The Pentagon has identified remains belonging to two pilots—Maj. Robert F. Woods of Salt Lake City, and Capt. Johnnie C. Cornelius of Maricopa County, Ariz.—declared missing during the Vietnam War, when their O-2A aircraft crashed during a reconnaissance mission on June 26, 1968, in a remote mountainous area over Quang Binh Province in Vietnam. Airmen on another aircraft in the flight did not see parachutes or hear emergency beeper signals, and an immediate search proved fruitless. Between 1988 and 1993, US and Vietnamese officials surveyed the crash site and received remains, including ID tags, from local residents. Over the next three years, officials tried to find a suitable recovery area. Teams excavated the site four times between 2000 and 2004. Interviews in 2006 led officials to two graves that were excavated this year. DNA and dental comparisons helped identify the remains.
The F-35 Joint Program Office has officially announced plans to issue multiple sole-source contracts to Pratt & Whitney to upgrade the fighter’s F135 engine—a widely expected move after Pentagon officials indicated they would do so earlier this year instead of developing an entirely new engine.