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 returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
He is Lt. Cmdr. James E. Plowman, U.S. Navy, of Pebble Beach, Calif. He will be buried
today at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington D.C.
On March 24, 1967, Plowman and a fellow officer departed the USS Kitty Hawk in their
A-6A Intruder on a night strike mission of an enemy target in North Vietnam. Radar contact with
their aircraft was lost over the Ha Bac Province as they were departing the target area. A pilot
from another aircraft reported two missile warnings on his radar screen immediately before
contact was lost with Plowman’s aircraft.
Between 1993 and 1996, joint U.S.-Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) teams, led by
the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), conducted three investigations in the
province. The team interviewed two local villagers who saw the 1967 crash, and both men
recalled seeing human remains at the site. The team also surveyed the purported crash site and
found several small fragments of aircraft wreckage.
In 1996, another joint U.S./S.R.V. team excavated the suspected crash site. The team
found human remains from amid the scattered wreckage. The team was also handed some
remains by a local villager who claimed to have recovered it while scavenging the crater for
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 the 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.