MUSIL, CLINTON ALLAN, SR. Remains Identified Announced 01/14/2004 Remains returned 09/17/2001 ID 08/26/2003
Name: Clinton Allan Musil, Sr. Rank/Branch: O3/US Army Unit: 131st Aviation Company, 212th Aviation Battalion, 11th Aviation Brigade (see note in text) Date of Birth: 01 February 1940 Home City of Record: Minneapolis MN Date of Loss: 31 May 1971 Country of Loss: Laos Loss Coordinates: 162013N 1065308E (YD014094) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 3 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: OV1A Refno: 1751
Source: Compiled 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 in 2004.
Other Personnel In Incident: Jack W. Brunson (missing)
SYNOPSIS: On May 31, 1971, WO Jack Brunson, pilot, and Clinton Musil, observer, were flying on a visual reconnaissance mission when their OV1A Mohawk crashed and burned due to unknown causes about 6 kilometers south-southwest of Phou Ke Dai, Savannakhet Province, Laos.
The crew of another aircraft in the area stated that the flight was proceeding normally, and that Brunson was having no problems. On the fifth pass over the target, and in a steep left turn, the observing aircraft lost sight of Brunson and Musil's aircraft. The observing aircraft saw a huge ball of flame on the ground. Radio contact was attempted, but could not be established. There were no parachutes observed, no electronic beacon signals heard, and no survivors were seen on the ground. Due to the hostile threat in the area, no search and rescue operation was initiated.
Brunson and Musil are among nearly 600 Americans lost in Laos. Because Laos was not party to the agreements ending American involvement in Southeast Asia, none of the Americans the Pathet Lao said they held were ever released.
Witnesses believe that Brunson and Musil perished in the crash of their light observation plane on May 31, 1971. Experts believe that hundreds of other Americans are still alive today, held prisoner against their will.
Brunson and Musil would gladly fly one more mission for them. Why can't we bring our men home?
NOTE: The 20th Aviation Detachment existed until December 1966, at which time it was reassigned as the 131st Aviation Company, 223rd Aviation Battalion (Combat Support). The 131st Aviation Company had been assigned to I Corps Aviation Battalion since June 1966, when it arrived in Vietnam. In August 1967, the 131st Aviation Company was reassigned to the 212th Aviation Battalion where it remained until July 1971, whereupon it transferred out of Vietnam.
There were a large number of pilots lost from this unit, including Thaddeus E. Williams and James P. Schimberg (January 9, 1966); John M. Nash and Glenn D. McElroy (March 15, 1966); James W. Gates and John W. Lafayette (April 6, 1966); Robert G. Nopp and Marshall Kipina (July 14, 1966); Jimmy M. Brasher and Robert E. Pittman (September 28, 1966); James M. Johnstone and James L. Whited (November 19, 1966); Larry F. Lucas (December 20, 1966); and Jack W. Brunson and Clinton A. Musil (May 31, 1971). Missing OV1 aircraft crew from the 20th/131st represent well over half of those lost on OV1 aircraft during the war.
U.S. Army records list both Nopp and Kipina as part of the "131st Aviation Company, 14th Aviation Battalion", yet according to "Order of Battle" by Shelby Stanton, a widely recognized military source, this company was never assigned to the 14th Aviation Battalion. The 131st was known as "Nighthawks", and was a surveillance aircraft company.
No. 027-04 IMMEDIATE RELEASE Jan 15, 2004 (703)697-5131(media) (703)428-0711(public/industry)
Serviceman Missing from Vietnam War Identified
A serviceman missing in action from the Vietnam War has been identified and returned to his family for burial.
He is Army Capt. Clinton A. Musil Sr. of Minneapolis, Minn.
On May 31, 1971, Musil was aboard an OV-1A Mohawk helicopter flying a daylight reconnaissance mission over Savannakhet Province in Laos. Though enemy antiaircraft artillery was known to be in the area, none of the crewmembers in other aircraft noted any attack on Musil's helicopter. Several people did see a large fireball when the helicopter crashed. Attempts to contact him by radio were unsuccessful, and search and rescue efforts were precluded by enemy forces in the area.
During two investigations in 1993 and 1995, U.S. and Lao specialists learned of a potential crash site from local residents. The purported site was located on a steep slope, and appeared to correlate within 200 meters with the loss location in U.S. wartime records. The site had been scavenged, but the team found small pieces of aircraft wreckage and possible human remains. Following the recommendations of the investigators, other U.S. and Lao teams excavated the site twice in 2001 and once in 2002. During these three excavations, they recovered aircraft wreckage, personal effects, aircrew-related items and human remains.
The recovered remains were identified in 2003 by the Central Identification Laboatory through skeletal analysis and mitochondrial DNA. The remains of a second crew member have yet to be identified. The Defense Department's POW/Missing Personnel Office establishes policy and directs the effort to account for the more than 88,000 missing in action from all conflicts. Of these, 1,871 are from the Vietnam War.
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Missing Minnesota soldier's remains recovered Bob von Sternberg, Star Tribune
Published January 16, 2004
Thirty-two years. Larry Musil had been waiting that long to discover the fate of his father, Clinton Musil Sr., whose military aircraft was shot down while on a reconnaissance flight over Laos on May 31, 1971.....
Staff researcher Linda Scheimann contributed to this report. Bob von Sternberg is at firstname.lastname@example.org.