American Heroes Are Not Forgotten

This weekend we are honoring the 10 new names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Their families and friends will gather at The Wall as these men receive the recognition that some of the families waited years for.

But we will also be honoring the 12 service members who were previously designated as missing in action, but have been recovered, returned and identified in the last year. Their status designation is now killed in action.

One of those names is Gilbert Swain Palmer of Birmingham, Alabama. The Air Force colonel went missing in action on Feb. 27, 1968. The pilot and another crew member were assigned to the 14th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron in Thailand and were on a photo-reconnaissance mission in Quang Binh, North Korea. Their RF-4C aircraft lost radio communication and crashed in an unknown location.

In 1999, a local villager led a recovery team organized by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command to a crash site in Savannakhet Province, near the Vietnamese border. They found wreckage from an RF-4 reconnaissance aircraft and during further investigation of the site, recovered human remains and military equipment specific to Palmer’s aircraft, according to the Air Force. Using forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the JPAC and Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory worked to identify the remains. They also used mitochondrial DNA, which matched that of Palmer’s brother Jim and identified the remains on May 19, 2011.

JPAC conducts global search, recovery and laboratory operations to identify unaccounted-for Americans from past conflicts. The command was activated in 2003 and is located on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. They continue to search for the more than 83,000 Americans still missing from past conflicts, including nearly 1,700 from the Vietnam War. Since late 1973, the remains of over 700 Americans killed in that war have been returned and identified.

The additions bring the total number of names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to 58,282 men and women who were killed or remain missing in action.

The Department of Defense sets the criteria for and makes decisions about whose names are eligible for inscription on The Wall. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund pays for the name additions and status changes, and works with the National Park Service to ensure long-term preservation and maintenance of The Wall. For a complete list of names being added to The Wall this year, visit: www.vvmf.org/NameAdditions2012Press

Photos of all of these men will join those of the rest of their fallen comrades in the Education Center at The Wall, which is planned Washington, D.C. near the Lincoln and Vietnam Veterans Memorials. The Education Center will be a living, interactive learning facility that will teach the values, tell the stories and show the faces of those who served. It will also showcase the remembrances left in tribute at The Wall and celebrate the rich legacy of service in this country. For information about this latest VVMF initiative, visit www.buildthecenter.org.

Names Being Added to The Wall

PFC Johnny Owen Brooks, U.S. Army
Stockton, Calif.
Sept. 22, 1949 – Sept. 24, 2011
Date of Casualty: Nov. 14, 1969
Pfc. Brooks died as a result of wounds (combat or hostile related) sustained in the combat zone during the Vietnam War.

PFC Larry Morgan Kelly, U.S. Army
Akron, Ohio
May 22, 1949 – June 14, 2010
Date of Casualty: Aug. 22, 1969
Pfc. Kelly died as a result of his wounds (combat or hostile related) sustained in the combat zone during the Vietnam War.

SP4 David Lawrence Deckard, U.S. Army
Louisville, Ky.
Jan. 30, 1948 – Jan. 6, 2006
Date of Casualty: March 24, 1969
Spec. Deckard was diagnosed with chronic respiratory failure and the Army determined that his death was directly connected to his wounds received in Vietnam.

ATC Jospeh William Aubin, U.S. Navy
Bridgeport, Conn.
Dec. 14, 1929 – May 26, 1966
Date of Casualty: May 26, 1966
Navy records document that ATC Aubin and three other Sailors died while participating in a combat mission en route to a target within the defined combat zone.

ATR3 Richard Carl Hunt, U.S. Navy
Guys Mills, Penn.
July 2, 1942 – May 26, 1966
Date of Casualty: May 26, 1966
Navy records document that ATR3 Hunt and three other Sailors died while participating in a combat mission en route to a target within the defined combat zone.

LT Walter Allan Linzy, U.S. Navy
Nashville, Ark.
June 11, 1926 – May 26, 1966
Date of Casualty: May 26, 1966
Navy records document that Lt. Linzy and three other Sailors died while participating in a combat mission en route to a target within the defined combat zone.

ATR3 Richard Dwaine Stocker, U.S. Navy
Jacksonville, Ark.
April 17, 1945 – May 26, 1966
Date of Casualty: May 26, 1966
Navy records document that ATR3 Stocker and three other Sailors died while participating in a combat mission en route to a target within the defined combat zone.

LTJG David McLean Desilets, U.S. Navy
Palm Desert, Calif.
Oct. 16, 1940 – Sept. 4, 1966
Date of Casualty: Sept. 4, 1966
The Navy reviewed casualty and other relevant documents pertaining to the death of LTJG Desilets aboard the USS Pyro while steaming on ‘Yankee Station’ in the Gulf of Tonkin. The information confirmed that Desilets’ death occurred within the defined combat zone.

AN Albert Kalahana Kuewa, U.S. Navy
Honolulu, Hawaii
Nov. 14, 1941 – Sept. 18, 1964
Date of Casualty: Sept. 18, 1964
Wall Location:
The Navy reviewed records and determined that Airman Kuewa died while supporting combat missions against targets in North Vietnam.

CPL Frank A. Neary, U.S. Marine Corps
Ocean, N.J.
April 24, 1948 – Nov. 22, 2006
Date of Casualty: Feb. 24, 1967
Cpl. Neary died of a stroke due to an intracranial bleed, chronic thromolytic therapy and occluded bypass graft of his left leg. The Marine Corps reviewed the records and determined that he died of the wounds he sustained in combat in Vietnam.

Status Changes
Beside each name on the Memorial is a symbol designating status. The diamond symbol denotes confirmed death. The cross represents missing in action. When a service member’s remains are returned or accounted for, the diamond is superimposed over the cross. In addition to the 10 names being added this year, 12 designation changes will be made as well. They include:

• Army Capt. Charles Ronald Barnes of Fullerton, Penn., Panel 29W, Line 50
• Army Sgt. 1st Class William Theodore Brown of La Habra, Calif., Panel 16W, Line 22
• Army Sgt. 1st Class James Leslie Moreland of Anaheim, Calif, Panel 38E, Line 7
• Army Sgt. 1st Class Donald Monroe Shue of Kannapolis, N.C., Panel 16W, Line 24
• Navy Lt. Cmdr. Edward James Broms Jr. of Meadville, Penn., Panel 50W, Line 41
• Navy Cmdr. Frank Clifford Green Jr. of Waskom, Texas., Panel 1W, Line 55
• Air Force Col. Leo Sydney Boston of Canon City, Colo., Panel 7E, Line 7
• Air Force Maj. Thomas Edward Clark of Emporium, Penn., Panel 33W, Line 84

• Air Force Maj. Bruce Edward Lawrence of Phillipsburg, N.J., Panel 53W, Line 21

• Air Force Col. Gilbert Swain Palmer Jr. of Birmingham, Ala., Panel 41E, Line 53

• Air Force Lt. Col. Edward Dean Silver of Junction City, Ore., Panel 53W, Line 23

• Air Force Maj. Charles Milton Walling of Phoenix, Ariz., Panel 9E, Line 119

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