MILLER, CURTIS DANIEL
Remains Identified
Group burial scheduled 06/17/2010  Arlington, 3 pm

Name: Curtis Daniel Miller
Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force
Unit: 16th Special Operations Squadron, Ubon Airfield, Thailand
Date of Birth: 07 June 1946
Home City of Record: Palacios TX
Date of Loss: 29 March 1972
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 163900N 1060600E (XD165414)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: AC130A
Refno:1807

Other Personnel In Incident: Henry Brauner; Barclay Young; Howard
Stephenson; James Caniford; Robert Simmons; Edwin Pearce (all missing);
Edward Smith; Richard Halpin; Irving Ramsower; Richard Castillo; Charles
Wanzel; Merlyn Paulson; William Todd; (remains returned)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 March 1991 from one
or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources,
correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews.
Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 2010.

REMARKS: NO PARA - NO RAD CNTCT - SAR NEGA

SYNOPSIS: On the night of March 29, 1972, an AC130A Hercules "Spectre" gunship
departed Ubon Airfield, Thailand on a night reconnaissance mission over supply
routes used by North Vietnamese forces in Laos. The crew of the aircraft
consisted of pilots Maj. Irving B. Ramsower II and 1Lt. Charles J. Wanzel III,
the navigator, Maj. Henry P. Brauner, and crew members Maj. Howard D.
Stephenson, Capt. Curtis D. Miller, Capt. Barclay B. Young, Capt. Richard
Castillo, Capt. Richard C. Halpin, SSgt. Merlyn L. Paulson, SSgt. Edwin J.
Pearce, SSgt. Edward D. Smith Jr., SSgt. James K. Caniford; and Airmen First
Class William A. Todd and Robert E. Simmons.

As the aircraft was in the jungle foothills 56 miles east of Savannakhet in
southern Laos, it was shot down by a Russian Surface to Air Missile (SAM). U.S.
government sources stated in February 1986 that a fighter escort plane reported
that the aircraft crashed in a fireball, no parachutes were seen, nor was radio
contact made with the AC130 or any of its crew. In 1972, however, the Pearce
family was told that an F4 support plane traveling with the AC130 heard "so many
beepers they couldn't count them" and that the emergency beeper type carried by
the crew could only be activated manually. The Pearce family took this as strong
proof that a number of the crew survived. The support aircraft plane left the
area to refuel. When it returned, there were no signs of life.

The inscribed wedding band of Curtis Miller was recovered by a reporter and
returned to Miller's family. The existence of the ring suggests to Miller's
mother that the plane did not burn, and gives her hope that he survived.

A May 1985 article appearing in a Thai newspaper stated that the bodies of
Simmons and Wanzel were among 5 bodies brought to the base camp of Lao
Liberation forces. The same article reported a group of 21 Americans still
alive, held prisoner at a camp in Khammouane Province, Laos. At about this same
time, Simmons' dog tag was mailed anonymously to the U.S. Embassy in Laos. FBI
tests failed to show fire residue on the tag, proving to the Simmons family that
Skeeter did not die in the explosion and go down in the fiery crash.

The U.S. and Laos excavated this aircraft's crash site in February 1986. The
teams recovered a limited number of human bone fragments, personal effects and
large pieces of plane wreckage. It was later announced by the U.S. Government
that the remains of Castillo, Halpin, Ramsower, Simmons, Todd, Paulson, Pearce,
Wanzel and Smith had been positively identified from these bone fragments.

In a previous excavation at Pakse, Laos in 1985, remains recovered were
positively identified as the 13 crew members, although independent examiners
later proved that only 2 of those identifications were scientifically possible.
The U.S. Government has acknowledged the errors made in identification on two of
the men, but these two individuals are still considered "accounted for".

Because of the identification problems of the first excavation, the families of
the Savannakhet AC130 have carefully considered the information given them about
their loved ones. The families of Robert Simmons and Edwin Pearce have actively
resisted the U.S. Government's identification, which is in both cases based on a
single tooth. These families do not know if their men are alive or dead, but
will insist that the books are kept open until proof dictates that there is no
longer any hope for their survival.

In January 1991, a federal judge ruled that when the Simmons family collected
death benefits for Skeeter, they lost the right to question whether he was dead.
They have continued to fight a positive identification based on a single tooth.
The Assistant U.S. Attorney, William H. Pease, added that the court has no
jurisdiction over military identification of remains.

Nearly 600 Americans were lost in Laos during the Vietnam war, and many were
known to have survived their loss incident. However, the U.S. did not negotiate
with Laos for these men, and consequently, not one American held in Laos has
ever been released.

=========================

05/27/2008
Remains of C-130 Crew Missing From Vietnam War Recovered

Salem-News.Com - OR,USA
According to the POW Network, the aircraft crashed in the jungle foothills 56 miles east of Savannakhet in southern Laos, it was shot down by a Russian ...

----------------------------
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 208-10

March 16, 2010

Air Force Pilot MIA From Vietnam War is Identified

The Department of Defense announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Air Force Maj. Curtis Daniel Miller of Palacios, Texas, will be buried on March 29 in the Dallas-Ft. Worth National Cemetery. Miller was part of a 14-man aircrew, all of which are now accounted-for. Remains that could not be individually identified are included in a group that will be buried together in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.

On March 29, 1972, 14 men were aboard an AC-130A Spectre gunship that took off from Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on an armed reconnaissance mission over southern Laos. The aircraft was struck by an enemy surface-to-air missile and crashed. Search and rescue efforts were stopped after a few days due to heavy enemy activity in the area.

In 1986, joint U.S.- Lao People's Democratic Republic teams, lead by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), surveyed and excavated the crash site in Savannakhet Province, Laos. The team recovered human remains and other evidence including two identification tags, life support items and aircraft wreckage. From 1986 to 1988, the remains were identified as those of nine men from this crew.

Between 2005 and 2006, joint teams resurveyed the crash site and excavated it twice. The teams found more human remains, personal effects and crew-related equipment. As a result, JPAC identified the other crewmen using forensic identification tools, circumstantial evidence, mitochondrial DNA and dental comparisons.

http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/03/12/2037057/azle-widow-can-finally-lay-her.html

Azle widow can finally lay her Air Force husband to rest


Azle widow can finally lay her Air Force husband to rest
By CHRIS VAUGHN

cvaughn@star-telegram.com

AZLE -- Above all else, theirs is a love story.

"I love him today as I did when I married him," she said......

CHRIS VAUGHN, 817-390-7547

 

 

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 208-10

March 16, 2010

Air Force Pilot MIA From Vietnam War is Identified

The Department of Defense announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Air Force Maj. Curtis Daniel Miller of Palacios, Texas, will be buried on March 29 in the Dallas-Ft. Worth National Cemetery. Miller was part of a 14-man aircrew, all of which are now accounted-for. Remains that could not be individually identified are included in a group that will be buried together in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.

On March 29, 1972, 14 men were aboard an AC-130A Spectre gunship that took off from Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on an armed reconnaissance mission over southern Laos. The aircraft was struck by an enemy surface-to-air missile and crashed. Search and rescue efforts were stopped after a few days due to heavy enemy activity in the area.

In 1986, joint U.S.- Lao People's Democratic Republic teams, lead by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), surveyed and excavated the crash site in Savannakhet Province, Laos. The team recovered human remains and other evidence including two identification tags, life support items and aircraft wreckage. From 1986 to 1988, the remains were identified as those of nine men from this crew.

Between 2005 and 2006, joint teams resurveyed the crash site and excavated it twice. The teams found more human remains, personal effects and crew-related equipment. As a result, JPAC identified the other crewmen using forensic identification tools, circumstantial evidence, mitochondrial DNA and dental comparisons.

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at or http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo call (703) 699-1169.

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http://www.salem-news.com/articles/march172010/mia-vn-home.php

Mar-17-2010 03:38

Air Force Major Lost Over Laos During Vietnam War is Identified