The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced yesterday that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Vietnam War, were recently accounted for and will be buried in a group burial ceremony.
Army Staff Sgt. Lawrence Woods of Clarksville, Tenn., will be buried as part of group on March 21, at Arlington National Cemetery, in a ceremony honoring the servicemen who were lost in an aircraft crash on Oct. 24, 1964.
Woods and seven other service members were aboard a C-123 Provider aircraft that crashed when it was struck by enemy fire while resupplying the U.S. Special Forces camp at Bu Prang, Vietnam. Also on board the aircraft were Air Force service members Capt. Valmore W. Bourque, 1st Lt. Edward J. Krukowiski, 1st Lt. Robert G. Armstrong, Staff Sgt. Ernest J. Halvorson, Staff Sgt. Theodore B. Phillips, Airman 1st Class Eugene Richardson and Army Pfc. Charles P. Sparks. Shortly after the crash, U.S. forces arrived at the site and recovered remains of seven of the crew members, but they could not locate Woods. The remains for the seven crew members were individually identified and the men were laid to rest at that time.
In early 1997, a joint U.S./Kingdom of Cambodia team investigated the crash site and found it to be on the Vietnam side of the border. Subsequently, a joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam team surveyed the site in 1999, and confirmed that the wreckage correlated to a U.S. C-123 Provider aircraft.
In 2009-2010, U.S. and Vietnamese teams excavated the site and recovered human remains and additional evidence, including a metal identification tag from the aircraft’s commander.
To identify those remains, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command used forensic and circumstantial evidence, which allowed them to account for Woods.
Today there are 1,642 American service members that are still unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War.
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.
(Department of Defense News Release)