The Department of Defense's POW/Missing Personnel Office said the remains of Air Force Col. James E. Dennany, 34, of Kalamazoo, Mich., and Maj. Robert L. Tucci, 27, of Detroit, have been identified and returned to their families for burial with full military honors. They will be buried together Jan. 14 in the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.
Dennany and Tucci were on a night mission over Laos Nov. 12, 1969, when it is believed their F-4D was hit by anti-aircraft artillery gunfire.
A joint U.S.-Laotian team surveyed five reported crash sites in 1994, and in 1999 officials in Ban Soppeng, Laos, turned over remains later determined to be human, along with two .38 caliber pistols and other crew-related equipment villagers had recovered from a nearby crash site. Over the next decade joint teams pursued leads, interviewed villagers and conducted three excavations, recovering aircraft wreckage, human remains, crew-related equipment and personal effects.
U.S. scientists used forensic tools and circumstantial evidence in the identification of the remains.
There are still 1,702 U.S. service members missing from the conflict.