Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Airman Missing In Action In Vietnam Identified

The remains of a missing Vietnam Airman have been identified and will be returned to his
family for a full military honors burial. The Department of Defense POW/MIA Personnel
Office (DPMO) made the announcement today.

On June 21, 1967 Air Force Captain Darrell J. Spinier of Browns Valley, Minn. was piloting his
A-1E Skyraider, attacking targets along the Xekong River in Laos.

Villagers said they heard an explosion just before his aircraft crashed. Another A-1E was in the
vicinity and for two hours searched for his fellow pilot, but never saw a sign of Spinier.

A team of US and Laos People's Democratic Republic, which was led by the Joint POW/MIA
Accounting Command (JPAC), in 1993 interviewed villages who had seen the crash. Those
questioned said that Capt. Spinier's body was visible on the riverbank and thought that the
body had probably been washed away when the rainy season started.

The survey team searched the area and found wreckage that appeared to be from Spinier's
aircraft, but could not find any remains.

The U.S. government in 1995 declared after review of Spinier's case that his remains were
unrecoverable. This was based on witness statements and all presented evidence.

In 1998 and again in 2003 search teams viewed the area and came to the same conclusion, that
Capt. Spinier's remains had indeed been washed away by the river and could not be located.

But JPAC did a complete excavation of the site in 2001. They discovered aircraft wreckage,
human remains, crew-related equipment and some personal effects.

Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command scientists used dental x-rays and other forensic identification
tools along with circumstantial evidence to identify the remains as belonging to Spinier.

With the identify confirmed, there are now 1,689 service members still missing and unacounted
for from the Vietnam War.

Once again I say our country must do everything possible to have a full and complete accounting
and the return of all remains of those MIA's from all wars.

The House of Representatives again has a bill H.Res.111 Establishing a Select Committee
on POW and MIA Affairs. This bill with 72 cosponsors was referred to the House Committee
on Rules on February 28, 2011, with no further action taken as of today.

Please contact your Congressman or Congresswoman, ask them to please cosponsor H.Res.111
and push for a vote to the full House floor; and to demand that this bill be passed immediately.

These POW/MIA's should no longer be just a number, we must repatriate them, bring them
home for proper burial and bring about closure for their families.

JPAC is working hard to find them, now we must not only ask; but demand that the foreign
countries involved must do everything possible to assist in finding and returning our missing.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996