The remains of a U.S. serviceman from South Bend who went missing in action in Vietnam have been identified.
Specialist 4 Robin R. Yeakley, who was 23 when he disappeared June 11, 1972, with his helicopter crew during a reconnaissance mission in Thua Thien-Hue Province, South Vietnam, will be buried with full military honors WednesdayNov. 9 in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C., the Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office said.
Yeakley will be buried in a single casket representing the entire crew along with two others whose remains were identified, Army Capt. Arnold E. Holm, Jr., of Waterford, Conn., and Pfc. Wayne Bibbs, of Chicago. Holm was 28 and Bibbs was 17.
Their OH-6A Cayuse helicopter was making a second pass over a ridge where enemy bunkers had been sighted when it exploded and crashed, a news release said. Crews of other U.S. aircraft involved in the mission reported receiving enemy ground fire as they flew over the crash site looking for survivors.
Helicopter wreckage, crew-related equipment, including two identification tags bearing Yeakley's name, and human remains were recovered from the crash site between 1993 and 2008 by joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, the release said, and scientists used forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence to identify the crew.
More than 1,600 Americans remain unaccounted from the Vietnam War. More than 900 servicemen have been accounted for from that conflict and returned to their families for burial with military honors since 1973. The U.S. government continues to work closely with the governments of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia to recover all Americans lost in the Vietnam War.