Army Pilot ID'd In '70 War Crash

December 28th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Army Pilot ID'd In '70 War Crash

Chicago Tribune
December 27, 2006
36 years after incident in Vietnam, family members get closure
By Associated Press
FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- The remains of an Army helicopter pilot who disappeared while flying in Vietnam 36 years ago have been identified.
Capt. Herbert Crosby, 22, of Ft. Wayne was flying back to his base at Chu Lai in 1970 when his helicopter went down in bad weather over Quang Nam Province in southern Vietnam. A search then found no trace of the aircraft or its crew.
In 1989 the Socialist Republic of Vietnam gave U.S. specialists 25 boxes containing items related to the crash. Later that year, a Vietnamese refugee provided additional remains and Crosby's dog tags.
In 1994 teams excavated the crash site and found a metal box and more remains.
Then this month, by using DNA provided by Crosby's two sisters, the pilot's remains were identified. Crosby's tooth provided proof that it was his remains, his sister said.
"It's a mixture of joy and sadness. But at least we finally have closure," Janie Crosby of Pine Mountain, Ga., told the News-Sentinel.
Ab Crosby, 57, of Ft. Wayne said his cousin chose to go to Vietnam after a good friend was killed there.
"It was real difficult when we lost [Herbert]. He was only a few weeks from coming home," he said. "At first, you hope they will find him. But the area was rugged, and after four or five months you begin to wonder. Then you just hope it was over quickly."
Before Herbert C. Crosby Sr. died in 1991 in Georgia at the age of 71, the fate of his missing son had haunted him for more than two decades, Ab Crosby said.
"My uncle wanted to go to Vietnam and search for him, especially after some neighbors came over and said they had talked to Herbert," he said. "Sometimes he would get on the helicopter's radio and talk to ham radio operators back home."
Janie Crosby said a military funeral is being planned for sometime around Memorial Day.
Besides Herbert Crosby, the remains of crewmen Sgt. 1st Class Wayne C. Allen of Tewksbury, Mass., and Sgt. 1st Class Francis G. Graziosi of Rochester, N.Y., also were identified this month.
Of the 2,646 Americans originally listed as missing during the Vietnam War, the remains of 841 have been identified and returned, according to the Defense Department's Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office.

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