DOD Identifies Two Vietnam-era Airmen

The Pentagon announced April 24 that DOD analysts had identified the remains of two airmen missing in action from the Vietnam War: Col. Norman D. Eaton of Weatherford, Okla., and Lt. Col. Paul E. Getchell of Portland, Maine. On Jan. 13, 1969, the two were flying a B-57B bomber during a nighttime raid in Laos and elected to make a third run even though they were low on fuel and the flares dropped by a C-130 had dimmed. The bomber crashed. A Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command team in 1995 interviewed a Laotian who had seen the crash and another surveyed the crash site. A subsequent search in 2003 found Eaton’s identification tag. Five more visits between 2004 and 2005 produced additional remains.