Sat, Jun 02, 2007
"Until They Are Home"
The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO)
announced May 30 the remains of a US airman, missing in action from
the Vietnam War, have been identified.
He is Lt. Michael T. Newell, of Ellenville, NY. His remains were
returned to his family and he was buried with full military honors
May 30 in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington.
Newell was flying an F-8E Crusader aircraft as wingman in a
flight of two on a combat air patrol over North Vietnam on December
14, 1966. During the mission, the flight leader saw a
surface-to-air missile explode between the two aircraft. Although
Newell initially reported that he had survived the blast, his
aircraft gradually lost power and crashed near the border between
Nghe An and Thanh Hoa provinces in south central North Vietnam. The
flight leader did not see a parachute nor did he hear an emergency
beacon signal. He stayed in the area and determined that Newell did
not escape from the aircraft prior to the crash.
Between 1993 and 2002, joint US/Socialist Republic of Vietnam
(SRV) teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC),
visited the area of the incident five times to conduct
investigations and survey the crash site. They found pilot-related
artifacts and aircraft wreckage consistent to an F-8 Crusader.
In 2004, a joint US/SRV team began excavating the crash site.
The team was unable to complete the recovery and subsequent teams
re-visited the site two more times before the recovery was
completed in 2006. As a result, the teams found human remains and
additional pilot-related items.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial
evidence, scientists from JPAC also used dental comparisons in the
identification of the remains.
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