A sighting report
was seen at the JCRC (located in SEA at that time) concerning my brother
and his pilot.
The report told of American pilots in that area being taken into custody by Vietnamese troops. The
Vietnamese were taking the pilots towards Vietnam.
In the book The Men
We Left Behind by Mark Sauter, on page 200 and American
CIA agent overheard
Samuel Larry James telling his name and that he was okay on a radio transmission that was intercepted by this CIA agent. The CIA does not release classified documents so this report has not appeared in Larry’s file. In fact, Air Force Casuality denies ever seeing this report.
As family members
we have continued to contact anyone and everyone to find evidence concerning
brother for 25 years. Very little has appeared in his file.
For years we have
been told that nothing was known. We were told that the probable
crash site was
swept clean and used as farm land. In 1993 my brother’s daughter (considered by the government as
his Primary Next of Kin) was told that an old woman saw the plane crash, and she walked to the site. My
husband discovered that this explanation did not refer to Larry’s crash site. It was 30 miles away and
referred to another incident. The entire scenario was removed from my brother’s file and was not
mentioned by Casualty again after that.
The government sent
a letter stating my brother’s case was inactive and did not recommend excavation.
Then 1997-early 1998, I discovered on the Internet a joint team going into Cambodia to do excavation. My
Mother and I waited to hear if in fact a team went in to my brother’s crash site for excavation. We waited
and waited. No word came. In June 1998 we made our trip to Washington, D.C. Nothing was in Larry’s file
about a recent excavation. We verbally asked the SEA official at Air Force Casualty if a team had gone
into Larry’s site. He answered yes. Evidently Air Force Casualty was waiting (months) to notify the
Primary Next of Kin (my brother’s daughter). He said he did not have her current address. My husband
showed it to him in the file. All this time had passed and the address was there in the file. He said the
Primary Next of Kin had to be notified then my Mother and me.
We finally received
a report with vague explanations. I wrote Joint Task Force- Full
Accounting for more
detailed answers. Evasive answers were returned one month later with photographs of the excavation.
The photographs were not labeled and very difficult to discern. The report stated that teeth with
restorations were found but we were never told how many teeth. Later we were told 10 teeth were consistent
with my brother's dental file and xrays. My mother and I had four private dentists study the file. The opinions
were varied, and they could not make definitive correlation's between the teeth and old x-rays. In fact, there were a number of unexplained inconsistencies. Bone Fragments were said to be found but we were never told how many fragments were found. My mother and I have not been asked for a blood sample so Mt. DNA has not been used. We were told about limited plane parts and personal effects. The excavation team said they found my brother’s identification tag. Lately quite a few tags have been found at crash sites. Were they at the crash site or in a drawer to be pulled out when
On December 10, 1998
I received a phone call from AF Mortuary saying a dental identification
made on my brother and the pilot. Years ago we asked the AF Casualty about my brother’s dental file,
and we were told that they did not have it. Evidently, a file was found. The small bone fragments in size and
quantity, personal effects, and plane parts were determined to be a group identification. 25 years later we are
down to a few chips of bone, few chips of teeth, ID tag, and plane parts to determine the identity of two soldiers.
Where is justice and truth? 17 very small bone fragments without MtDNA were buried together.
My brother’s daughter
was allowed to choose the individual service (location and time). My brother’s
daughter conferred with the pilot’s former wife to set a time for the group identification service.
The Air Force Academy Chapel and Cemetery were chosen as the place by his daughter and April 18, 1999
as the date.My mother did not have a say in any of these decisions. Not conferring with my
mother about Larry’s case is foreign to me. No one is closer to a son than his mother. This does not
mean that uncertainty has been lifted or that we now have an answer about Larry’s fate. It means we
were told what the government has decided.
My brother will be marked identified on the government’s book, but the truth has not been told.
My mother and I wrote
letters to our Congressmen and Senators. We protested this bogus
identification as much as we could. Please continue to pray for my brother
and my family and continue to wear his POW/MIA bracelet. To my family
my brother’s fate is still unknown. However; God is certain.
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