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Old 24th May 2007, 08:44
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Identification of Missing Vietnam-Era CIA Pilot

NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense

No. 633-07 IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2007
Media Contact: (703) 697-5131/697-5132
Public/Industry(703) 428-0711

DoD Assists in Identification of Missing Vietnam-Era CIA Pilot

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today
that the remains of an American civilian pilot, missing in action from Vietnam
while flying for Civil Air Transport, a proprietary of the CIA, have been
identified and returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

He is James B. McGovern Jr. of Elizabeth, N.J.He will be buried tomorrow at
Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.

On May 6, 1954, McGovern, along with his co-pilot, First Officer Wallace A.
Buford, and four French servicemen, departed Haiphong, Vietnam, in their Civil Air Transport C-119 on what was to be the last supply drop to the besieged French forces at Camp Isabelle-the remaining French holdout in the battle of Dien Bien Phu.As the aircraft approached the drop zone, it was hit by anti-aircraft fire.The pilots attempted to fly southwest to the relative safety of Laos, but crashed along the Song [River] Ma in Houaphan Province.Only two of the Frenchmen survived and were taken prisoner by Lao forces.One of them died within a few days, and the other was released and returned to France a few months later.McGovern, Wallace and two of the French servicemen were not recovered.

Between 1997 and 1998, joint U.S.-Lao People's Democratic Republic (L.P.D.R.) teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), traveled to Houaphan Province two times to investigate the incident.They interviewed several Laotian citizens who recalled the crash.The citizens said that three of the crewmen who died in the impact had been buried near the crash site.When the team surveyed the site, they found small fragments of aircraft wreckage, but did not locate any grave sites.

In 2002, another joint U.S.-L.P.D.R. team excavated the site.They found
crew-related equipment and aircraft wreckage, including an aircraft data plate dated 8-21-52, but found no human remains.A few months later, another team revisited the site and recovered human remains from an isolated burial.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence,
scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used dental comparisons and mitochondrial DNA in the identification of
McGovern's remains.

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site athttp://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/or call
(703) 699-1169.
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Old 16th June 2008, 23:55
Michael Patterson Michael Patterson is offline
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Re: Identification of Missing Vietnam-Era CIA Pilot

For more information:

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/jbmcgovernjr.htm

Regards to all, Michael Patterson
Webmaster, Arlington National Cemetery Website
http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net
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