Army Air Crew Returned Home
Lost Over Vietnam, 6 February 1969
IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 6, 2002
VIETNAM MIAS IDENTIFIED
The remains of three U.S. soldiers previously unaccounted for from the war in Vietnam have been identified and will be buried as a group at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday, November 8, 2002.
They are Captain Ronald D. Briggs, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Sergeant First Class Robert C. O'Hara, Lost Nation, Iowa; and Major David E. Padgett, Washington, Indiana.
On February 6, 1969, Padgett and O'Hara were crewmembers on a UH-1H Huey helicopter, flying Briggs and three other soldiers on an emergency resupply mission in South Vietnam. While enroute from a landing zone in the Quang Tri province, the crew radioed that the flight was returning due to poor weather conditions and reduced visibility. When the flight did not return, a search and rescue mission was initiated, but was unsuccessful in locating the missing aircraft.
In December 1993, a joint U.S. and Vietnam investigation team, led by the Joint Task Force-Full Accounting, interviewed several local informants in Quang Tri province. One claimed to possess the remains of a missing serviceman. Two months later, the remains were repatriated to U.S. officials and submitted to the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory Hawaii (CILHI) for analysis.
On July 16, 1995, another joint U.S. and Vietnam team interviewed a witness who gave information about a helicopter crash site in the Huong Hoa District. After investigating the site, the team recovered aircraft debris, personal artifacts, and human remains that corresponded to the missing aircraft and its crewmembers. This additional evidence was also transported to CILHI.
From July 1996 to October 1996, additional
remains, personal artifacts, and aircraft debris were recovered from the
site. Some of the remains were submitted by CILHI to the Armed Forces
DNA Identification Laboratory for mitochondrial DNA
Former MIA soldier may be added to memorial
8 May 2003
If a Camanche man gets his way, another name will be added to the Clinton County Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Paul Varner, past president and vice president of the now-disbanded Clinton Area Vietnam Veterans Association, is campainging for the addition of Robert C. "Chuck" O'Hara's name to that memorial, which is located on the Clinton County Courthouse grounds.
Varner brought his proposal to the Clinton County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday morning to ask the name be added out of respect for O'Hara, long listed by the military as missing in action but whose body was identified through DNA testing and returned to American soil last November.
O'Hara's Lost Nation family attended a memorial service for O'Hara and his helicopter crew members at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., late last year, and are planning on holding a Catholic burial mass in Lost Nation later this month.
"Out of respect for him and out of respect
for his family, we would like to make a slight modification on the Clinton
County Vietnam Veterans Memorial recognizing the fact that this hero has
been returned to the United States and he is currently back in his fatherland
with the rest of the heroes that are on that wall," Varner said.
Varner, a member of the Camanche Police Department, said he had contacted Hansen Monument in DeWitt to inquire about adding a date of O'Hara's return to American soil to the county memorial. He presented a copy of the design to the board.
"That would be something I would certainly think the family would approve of," said Supervisors Chairman Lewis Todtz. "Certainly in respect to his service, we would do well to acknowledge, in any way, that he has been returned to us."
Varner said he made several attempts to contact other members of the veterans association to solicit opinions about an appropriate update to the memorial. The veterans he contacted agreed on the idea, but Varner said he remains open to other suggestions.
County Auditor Charlie Sheridan said the addition could be paid for out of the perpetual care fund. Varner thanked the board and the county for its work in supervision of the memorial.
"Myself and other Vietnam veterans greatly appreciate what you've done, and how well you maintain it," said Varner.
An Army honor guard escorts the casket carrying the remains of seven soldiers,
including a Major in the South Vietnamese Army, killed in Vietnam February 6, 1969,
during funeral services at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.
Friday, November 8, 2002. The group died when their UH-1H Huey helicopter crashed
in bad weather. The group includes Major David Padgett of Washington, Indiana, Captain
Ronald Briggs of Philadelphia, Sergeant 1st Class Robert O'Hara of Lost Nation, Iowa,
Lieutenant Colonel Donald Parsons, Chief Warrant Officer Charles Stanley, Sergeant 1st
Class Eugene Christiansen and Maj. Vu Vann Phao.
Captain, United States Army
Ronald Daniel Briggs was born on March 24, 1944 and joined the Armed Forces while in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
He served in the United States Army, AST BN ADV 1 INF DIVADV TM4 MA, and attained the rank of Captain.
BRIGGS, RONALD DANIEL
Sergeant, United States Army
Robert Charles O'Hara was born on May 18, 1949 and joined the Armed Forces while in Lost Nation, Iowa.
He served in the United States Army, 282 AV CO 212 AV BN 1AV BDE, Battalion 212TH, and attained the rank of Sergeant First Class.
Major, United States Army
David Eugene Padgett was born on June 2, 1944 and joined the Armed Forces while in Washington, Indiana.
He served in the United States Army, 282 AV CO 212 AV BN 1BDE, and attained the rank of Major.
PADGETT, DAVID EUGENE
Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army
Donald Eugene Parsons was born on April 17, 1929 and joined the Armed Forces while in Sparta, Illinois.
He served in the United States Army, 2 REG 1 INF (ARV) ADV TEAM4 MA, and attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Donald Eugene Parsons was listed as Missing in Action.
Chief Warrant Officer, United States Army
Charles Irvin Stanley was born on September
25, 1946 and joined the Armed
He served in the United States Army, 282 Aviation Company, 212 Aviation Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Division, and attained the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 3.
Charles Irvin tanley is listed as Missing in Action.
STANLEY, CHARLES IRVIN
STANLEY, CHARLES IRVIN
Sergeant, United States Army
EUGENE F CHRISTIANSEN was born on February 16, 1949 and joined the Armed Forces while in BARSTOW, California.
He served in the Army, 282 AV CO 212 AV BN 1 AVN BDE, and attained the rank of SFC/E6.
EUGENE F CHRISTIANSEN is listed as Missing in Action.
Major, South Vietnam Army
VU, PHAO VAN
Photo By M. R. Patterson, 2 December 2004