Missing Vietnam War Airman’s Remains Identified

Defense Department forensic scientists identified the remains of Capt. Douglas D. Ferguson, 24, of Tacoma, Wash., a fighter pilot missing in action since the Vietnam War, announced the Pentagon. They have returned the remains to Ferguson’s family; Ferguson’s burial with full military honors is scheduled to take place on May 2 in Lakewood, Wash., according to DOD’s April 25 release. On Dec. 30, 1969, Ferguson’s F-4D Phantom II crashed in Houaphan Province, Laos, during an armed reconnaissance mission. Ferguson was initially listed as missing in action, but a DOD review board later presumed him to be killed in action, states the release. Between 1994 and 1997, joint US-Lao teams conducted investigations of the crash site, finding aircraft wreckage and personal effects. From October 2009 to April 2013, joint US-Lao teams excavated the site and recovered human remains. DOD scientists used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, such as dental comparisons and mitochondrial DNA, to help identify Ferguson’s remains.