March 7, 2017 —
U.S. Air Force Reserve Capt. Daniel W. Thomas, missing from the Vietnam War, has now been accounted for.
On July 6, 1971, Thomas was the pilot of an OV-10A aircraft with one other crewmember flying over central Laos in support of an eight man Special Forces reconnaissance team. When the aircraft arrived in the area, the weather was bad, however it was determined that this would not affect the aircraft’s mission. Approximately thirty minutes after the last radio transmission from the OV-10A aircraft the ground team heard an impact or explosion to their northeast, but could not determine the distance to the explosion. Extensive search efforts failed to locate the crash site.
After multiple negative attempts to investigate the crash site, in April 2014 a Vietnamese witness provided a photograph of an ID tag associated with one of the two crewmembers. In August 2014, possible human remains were approved for repatriation and accessioned. DPAA analysis of aircraft wreckage and life support items indicated both aircrew members were in the aircraft at the time of impact. Additionally, through research, analysis, and DNA testing, the DPAA Laboratory identified the second crewmember, Maj. Donald Carr, in August 2015.
On April 12, 2016, the DPAA lab received dental remains, ID tag, and other material evidence from the Vietnamese Office for Seeking Missing Persons. Laboratory analysis of this evidence, as well as circumstantial evidence were used in the identification of his remains.
Interment services are pending.