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.
Army Sgt. John R. Jones, 22, of Louisville, Ky., will be buried Dec. 6, in Arlington
National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. On June 4, 1971, Jones was part of a U.S. team
working with indigenous commandos to defend a radio-relay base, known as Hickory Hill, in
Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. When enemy forces attacked the site, Jones and another
serviceman took up a defensive position in a nearby bunker. The following morning, Jones was
reportedly killed by enemy fire and the other soldier was captured and held as a POW until 1973.
From 1993 to 2010, joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) teams, led by the
Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), conducted several investigations, surveyed the
site and interviewed multiple witnesses, including those involved in the battle. During that time,
analysts from JPAC and DPMO evaluated wartime records and eyewitness accounts to determine
possible excavation sites. In 2011, another joint U.S./S.R.V team located human remains in a
bunker suspected to be the last known location of Jones.
In the identification of the remains, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA
Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools,
such as dental records and mitochondrial DNA–which matched Jones’ mother and brother.
Since 1973 more than 900 servicemen have been accounted for from the Vietnam War,
and returned to their families for burial with military honors. The U.S. government continues to
work closely with the governments of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia to recover all Americans
lost in the conflict.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing
Americans, call (703) 699-1169 or visit the DPMO Web site at www.dtic.mil/dpmo.