RICKETT, CRYSTAL L.
Name: Crystal L. Rickett
Rank/Branch: Staff Sergeant/US Army
Home City: Detroit MI
Date of Loss: 02/26/91
Country of Loss: Iraq/Kuwait
Status: Missing in Action
Status in 2002: Returned Alive
Other Personnel in Incident: unknown
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 11 March 1991 from one
or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources,
published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 2002.
REMARKS: OPERATION DESERT STORM
SYNOPSIS: During the weeks of the Persian Gulf War, several dozen American
and Coalition military personnel were captured by the Iraqis or declared
Missing in Action. Information was scarce and hard to find relating to these
individuals. In most cases, those who were missing were at least identified
by name, age and branch of service.
In early March, 21 Americans were released by the Iraqis. Nine of these were
acknowledged to be POWs by the U.S. Government prior to their release. At
least one had been declared Killed in Action. Two were reported missing in
non-hostile environments. Some were a complete surprise to everyone,
including the U.S. Government.
Also without fanfare, during the first week in March several names were
added to the missing lists on whom no apparent information was available.
The list contained:
SSgt. David R. Ames, 30, Schuyler, New York SSgt. Michael R. Allen,
32, West Point, Mississippi CWO Michael F. Anderson, 36, Frankfort,
Indiana Spec. David Bush, 21 Sgt. Christopher J. Chapman, 25,
Charlotte, North Carolina Maj. Rhonda L. Cornum, 36 Pvt. Troy A.
Dunlap, 20 SSgt. Crystal L. Rickett, 31 SSgt. Daniel J. Stamaris, 31
As it happened, Cornum and Dunlap were released by the Iraqis on March 6.
The public had not previously known they were missing. The two were on a
helicopter sent near Basra to rescue a downed pilot, William Andrews, who
was also captured and released.
Five individuals were reported killed on the helicopter on which Cornum and
Dunlap were passengers. It is not known if any of the other missing were
also on board the aircraft. No further information is available on these
Later information indicated that Bush and Rickett had returned to their
units, apparently having been detached from it for an indeterminate period.
Rickett had somehow gotten separated from a convoy as it entered Kuwait on
February 26. Both were removed from lists of those thought to be missing on
SSgt. Rickett's parents, Melvin and Dorothy R. Mennefield, live in Detroit
where they have cared for Crystal's 8-year-old son, Raymond, since her
special training for the Middle East began. Rickett is a chemical operations
specialist and has served in the military for 12 years.