The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of three servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and returned to their families for burial with full military honors.
Master Sgt. Charles V. Newton of Canadian, Texas; Sgt. 1st Class Douglas E. Dahill of Lima, Ohio; and Sgt. 1st Class Charles F. Prevedel of St. Louis, Mo., all U.S. Army, will be buried as a group on Oct. 5 at Arlington National Cemetery. Newton was also individually identified and will be interred individually at Arlington on the same day as the group interment. On April 17, 1969, the men and three Vietnamese soldiers were on a long-range reconnaissance patrol operating in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, near the border of Laos. That afternoon the patrol was ambushed by enemy forces and radioed for air support but thunderstorms in the area prevented rescue attempts. Search and rescue teams reached the site the next day but over the next week found no signs of the men.
Between 1990 and 1993,joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) teams, led by Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), interviewed witnesses, investigated leads and excavated the site associated with the ambush. The teams recovered human remains, personal effects and military equipment. In 2003, some of the recovered remains were identified as those of Prevedel. In 2006 and 2007, joint U.S./S.R.V. teams returned to the site and recovered additional remains and military equipment.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used dental comparisons and mitochondrial DNA in the identification of the remains.