Two Vietnam KIAs identified, returned to US
Stars and Stripes
SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Two U.S. servicemembers reported missing in action from the Vietnam War have been identified and will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors, a Defense Department news release said Thursday.
Air Force Lt. Col. Charles Walling of Phoenix and Maj. Aado Kommendant of Lakewood, N.J., were flying an F-4C aircraft on a close air support mission over Song Be Province, Vietnam, on Aug. 8, 1966, when they went down, the release said. American forces in the area reported seeing the crash and said that no parachutes were deployed.
In the days that followed, search-and-rescue efforts were unsuccessful, the release said.
A joint U.S.-Vietnam team investigated the crash site in 1992 and interviewed a local who had recovered pieces of the craft from the site, the release said. Two years later, a joint team excavated the site and recovered a dog tag bearing Walling’s name and other military equipment.
In 2010, the site was excavated again. This time, human remains were recovered and identified through forensics, the release said.
Walling will be buried Friday, and there will be a group burial for the two men on Aug. 8, the 46th anniversary of the crash.