Another Comes Home

| February 5, 2013

Another fallen brother-in-arms returns home to receive belated final honors.

Naval aviator LT Richard Laws was lost over North Vietnam in 1966. At the time, he was assigned to Attack Squadron 24 operating from the USS Hancock.

At the time, he was presumed dead.

His remains were later recovered.  However, at the time of recovery they could not be positively identified.

Recent DNA testing has confirmed that the remains are indeed those of LT Laws.  He will be interred at the US Naval Academy on May 10, 2013.

Welcome home, my elder brother-in-arms.  Welcome home at last.

Category: Navy, No Longer Missing, Veterans Issues

Comments (11)

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  1. dnice says:

    Thank you Hondo for the update. Yes welcome home Lt. Laws but i’m sure this is just a mere formality as you were welcomed up there many many years ago.

  2. LanceCooley says:

    Welcome home, sir.

  3. Ex-PH2 says:

    Thanks for the update, Hondo. How many more are there? I’ve lost track.

    Welcome home, LT Laws.

  4. Thanks Hondo… and Welcome Home LT Laws.

  5. Hondo says:

    Ex-PH2: 1,654 remain formally unaccounted for from the Vietnam War (e.g., remains not recovered). Of this total, 935 cases are currently being pursued; 89 are deferred; and 630 will not be further investigated. A large majority of the cases that are not being further investigated are over water losses for which the recovery of remains is not feasible.

    From other conflicts, the numbers are as follows:

    World War II: 73,677 Americans remain unaccounted for
    Korean War: 7,926 Americans remain unaccounted for
    Cold War: 126 US service members remain unaccounted for from 14 missions supporting Cold War activities. Of these missions, 12 were incidents in which US aircraft were shot down by forces of the USSR, PRC, or DPRK; 1 aircraft was lost in a typhoon. The circumstances of loss of one US aircraft, lost over the Black Sea, are not known.
    El Dorado Canyon: Capt. Paul F. Lorence, USAF, remains unaccounted for. His aircraft was shot down over Libya.
    Desert Shield/Storm: two USN personnel remain unaccounted for: LCDR Barry T. Cook and LT Robert J. Dwye. Both were lost over the Persian Gulf in Feb 1991.
    Iraq: 3 DoD contractor personnel remain unaccounted for – Kirk Von Ackerman (2003), Timothy E. Bell (2004), and Adnan al-Hilaw (2007).

    And, finally, Afghanistan: SPC Bowe Berghdal, US Army, was taken prisoner in Afghanistan in 2009. He is believed to still be alive and in captivity.

  6. Ex-PH2 says:

    Thanks, Hondo. I had not realized that there were so many unaccounted for from WWII, never mind Korea and the rest.

  7. OWB says:

    Welcome home, brother. At last.

  8. OldSoldier54 says:

    Indeed, welcome Home, Brother.

  9. A_Proud_Infidel says:

    Welcome home at last, Sir.

  10. af_res_dep says:

    I sent this to a buddy of mine who was an A-4 driver on the Hancock during this time frame and he replied with this:

    “I sure was and Dick Laws was my roommate aboard the Hancock. I have never heard anything before about his family or exactly what happened to him. I seem to remember that he crashed in South Viet Nam on a pretty routine, low priority mission. He flew F8’s and we A4 drivers had fun trying to jump the F8’s around the ship. He was a quiet roommate and didn’t act like some of the other fighter pilots who thought they were king-shit.

    We had a 4 man room with a porthole…highly unusual for me. a junior officer, to get a room like that. The other two roommates were a maintenance warrant officer and an ensign. When I get back home, I will check my cruise notes to see if there is any more to add to the news story about his shoot down. Thanks for sending.”

    Welcome home LT Laws, RIP.

  11. Mike Kozlowski says:

    #5 –

    There is the very unsettling possibility that CAPT Lorence’s remains may still be somewhere in Libya – Qaddafi had what I will politely refer to as an obsession with the remains of his enemies.