of 1991 that were attributed to Cooke and Amesbury.
In 1992, a joint U.S.-S.R.V. team, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC),
interviewed several Vietnamese nationals who claimed to have recovered remains from a C-130 crash
site near An Loc. The villagers recalled finding a flight suit and almost the complete skeletal remains
of one of the crewmen. One of them led the joint team to the crash site and another turned over several
small fragments of bone and an identification tag rubbing for Amesbury.
Another joint team returned to the crash site for excavation in 1993 where they recovered
additional remains, personal effects and crew related artifacts.
The National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia
contacted JPAC officials in 1998 about a woman living in Georgia who had remains and personal
artifacts attributed to Amesbury. Those were turned over to JPAC as part of the evidence associated
with this case.
JPAC scientists and Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) specialists used
mitochondrial DNA as one of the forensic tools to help identify the remains. Laboratory analysis of
dental remains also confirmed their identifications.
Of those Americans unaccounted-for from all conflicts, 1,805 are from the Vietnam War.
Another 841 Americans have been accounted-for in Southeast Asia since the end of the war, with 601
of those from Vietnam.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing
Americans, visit the DPMO website at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703)-699-1169.