June 3, 2017 —
U.S. Navy Cmdr. Charles B. Goodwin has now been accounted for.
On Sept. 8, 1965, Goodwin was the pilot of an RF-8A aircraft, assigned to Detachment D, VPF-63, CVW-15, when he launched from the USS Coral Sea, for a combat photo mission over North Vietnam (now Socialist Republic of Vietnam.) At the time of the early-morning flight, numerous intense thunderstorms were reported between the USS Coral Sea and the North Vietnam. Fifteen minutes after launching, Goodwin reported that he had encountered thunderstorms en route to the target area. That was the last radio transmission from him. Search efforts over the target area and adjacent coastal waters were unsuccessful, no emergency radio signals were heard and no aircraft wreckage was sighted. Goodwin was declared missing in action as of Sept. 8, 1965.
In February 1988, a Vietnamese refugee provided information regarding the location of possible human remains and material evidence, including a military identification card for Goodwin. Between April 1993 and December 2016, multiple attempts were made by the Vietnamese Office for Seeking Missing Persons (VNOSMP) and Joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) teams to locate the crash site and remains of the pilot, without success. In December 2016, a Joint Forensic Review team received possible human remains that had been in the possession of a Vietnamese national. The remains were
sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.
DNA and laboratory analysis were used in the identification of his remains.
The support from the government of Vietnam was vital to the success of this recovery.
Interment services are pending.
For more information about DPAA, visit www.dpaa.mil, find us on social media at www.facebook.com/dodpaa, or call 703-699-1420.