CRUZ RAPHAEL REMAINS RETURNED 10/30/96 Name: Raphael Cruz Rank/Branch: E5/United States Air Force Unit: Date of Birth: 23 May 1935 Home City of Record: Stockton CA Date of Loss: 02 September 1963 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: Status (in 1973): Killed in Action/Body not recovered Category: 4 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: B26E Missions: Other Personnel in Incident: Neil McKinney, Howard Purcell, Howard Purcell Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. REMARKS: Last radio contact VIC ZB061805 MEMORANDUM FOR CORRESPONDENTS October 30,1996 The remains of American servicemen previously unaccounted-for from Southeast Asia are being returned to their families for burial in the United States. The remains have been identified as Capt. Howard P. Purcell, USAF, of Landsdowne, Pa.; 1 st Lt. Neil B. McKinney, USAF, of Muncie, Ind.; Staff Sgt. Raphael Cruz, USAF, of Stockton, Calif.... On Sept. 2, 1963, Purcell, McKinney and Cruz were flying aboard a B-26B aircraft on an air cover mission over Kontum Province, Vietnam. They were observed by their relief aircraft, but never returned to Da Nang Air Base. An extensive search and rescue effort failed to locate the missing aircraft. In 1992, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) repatriated to the United States human remains and identification media for all three crew members. The remains of these three servicemen were identified individually, and are also part of a group remains identification. Mitochondrial DNA testing was used to confirm the three identifications.