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.
In his final keynote address before retiring as Chief Master Sergeant of the Space Force, Roger A. Towberman reflected on the progress of the Space Force and the growth still ahead at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference on Sept. 12, 2023. Watch the video or read the transcript.