Army Major Donald G. Carr comes home

| May 9, 2018

DPAA reports the earthly remains of Major Donald G. Carr have been identified and that he is being returned to his family;

Army Maj. Donald G. Carr, 32, of San Antonio, accounted for on Aug. 19, 2015, will be buried May 11, at San Antonio National Cemetery. On July 6, 1971, Carr was assigned to the Mobile Launch Team 3, 5th Special Forces Group, as an observer in an OV-10A aircraft that supported an eight-man Special Forces reconnaissance team. During his mission, his aircraft encountered bad weather. Shortly afterward, the ground team heard an explosion to their northeast, which they believed to be that of an OV-10A. They failed to locate the crash site, however, and Carr was declared missing in action.

Between September 1991 and March 2014, joint U.S./Lao Peoples’ Democratic Republic teams conducted more than 25 investigations and site surveys, but could not locate his remains.

In April 2014, a Vietnamese citizen contacted American officials, claiming to know about possible American remains in Kon Tum Province, Vietnam. Wreckage, photos, personal effects, and remains were located and transferred to DPAA, and later identified as Carr’s.

To identify Carr’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used circumstantial evidence and DNA analysis, including mitochondrial DNA.

The support from the government and the people of Vietnam was vital to the success of this recovery.

From NWI Times;

In March 2014, Owen Bell, a Canadian expat, was giving a motorcycle tour in southern Vietnam. At a sightseeing stop, he encountered a young Vietnamese man dressed in combat fatigues (apparently a local fashion statement) making a hard-to-believe claim. The man said a few of his friends, while on a hunting excursion four years earlier, had come upon the wreckage of an American military plane with a body nearby.

To prove it, the guy showed Bell a bone fragment he carried around for good luck and a copy of a dog tag, belonging to a Donald G. Carr.

Later that day, Bell Googled Carr’s name and found an article Cox had written about the search for the solider. This guy might be telling the truth after all, Bell thought.

Bell later met with the man and his friends, three tribesmen who were nervous about being found out by Vietnamese authorities. Bell, assuring them he would keep their identities confidential, broached the idea that the American government might pay reward money for information about missing soldiers.

The men went on to tell Bell about how, during that hunting trip in the jungle, they encountered an aircraft that resembled a frog, with a tail and two legs, and a dead body about 10 to 15 feet away. They admitted goofing around and playing with the defunct machine gun for a bit, before selling what they could for scrap. They showed Bell the original dog tags, as well as more pieces of bone.

Category: We Remember

Comments (10)

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  1. AW1Ed says:

    Welcome home, Major.

  2. ChipNASA says:

    Not cool: Desecrating a wartime crash site and the remains (But maybe they just don’t have the same cultural attitudes)

    Cool: Bringing the guy home.

    R.I.P. Bad ass SpecOps Major.

    • 2/17 Air Cav says:

      “To prove it, the guy showed Bell a bone fragment he carried around for good luck and a copy of a dog tag, belonging to a Donald G. Carr.”

      This is the day that TAH, which has several times saved me from the loony bin, may put me in the loony bin. Consequently, I will have to pass on commenting regarding Charlie and his keepsake. Instead, I will only express my great pleasure in the crash site’s being located and the available mortal remains of Major Carr being returned home. I hope that this helps Major Carr’s family. Welcome home.

      • ChipNASA says:

        You’ve been on a tear today.

        Drink Early.
        Drink Often.

      • cc senor says:

        I don’t practice moral equivalence, but it’s difficult to criticize Charlie’s good luck charm after seeing human skulls over headlights on an APC and a mortar aiming stake. I’m just glad the major has been accounted for and finally brought home.

  3. RGR 4-78 says:

    Welcome Home Major Carr.

  4. Sparks says:

    Welcome home Brother. Rest in peace in your home soil now.

  5. W_warrior says:

    Welcome back to home, rest easy

  6. Green Thumb says:

    Welcome home, Major.

    Rest well.

  7. luddite4change says:

    The description sounds like an OV-2. Wonder if they recovered the pilot as well?