Remains of Army captain killed in Vietnam War positively identified 40 years after his plane crashed
Daily Mail: The remains of a Vietnam-era soldier killed in the war have been identified, military officials said. They said the remains of Army Capt. James J. Johnstone of Baton Rouge, Louisiana died in 1966 after his airplane crashed in nearby Laos.
A spokesperson for the Defense POW/MIA Missing Personnel Office said they used a molar, along with a partially-destroyed military ID card to positively identify him.
Johnstone was on a reconnaissance mission in Attapu Province, Laos, when his plane crashed on November 19, 1966. He was 28 years old.
His adult daughter, Shawn Johnstone, told The Advocate that she couldn’t be more happy that her father’s remains have been found. ‘I’m a big believer in miracles,’ she said, ‘always have been.’
It was impossible to try and get the human remains from the crash site, as enemy fighting was thick in Laos in 1966, and a retrieval mission would have been far too dangerous.
Ms. Johnstone told the paper that the military had given her a 100-page book detailing the many investigations they had run to try and find her father’s remains.
Following the end of America’s presence in Vietnam and Laos, officials found that villagers had pillaged the site of the wreckage, leaving few clues. Ms. Johnstone, 46, told the Advocate that recently, a villager turned an old American Express card into police there. The card had been her father’s.
Johnstone will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery next Wednesday and will be given military honors.
Welcome home Capt. Johnstone. Rest in peace.