PYLES, HARLEY BOYD Remains Identified 05/2001
Name: Harley Boyd Pyles Branch/Rank: United States Air Force/O4 Unit: Date of Birth: 20 February 1930 Home City of Record: ENON OH Date of Loss: 18 October 1965 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 154500 North 1080300 East Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 4 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: O1E #2600 Missions: Other Personnel in Incident: WINFIELF SISSON, MIA Refno: 0171
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 and CACCF = Combined Action Combat Casualty File. Updated 2001.
No further information available at this time.
Remains identified as missing colonels Wednesday, June 20, 2001 San Jose Mercury News BY ROXANNE STITES Mercury News
The remains of two colonels, including a former Berkeley resident who disappeared during a reconnaissance flight over South Vietnam in 1965, have been identified and are being returned to their families for burial, officials said Tuesday. ..... Mercury News wire services contributed to this report. Contact Roxanne Stites at email@example.com or (408) 271-3780.
Subject: Air Force Print News for June 21, 2001 Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 15:17:52 -0500 From: "82. USAFnews" <usafnews@AFNEWS.AF.MIL>
0827. Remains of Vietnam War MIAS identified
WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- The remains of a U.S. Air Force pilot and a Marine Corps aerial observer missing in action from the Vietnam War have been identified and are being returned to their families.
Identified were Air Force Col. Harley B. Pyles of Enon, Ohio, and Marine Col. Winfield W. Sisson of Berkeley, Calif.
On Oct. 18, 1965, their O-1E Bird Dog aircraft encountered low-level cloud cover and rain en route to Da Nang Air Base from Kham Duc, South Vietnam. About 10 minutes out from Da Nang, Pyles attempted to make radio contact with the control tower. No further radio transmissions were received, and their aircraft failed to return to any base.
An aerial search was initiated hours later and continued for seven days, but was ended when no evidence of the men or their aircraft was found.
Throughout the late 1980s, several Vietnamese refugees reported having information relating to Pyles. None of these reports could be verified; however, in April 1992, a Vietnamese citizen turned over to American officials remains and artifacts that appeared to be those of Sisson. The man indicated the remains had been recovered from a crash site in Thua Thien-Hue Province.
"The support of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam enabled us to account for these servicemen, and we look forward to continued cooperation," said Alan Liotta, acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for POW/Missing Personnel Affairs. "Achieving the fullest possible accounting of Americans missing in action is of the highest national priority."
Between 1992 and 1995, a joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam team, led by the Joint Task Force-Full Accounting, interviewed many Vietnamese nationals believed to have additional remains. The Vietnamese government obtained the remains as well as an identification tag bearing Sisson's name. These remains and material evidence were repatriated to the Central Identification Laboratory Hawaii, where the forensic identification process was conducted.
In June and July 2000, a joint U.S./Vietnam team excavated the crash site where they recovered remains and personal effects as well as crew-related artifacts. Fragments of prescription sunglass lenses consistent with the eyeglass prescription noted in Pyle's medical records were among the artifacts recovered.
Analysis of the available evidence suggests that Pyles and Sisson died in what is now Thua Thien-Hue Province, Vietnam, when their aircraft crashed on the side of a mountain. There is no evidence that either man survived the crash. Human remains were recovered by local villagers who scavenged the crash site, as well as by CILHI personnel who excavated the site. Some of the remains were confirmed to be those of Pyles and Sisson on the basis of dental records and DNA analysis.
There are currently more than 1,900 Americans unaccounted-for from the war in Southeast Asia.
UPDATE LINE: June 29, 2001 Thank you for calling the National League of Families Update Line.
This message is being recorded Friday, June 29th. According to the Department of Defense, the number of Americans missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War is 1,973.
On June 20th, the League was informed that six Americans were recently accounted for. David W. Morrill and Maxim C. Parker, both USMC, were jointly recovered in South Vietnam June 9, 1993.
The remains of Victor J. Apodaca, Jr., USAF, were repatriated April 27, 1989.
The November 14, 1991 joint recovery of the remains of Harry A. Amesbury, Jr., USAF, brought an accepted identification.
And, the remains of Harley B. Pyles, USAF, and Winfield Wade Sisson, USMC, were jointly recovered in South Vietnam on April 8, 1993.
The accounting for these six US personnel brings the number now missing and unaccounted for in Vietnam to 1,481, with 417 in Laos, 67 in Cambodia and 8 in the territorial waters of the PRC. Over 90% of the 1,973 Americans still missing from the Vietnam War were lost in areas under Vietnam's wartime control.
============================= The San Francisco Chronicle Thursday, June 21, 2001
DNA test resolves a family's agony / Berkeley Marine lost in '65 identified Benjamin Pimentel
For the family of Winfield Wade Sisson of Berkeley, the painful mystery of the Marine captain's disappearance in Vietnam more than three decades is finally resolved......
Dayton Daily News Wednesday, June 20, 2001
VIETNAM MIAS' REMAINS IDENTIFIED Dayton Daily News
Clark County pilot's remains being returned to family A U.S. Air Force pilot from Clark County and a Marine Corps aerial observer from California - missing in action from the Vietnam War - have been identified and are being returned to their families......