Name: Arthur Fletcher Chaney
Rank/Branch: W1/US Army
Unit: A Troop, 1st Squad, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division
Date of Birth: 27 June 1947 (Mitchell Field, Long Island, NY)
Home City of Record: Vienna VA
Date of Loss: 03 May 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 163736N 1063605E (XD685382)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: AH1G
Refno: 1155
Other Personnel In Incident: Bobby L. McKain (missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 September 1990 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 2008.


SYNOPSIS: On the afternoon of May 3, 1968, CWO Bobby McKain, pilot, and WO
Arthur Chaney, co-pilot, were flying aboard an AH1G helicopter on an armed
escort mission for a reconnaissance team operating west of Khe Sanh. At
about 1405 hours, while making a pass on an enemy gun position, they were
hit by 37mm anti-aircraft fire from the gun emplacement and the helicopter
exploded in mid-air. They were about 1500 feet above the ground when the
explosion occurred, separating the tail boom and one main rotor blade from
the aircraft.

The aircraft spun to the ground on fire and impacted, and seconds later, the
ammunition onboard detonated. Other pilots in the area immediately flew to
the site and observed the aircraft engulfed in flames with no visible signs
of life. Shortly thereafter, they were driven from the area by other heavy
automatic weapons fire. Air searches were made, but revealed no signs of the
crew. No radio contact was made.

Because of the close proximity to enemy positions, Chaney and McKain's fates
were almost certainly known by the enemy. The Army holds out no hope they
survived, but believes that their cases may someday be resolved.

Chaney and McCain are among nearly 2500 unresolved deaths or disappearances
of Americans in Southeast Asia. Tragically, thousands of reports indicate
that many of these cases involve Americans still alive and held captive by
the communist countries of Laos and Vietnam. Chaney and McCain would not
have left their comrades in the hands of the enemy. How can we?


July 17, 2008


            The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of two U.S. servicemen, missing from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

            They are Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bobby L. McKain, of Garden City, Kan. ; and Warrant Officer Arthur F. Chaney, of Vienna , Va. , both U.S. Army.  McKain will be buried on Aug. 11 in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington , D.C. , and Chaney will be buried Sept. 16 in Arlington .

            Representatives from the Army met with the next-of-kin of these men to explain the recovery and identification process, and to coordinate interment with military honors on behalf of the Secretary of the Army.

            On May 3, 1968, these men flew an AH-1G Cobra gunship on an armed escort mission to support a reconnaissance team operating west of Khe Sanh, in Quang Tri Province , South Vietnam .  Their helicopter was hit by enemy anti-aircraft fire, exploded in mid-air and crashed west of Khe Sanh near the Laos-Vietnam border.  The crew of other U.S. aircraft flying over the area immediately after the crash reported no survivors, and heavy enemy activity prevented attempts to recover the men’s bodies.

            In 1985, an American citizen with ties to Southeast Asian refugees turned over to U.S. officials human remains supposedly recovered from an AC-130 aircraft crash in Laos .  While subsequent laboratory analysis disproved the association of the remains to the AC-130 crash, some of the remains were those of McKain and Chaney. 

Between 1989 and 2003, Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) investigative teams working in Laos and Vietnam made five attempts to locate the crew’s crash site, but could not confirm the location.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA and dental comparisons in identifying the remains.

            For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at or call (703) 699-1169.