PURCELL, HOWARD PHILIP
REMAINS RETURNED 10/30/96

Name: Howard Philip Purcell
Rank/Branch: O3/United States Air Force
Unit:
Date of Birth: 13 April 1933
Home City of Record: Landsdowne PA
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, Raphael Cruz

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.



                                   
The Columbus Dispatch
Sunday, January 4, 1998

LOVED ONES STILL SEEK ANSWERS FAMILIES OF MIAS QUESTION
GOVERNMENT'S RESOLVE
ON ISSUE
Ann Fisher  Dispatch Staff Reporter

   A new year of hope and labor to learn the whereabouts of her father awaits
Mitch McGouldrick Guess.

  Nearly 30 years ago, Air Force Col. Francis McGouldrick Jr. was lost in a
midair collision over Laos during the Vietnam War. A few years later, Guess,
then 12, bought her first MIA bracelet and began in earnest a search that has
spanned the balance of her life.....