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Helicopter crew killed in Vietnam in '67 to be buried at Arlington

April 30, 2013|By Mike Anton

The remains of a Navy helicopter pilot from Huntington Park who was shot down and killed in Vietnam nearly 46 years ago have been identified, the U.S. Defense Department announced Tuesday.

Lt. Dennis W. Peterson will be buried Thursday in Arlington National Cemetery along with the remains of three crew members who were also killed. They are Ensign Donald P. Frye of Los Angeles and aviation antisubmarine warfare technicians William B. Jackson of Stockdale, Texas, and Donald P. McGrane of Waverly, Iowa. 

The four took off from the USS Hornet on July 19, 1967, on a mission to find and rescue a pilot who had been shot down over North Vietnam. Their helicopter was hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed, killing all four.

In 1982, the Vietnam government repatriated remains that were eventually identified as those of Frye, Jackson and McGrane.

Between 1993 and 2000, U.S. and Vietnamese investigators interviewed locals and excavated other possible burial sites related to the helicopter crash.

Exhumations from that effort were later identified as additional commingled remains of the three crew members and the remains of Peterson.

More than 1,600 American military personnel from the Vietnam War are still unaccounted for.


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