Veteran Stories News Summary #001

Below is Veteran Stories Podcast's weekly summary of the latest veteran related stories of potential interest to our listeners:

Navy Aviator Missing In Action From Vietnam War is Identifies

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) has announced that the remains of  Lt. Cmdr. James E. Plowman (USN), who was listed missing in action (MIA) from the Vietnam War, have been identified and returned to his family for burial with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

The offical record:

On March 24, 1967, Plowman and a fellow officer departed the USS Kitty Hawk in their A-6A Intruder on a night strike mission of an enemy target in North Vietnam. Radar contact with their aircraft was lost over the Ha Bac Province as they were departing the target area. A pilot from another aircraft reported two missile warnings on his radar screen immediately before contact was lost with Plowman's aircraft.

Between 1993 and 1996, joint U.S.-Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), conducted three investigations in the province. The team interviewed two local villagers who saw the 1967 crash, and both men recalled seeing human remains at the site. The team also surveyed the purported crash site and found several small fragments of aircraft wreckage.

In 1996, another joint U.S./S.R.V. team excavated the suspected crash site. The team found human remains from amid the scattered wreckage. The team was also handed some remains by a local villager who claimed to have recovered it while scavenging the crater for metal.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA in the identification of the remains.

Veteran Update - Hometown Heros, Update, Memorial, Medals

The American Legion has started a new program called 'Hometown Heros' to encourage local American Legion posts to support returning troops and veterans to their local communities. [emilitary]

The Vietnam Memorial mini-replica called the 'Moving Wall' is in Madison, WI through 9-11-06. [capitaltimes]

North Valley Stand Down Association is dedicated to helping homeless veterans get back on their feet and reconnect them with their families. [chicoenterpriserecord]

WWII Army Medic Wilson "Will" Rouke recently got his earned Bronze Star and Purple Hearts delivered to him.  The article on Rouke, also mentions a great short blurb about WWII veteran Robert White, and his D-Day experiences that have led to an official letter and an award from the French government. [townonline]

Lastly, to follow up on the sad story of a recent murder of Vietnam Vet
Barney Goodman, the AP Wire is reporting that two men are in custody for his murder.

Veteran Updates - New Memorial, WWII Medals, Cold War, Support The Troops, Tragic Death

The Royal Oak Memorial Society is planning a re-dedication ceremony of Veteran's War Memorial that will include 26 new names based on some additional research by John Wendland. [detroit free press]

AP Wire is reporting that WWII US Navy veteran Roy Camero is finally getting his medals that he earned.  These include: "World War II Victory Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Honorable Service lapel pin, and an Honorable Discharge button."

Afghanistan veteran Craig Fitzgerald shares his stories of rehabilitation with WCAX. He is currently on a fund-raising tour for the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes to help raise funds those who return to the United States after service in Iraq or Afghanistan with serious injuries. [newsday]

The Bedford Bulletin has a very interesting and historical interview piece with retired Air Force Brigadier General Roger Smith.  During his service he was: launch officer for a Titan II missile; stationed with leadership positions at Whiteman Air Force Base; assigned to the North American Aerospace Defense Command center at the Cheyenne Mountain Complex in Colorado, and part of the anti-ballistic missile (ABM) treaty negotiations with the Soviets during the 1980s.

Lastly, some notices on Veterans passing crossed the newswire:

  • KCEN is reporting a sad story of a Vietnam Vet that was robbed and killed.  Amazingly Barney Goodman was able to crawl "8 to 9 hours" to a position that could be seen from the highway and he was able to describe his attackers before he died. [KLTV, Veterans For America]
  • WWII and Korean War US Navy veteran Peter Bolcis died on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2006.  He was extremely active in his community and in veteran organizations most of his life.  He served as motor machinist's mate on the submarine USS Bang in WWII, and the USS Yancey during the Korean War. [the morning journal]
  • James Joseph Hill died on Aug. 28, 2006. He was a WWII USMC veteran that was attached to the 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion, and after WWII he became a U.S. Merchant Marine. [times community newspaper]

Summary of Recent Veteran News

The Times Leader notes "honorably discharged Merchant Marine veterans of World War II are eligible for a one-time, $500 cash bonus from the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs."

Vietnam Veterans of America Post 278 recently hosted a 13th annual Ride to Remember for Korea/Vietnam War Memorial in Texarkana, TX (very close to AK).

Rain did not stop a recent veteran's ceremony at Elyria Veterans Memorial in Elyria, Ohio. World War II veteran Don Pond gave a speech on his experiences being shot down and captured over Germany in WWII. [chronicle-telegram]

Frank Pimentel of Exeter, NH is getting is WWII dog tags lost 60 yeas ago on Christmas Island in the South Pacific. [sun-chronicle]

George Johnson the last living World War I veteran in California has died at the age of 112. [google]  Other veteran passings include:

  • Rudy Snyder who served as a WWII tank driver with Company D, 709th Battalion. [indystar]
  • Doris Tennant Westcott a leader during WWII in the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES). [latimes]
  • Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Harry Goodall was killed on Sept. 2, 2006 while piloting his own aircraft in Texas.