Missing Vietnam War soldier from Indiana identified

The Department of Defense Prisoner of War/ Missing Personnel Office announced Tuesday that the remains of a missing serviceman has been identified and will be returned to his family.  Army Chief Warrant Officer George Howes, from Knox, Ind., went missing in action during the Vietnam War over 40 years ago.  

Howes will be buried on August 5 in the Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. 

Howes and three other aircrew members were returning to their base aboard a helicopter in South Vietnam on Jan. 10, 1970.  Due to the bad weather conditions, the helicopter lost control and crashed over Quang Nam province, Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.).  A search was conducted for the crew but with no prevail.  

In 1989, the S.R.V. sent United States specialists 25 boxes that reportedly contained remains of the U.S. soldiers related to the incident.  Additional remains from one of the missing servicemen were obtained from a Vietnamese refugee later that year.  About 10 years later, U.S. and S.R.V. teams united to conduct investigations in Ho Chi Minh City and in Quang Nam-Da Nang Province.  A Vietnamese citizen in Ho Chi Minh City gave the searchers a military identification tag with Howes’ name inscribed. The Vietnamese man told the search team he knew where several other servicemen were buried and agreed to lead them there.  In 1994, the team searched the area, seizing a metal box and several bags containing human remains.  

Three of the four men on the helicopter were identified and buried.  However, no remains could be associated with Howe because of the lack of technology at the time.  In 2008, thanks to the advancement of DNA technology, Howes’ remains were identified with DNA matching his sister and brother.