Name: Raphael Cruz
Rank/Branch: E5/United States Air Force
Date of Birth: 23 May 1935
Home City of Record: Stockton CA
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
Other Personnel in Incident: Neil McKinney, Howard Purcell, Howard Purcell

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


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.