VPNAVY VP-5 Newsletter
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Newsletter VP-5 Memorial Help Bring Crew Home Newsletter


Killed In Action        January 12th, 1962        Killed In Action

BRING OUR CREW HOME!

  • Message from Robert T. Pettway   [29JUL2008]
  • Message from Robert T. Pettway   [29JUL2008]
  • Message from Robert T. Pettway   [06MAY2008]
  • Message from Robert T. Pettway   [05APR2008]
  • Message from Robert T. Pettway   [29MAR2008]
  • Message from Robert T. Pettway   [28MAR2008]
  • Message from Randall Haney   [26MAR2008]
  • Message from Robert T. Pettway   [08FEB2008]
  • Message from Chuck Kuehnel   [10JAN2008]
  • Message from Patricia Masciantoni   [04JAN2008]
  • Message from Robert T. Pettway   [22DEC2007]
  • Message from Robert T. Pettway   [21DEC2007]
  • Message from Patricia Kozak Masciantoni   [14JUN2004]
  • Message from Major Jean P. Cole (Ret) - OIC 1966 Recovery Mission   [10MAY2004]
  • Message from Patricia Kozak Masciantoni   [10APR2004]
  • Message from Bob Pettway   [01MAR2004]
  • Message from Douglas Storie   [25NOV2003]
  • Message from Michael Eliasohn   [29OCT2003]
  • Message from Ken Terry (Head of Missing Persons Group)   [27OCT2003]
  • Message from Jeff Redding   [06AUG2003]
  • Message from Johannes Alme   [10MAR2003]
  • Message from Chief Of Naval Operations   [20FEB2003]
  • Message from Patricia Kozak   [08JAN2003]
  • Message from Robert T. Pettway   [08JAN2003]
  • Message from Robert T. Pettway   [23NOV2002]
  • Message from Navy Casualty, Bureau of Naval Personnel   [00XXX0000]
  • Message from Senator E. Benjamin Nelson   [16MAR2002]
  • Message from Congressmen Zack Wamp   [28FEB2002]
  • Message from Navy Personnel Command   [08JAN2002]
  • Message from DoD Joint Casualty Conference   [12DEC2001]
  • Message from President Bush   [01OCT2001]
  • Family steps in to return crew's remains   [01OCT2001]
  • Message from Congressman Bob Stump   [28SEP2001]
  • ‘Burial with honors' still lacking for some victims   [06SEP2001]
  • Message from John Masciantoni   [04SEP2001]
  • Message from Senators Bill Frist, Max Cleland, and Congressmen Wamp   [10AUG2001]
  • Message from Robert T. Pettway   [09AUG2003]


  • Killed In Action Contributed by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [30JUL2008]

    Chuck Kuehnel has authorized this letter for posting:

    Senator Christopher S. Bond
    274 Russell Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510

    Congressman W. Todd Akin
    117 Cannon House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515

    This is a follow-up to my letter of January 8, 2008 regarding identification of the remains of the twelve Navy airmen who died in the crash of LA-9 in early 1962.

    A synopsis of the events leading up to the current situation:

    The entire crew of twelve perished on impact when Patrol Squadron Five's (VP-5) P2V Neptune aircraft, LA-9, crashed on Greenland in January, 1962. The wreckage remained undetected until mid-1966. The initial recovery effort in August, 1966 was shortened by the onset of severe weather, but Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI) was able to identify remains belonging to seven of the airmen. Other recovered remains were isolated to three of the remaining five airmen. The names of the airmen and their burial locations are as follows:

    Names included on common grave in Arlington National Cemetery:

    Note: Grave contains remains belonging to only three unidentified individuals

    Buried in individual graves in Arlington National Cemetery:
    • CMDR Norbert J. KOZAK, Pilot/Patrol Plane Commander
    • LTjg Michael P. Leahy, Navigator
    • LTjg Badger C. Smith, Navigator
    Buried in home state:
    • ADR2 Robert E. Hurst, 1st Mechanic/Plane Captain (Talladega, Alabama)
    • ADR3 Frank E. Parker, 2nd Mechanic (Murphysboro, Illinois)
    • AT3 Norman R. RUSSELL, Jr., 2nd Technician (Amite, Louisiana)
    • AT2 Robert A. ANDERSON, 1st Technician (Madison, Wisconsin)
    In 1995, an aircraft from Greenland Air reported human remains visible at the LA-9 crash site, but no action was taken by the Department of Defense (DoD) or the Navy. In 2004, the Navy made a 2nd recovery expedition to the crash site and the recovered remains were sent to Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI) for mtDNA identification, a method that was unavailable in 1966. Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI) finished its preliminary identification by late 2005, and then forwarded a request to Navy Casualty to examine the remains from the common grave at Arlington. To date, the Army Administrators at Arlington have refused to disinter that grave.

    I have just learned that the Brown and Millette families have been told by Navy Casualty that some of the remains recovered in 2004 belong to LT John A. BROWN and AT3 Alan P. MILLETTE. But Navy Casualty also told them that the remains in the common grave at Arlington would not be disinterred, and they would receive a report by the end of the year which would include options to consider for the burial of these newly identified remains.

    So the dilemma remains: who is buried in the common grave in Arlington, and if those remains belong to individuals whose remains are now at Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI), why keep them separated? The only logical solution is to disinter the common grave and join the remains as they properly belong. Then the families can decide on burial and know the resting place of their loved one.

    The actions of the Navy and the Department of Defense (DoD) since 1966 have shamefully neglected the LA-9 airmen and their families. The primary mission of the first (1966) recovery effort, although shortened by the onset of severe weather, was to destroy the classified materials and equipment carried in the aircraft. The Navy and DoD had to know there were more human remains to be collected, but instead made no effort to return to the crash site. And in 1995, when Greenland Air reported seeing exposed remains at the crash site, the Navy and DoD merely filed away the information. But a grass roots campaign of former VP-5 airmen was started in late-2000 and eventually broke the bureaucratic inertia of the Navy and DoD, culminating in the second (2004) recovery mission. Using mtDNA, Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI) now knows the identity of those remains. So why not take the next step as requested by Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI) in late 2005, which is to identify the remains in the common grave?

    If you agree with me, a Missouri resident and former VP-5 airman, that anything less than a full accounting of the remains recovered from the LA-9 crash site is:
    • a dishonorable treatment of the perished airmen and their surviving families, and
    • further inaction is a waste of the federal resources already expended in the recovery and identification efforts,
    I urge you to use your position in the U.S. Congress to ask the DoD to justify their current position.

    If one of your relatives was involved in this incident, would you be satisfied with its current handling?

    Sincerely,

    Charles G. Kuehnel
    4549 Zamora Drive
    St. Louis, MO.

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    Killed In Action Contributed by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [06MAY2008]

    VP Navy Readers,

    I regret to inform you that the Army and Navy authorities have begun their discriminatory exercise against the families of the LA-9 crew. Last week, Scott Millette, the eldest child and PNOK for fallen LA-9 crewman AT3 Alan P. MILLETTE, was called by someone from Navy Casualty and informed that some remains of his father were identified from the 2004 recovered remains from the Greenland crash site.

    He was also informed that under no circumstances would the unidentified group remains recovered in 1966, and buried in Arlington National Cemetery be disinterred and identified. Scott was told that he would receive a report by the end of the year, and that he had several options to consider for the burial of the identified 2004 recovered remains.

    I recently heard from the Brown Family that Jim Brown, the eldest brother of Lt. John A. BROWN and his primary next of kin (PNOK), had received a similar phone call from Navy casualty relaying the same information as that received by Scott Millette. He too, was give a "song and dance" about why they would not disinter and identify the Arlington group grave as requested by Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI).

    What happened to the government's pledge of a full accounting of MIA remains, when they won't even examine all of the recovered remains of this loss incident??? They don't have to excavate in Korea or Vietnam............all they have to do is exhume the group grave of comingled remains buried in ANC in 1966 to provide a full accounting in the LA-9 case! Why is DoD ignoring it's own disinterment policy?

    Recently, CIL/JPAC had to find additional space for the hundreds of sets of Korean War and WW2 remains that were disinterred from Punchbowl National Cemetery for the sole purpose of identifying those remains by MtDNA analysis. Why are the LA-9 families being treated differently than those families? This is discrimination and is so wrong it is shameful.

    Why must the LA-9 families be forced to settle for less than a full accounting of their loved one's recovered remains? Why must they be forced to have two burial sites for remains of their family member?

    What the Army, and by extension, Navy Casualty is doing in the LA-9 case is both dishonorable and un-American, in my opinion. I hope the LA-9 families can overcome the injustice being inflicted on them by these bureaucrats through intercession by their Congress Reps and or the federal court. I have urged all of the families to fight for what is right and just, and to tell Navy Casualty that halfway accountability of the unidentified recovered remains is unacceptable.

    Best regards,

    Bob Pettway

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    Killed In Action Contributed by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [06MAY2008]

    April 25, 2008

    Mr. John Metzler, Jr., Superintendent
    Arlington National Cemetery
    Arlington, VA 22211

    Re: Grover Wells and Others Unidentified

    Dear Superintendent Metzler:

    My constituents, Bobby Wells, Donna Eiselstein, Roger Wells and Macel Wells reside in the Second Congressional District of Iowa which I proudly represent in the United States House of Representatives. Their deceased brother and son, Grover Wells, is believed to be one of the five unidentified American sailors who perished on January 12, 1962 in an airplane crash while searching for Russian submarines in the Denmark Strait.

    I used the word "believed" because, as you know, identification of these 12 Americans remains incomplete. Dental records were mainly used to identify 7 of them in 1966. However, the remains of 3 men lie buried together in Arlington National Cemetery with a grave marker listing all 5 names of the unidentified. Family members of these fallen Americans continue to grieve for their loved ones who may or may not sleep beneath the pristine white markers at Arlington Cemetery.

    The families carry their grief with pride but also with the knowledge that they do not know the identity of the 3 men who were buried in Arlington in 1966; nor do they know the identity of the remaining 2 men whose remains were rescued as a result of a third discovery in 2004. The remains of these last 2 men were transferred for DNA comparisons to the Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI) in Hawaii. Although DNA analysis has been completed, results cannot be released until the Arlington 3 have had their DNA analyzed as well.

    It has been approximately 46 years since these brave Americans boarded that plane in Iceland and flew into almost hurricane force winds to search for possible hostile submarines in unfamiliar territory. They did not falter. They did not procrastinate. They did not wait for a more convenient time. They did not complain. They did not offer excuses. They did not pass the buck.

    They did their job. Now is the time for their government to do its job. Now is the time to disinter the remains of the group of 3 who lie in the Common Grave Plot, Section 46, Plot 754 and send them to the Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI) for DNA analyses. It is long past time to allow the families of these noble 12 Americans to rest from the prolonged stress and unnecessary questioning about the identify of the unidentified 5. It is, in my opinion, un-American.

    I believe that allowing these families to heal and to have closure of the traumatic deaths of their loved ones are cogent reasons for the disinterment. I believe that these families deserve to be able to bury their loved ones wherever they choose, as this is the right of every American citizen.

    In his Second Inaugural Address Abraham Lincoln said ".let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have born the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan-to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace."

    There can be no binding of wounds of the families who, for 46 years, do not know the whereabouts of their loved ones; there can be no care for him who remains anonymous lying in a box with multiple others, or for his widow, or for his orphan. There is no just and lasting peace to cherish in this saga.

    I hope a resolution to this dilemma can be quickly and successfully achieved. Please contact Virginia Coulter, my Iowa City Congressional military staff caseworker, at: Virginia.Coulter@Mail.House.Gov if I can be of any benefit to you in this matter.

    Sincerely,

    Dave Loebsack
    Member of Congress

    Cc: Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates
    Secretary of the Army Mr. Pete Geren
    Secretary of the Navy Mr. Donald C. Winter

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    Killed In Action Contributed by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [29MAR2008]

    Nancy Brenneman has authorized this letter for posting:

    March 2,2008
    Secretary of Defense
    Mr. Robert M. Gates
    1000 Defense Pentagon
    Washington, DC 20301-1000

    Dear Mr. Gates,

    I am writing you regarding the loss of 12 air crewmen on board Navy aircraft LA-9 in Greenland in 1962. My brother, Lt John A. BROWN, MD was one of that crew.

    In 1966 on the first recovery mission to the crash site, a significant amount of remains were recovered which, could not be identified with then current technology (before DNA analysis was discovered). These group remains were buried in Arlington National Cemetery in a common grave plot, section 46, plot #754. The names of five crewmen whose remains were not identified were placed on the marker for this plot. Seven crewmen's remains were identified and buried in single plots in 1966.

    A second recovery mission took place in August 2004, and they were successful in recovering additional crew remains. These have all been identified as of the end of 2005.

    With today's DNA technology, the unidentified group remains can now he identified. The CILHI Lab and JPAC have made an official request for the group remains to be disinterred from Arlington for examination by CILHI, so that ALL of the recovered remains can be correctly identified and the final report can be as complete as possible. This request was properly made through channels (JPAC to Navy Casualty to Navy Mortuary) to the U.S. Army Administrators of Arlington National Cemetery and Army Mortuary. The request has been denied by the Army authorities, who have delayed the identification process by over two years because they refuse to exhume the (unidentified) group remains. Mr. Ken Terry and Navy Casualty have tried {and failed) to get army to cooperate in the disinterment of the 1966 group remains.

    The navy relies on Title 10, USC, Section 1481,1482, and 1483 as its statutory authority (SECNAV) over the disposition and identification of naval personnel remains. Mr. Metzler, Superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery, is relying on title 32, CFR, Section 553.19. The statute is not applicable to unidentified group remains, only to a known decedent in a single grave.

    After all of the work that has been done so that none of these men would be left on foreign soil, I cannot believe that the Army will not allow the CILHI lab to complete their work. The twelve families are united in their desire for identification and proper burial of their loved ones and each has submitted a DNA sample to CILHI for that purpose.

    For this reason, I am asking for your help in bringing closure to this tragedy.

    Sincerely,

    Nancy Brenneman
    19 Sand Hill Rd
    Croydon, NH 03773

    CC:
    Secretary of Army, Mr. Pete Geren, 101 Army Pentagon, Washington, DC 20310-0101
    Secretary of Navy, Mr. Donald C. Winter, 1000 Navy Pentagon, Washington, DC 20350-1000

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    Killed In Action Contributed by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [29MAR2008]

    The letter of Ronald J. James, Assistant Secretary of the Army, to Representative Aderholt, U.S.Congress, Alabama, was misleading, disingenuous, and outright untruthful.

    The navy HAS furnished numerous reports to army authorities citing the cogent reasons for disinterment of the LA-9 group remains. I have obtained copies of these documents by way of a FOIA request to Navy Casualty and Navy Medical.

    Mr. James cites 32 CFR 553.19 as the statutory authority for disinterment from Arlington National Cemetery. This statute is applicable ONLY to a single grave containing KNOWN remains of a KNOWN family.

    In the instance of a group interment of UNIDENTIFIED remains, the families are also UNIDENTIFIED. In the specific case of LA-9, the group interment consists of partial remains of 3 of the 5 unidentified crew members. They only recovered remains of 10 of the 12 crewmen in the 1966 recovery. 2 were not recovered at all in 1966.

    So just how does the army propose that navy comply with the requirement that ALL family members give their authority, when the families of the group remains cannot be identified?

    Further, in the case of a group interment, the authority for the interment is some official within the Department of Defense; NOT A FAMILY MEMBER AS REQUIRED BY THEIR MIS-APPLIED STATUTE. In the instance of a group burial of unidentified remains, their statute cannot be complied with. They are using it as a catch-22, because they know that navy can't comply and they don't want to disinter ANY of the many, many, group burial sites at Arlington. They are relying on the misapplication of this statute to refuse disinterment and identification of the remains, without any regard for the wishes of the families involved or the applicable law.

    The navy says that the controlling statutes in a group interment remains 10 USC sections 1481, 1482, & 1483. I believe they are correct. SECNAV has authority over the identification and disposition of naval remains. It does not end with interment in a group grave in Arlington. One of these statutes also gives authority to SECNAV to pay all costs of identification and disposition of naval personnel remains........including temporary interment.

    The issue will ultimately be decided by the Secretary of Defense, Mr. Robert Gates. We need to concentrate our support for the navy's position and the wishes of the families with him. Mr. Gates needs to realize that this is the right thing to do for the country, for the navy, and for the decedents and their families.

    Fair Winds and Following Seas,

    Robert T. Pettway

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    Killed In Action Contributed by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [28MAR2008]

    I received a response to my FOIA request from the Department of the Army, and the Department of the Navy (Bureau of Medicine and Surgery), last week.

    The Army response was a simple receipt of the referral from navy casualty, and an additional referral to the Arlington National Cemetery Command for response to me. I am still waiting for the Arlington National Cemetery document.
    Get Adobe Reader
    Freedom of Information Act Request Response 44KB

    The Navy Bureau of Medicine response was significant. It disclosed a letter from that command to Superintendent John Metzler, Arlington National Cemetery which is dated 13 October, 2005. In the letter, they request the disinterment of the Arlington group remains because "Additional remains of the crew have been recently recovered and together with current unknown remains interred as a group, identification of all may be possible."
    Get Adobe Reader
    Request for Disinterment of Group Remains 61KB

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    Killed In Action Contributed by Randall Haney rhaney@boazk12.org [26MAR2008]

    I have attached the reply my Congressman Aderholt received from the Department of the Army. They are telling the congressman that there is additional information needed by them from the Navy. Given their request for additional information, do we know if the Navy has supplied them with that information or not?

    My next step is to request that my congressman forward a copy of this letter to the Navy Department and ask them to respond.

    DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
    OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY
    MANPOWER AND RESERVE AFFAIRS
    111 ARMY PENTAGON
    WASHINGTON, DC 20310-0111

    The Honorable Robert B. Aderholt
    Representative in Congress
    107 Federal Building
    600 Broad Street
    Gadsden, Alabama 35901

    Dear Representative Aderholt:

    Thank you for your efforts on behalf of Dr. Randall Haney concerning his request for disinterment of the unidentified LA-9 remains that were recovered in September 1966 and interred in a group burial in Arlington National Cemetery. Upon receipt of the packet of information from the Navy regarding the unidentified group remains, my office contacted the Navy in writing to inform them that additional documentation was required by regulation (Title 32, Code of Federal Regulation .(C.F.R.), Section 553.19) before the Army could disinter the remains. The Army has not yet authorized disinterment because the Navy has not provided the necessary documentation.

    All requests to disinter remains should be sent to the Superintendent, Arlington National Cemetery. In accordance with Title 32, C.F.R., Section 553.19, all requests must include the following:
      (a) A full statement of cogent reasons for the proposed disinterment.

      (b) Notarized statements by all close living relatives oi the decedent that they interpose no objection to the proposed disinterment. "Close relatives" are widow or widower, parents, adult brothers and sisters, and adult children of the decedent and will include the person who directed the initial interment, if living, even though the legal relationship of that person to the decedent may have changed.

      (c) A sworn statement by a person who knows that those who supplied affidavits comprise all the living close relatives of the deceased, including the person who directed the initial interment.
    Specifically, the Army has not yet been provided with the required statement of cogent reasons for the disinterment, the notarized statements from the close relatives stating they have no objections, nor the statement from a person with knowledge of all living close relatives. The Army requires these notarized statements to ensure that all close relatives with loved ones buried in the group burial consent to the disinterment and to prevent causing further emotional harm to the families involved. In addition, the Navy must identify an appropriate funding source for the disinterment, as Army regulations require that the disinterment be done at no expense to the government. Upon receipt of all of the required documentation, including consent by all close relatives, the Army will respectfully honor the request for disinterment.

    Ronald J. James
    Assistant Secretary of the Army
    (Manpower and Reserve Affairs)

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    Killed In Action Contributed by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [08FEB2007]

    Hello LA-9 Friends,

    The LA-9 case is unique in that it is the first instance of two military recoveries from the same crash site, and of two sets of unidentified remains, in 1966 and in 2004. Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI), using MtDNA analysis, has identified the remains recovered in 2004. These remains are still at Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI); the I.D. results are still unreported.

    We are currently at an impasse in the recovered remains identification process. The Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI) and the Navy Casualty (BUPERS) want to disinter and identify the unidentified group remains which were recovered and buried in the common gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery in 1966. They must do this for the final identification report to ever be complete.

    For the past two years, the Army administrators of Arlington National Cemetery and Army Mortuary have refused to comply with the navy's request to disinter and identify the 1966 group remains, citing federal law Title 32, CFR, 553.19 as their statutory authority to refuse the request. You can look this statute up on the internet by a Google search, and read it for yourself. In my opinion, this statute is only applicable to a single grave plot wherein the decedent and his family are known; it is NOT applicable to unidentified group interments.

    In the dispute between the army and navy authorities, the navy relies on Title 10, USC, Section 1481, 1482, and 1483 as it's statutory authority (SECNAV) over the disposition and identification of naval personnel remains. I believe that the navy will make a compelling case to DOD that the SECNAV retains controlling authority over naval remains; not the army.

    Further, I believe the navy will not allow the Superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery and other army mortuary officials to usurp the authority of the Secretary of the Navy by misapplying the law in this manner. I believe eventually, if need be, the Department of Defense (DOD) will intervene in favor of the navy. I just hope that it doesn't take forever.

    The Superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery is Mr. John Metzler, and I think that he holds the rank of Colonel in the army. I talked with him for about an hour last Monday, Feb. 4th. I found him to be well intentioned but ill informed on the LA-9 case and applicable federal laws.

    Below is a summation of my conversation with Mr. Metzler:
      1. Mr. Metzler is only concerned about the remains in the care of Arlington National Cemetery, and his responsibility to the decedent's families.

      2. He takes the position that while the navy may still have some interest in the Arlington group remains, all proprietary interest in the LA-9 group remains belongs with the army.

      3. He is unaware of any pending legal action by the navy for disinterment.

      4. I had to pin him down to the fact that the directing authority (in 1966) for the original group interment came from someone within the Department of Defense; not the families of the deceased. He finally admitted that this was usually the case, only after I read to him the paragraph on that very subject from his own Arlington Cemetery web site on group interments.

      5. He is unaware of any other federal/DOD statutes governing the authority for disinterment of "group" remains from Arlington National Cemetery. He believes Title 32, CFR, Section 553.19 is the sole applicable statute.

      6. He acknowledged that it is the navy making the request for disinterment; not the involved families. He said that any disagreement between military agencies should be resolved within the DOD ultimately.

      7. He stated that the 2004 recovered remains in Hawaii could be buried anywhere the families wished, including Arlington National Cemetery. This includes the possibility of more than one burial site at Arlington for an individual whose name already appears on the group tombstone. Or, if the family wishes, the additional remains could also be buried in the existing group burial site.

      8. Mr. Metzler stated it was a function of each casualty service of each military branch to determine the burial wishes (or disinterment wishes) of each individual family member, and secure the necessary documentation. In this case, it's the job of Navy Casualty to comply with the governing statute (Title 32, CFR, Section 553.19).

      9. Mr. Metzler alleges that the proper procedure established for the disinterment of remains from Arlington National Cemetery has not been followed in the LA-9 case.
    I strongly disagree with Mr. Metzler's interpretations of the applicable laws in this case. I hope that SECNAV does too!

    Please write your congress representatives in support of the navy's authority over the identification and disposition of the LA-9 group remains.

    Fair winds and following seas,

    Bob Pettway

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    Killed In Action Contributed by Chuck Kuehnel and forwarded by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [10JAN2008]

    Hello shipmates,

    It is time to make a push with our congressional representatives and senators in Washington, for closure of the LA-9 case. The army has delayed the identification process for over two years. Chuck Kuehnel (Tacco LA-2) has written an excellent one page letter to both of his senators and representative. The below letter is furnished for your use as a guide, to write your congress members. We need your help, please write a letter.

    Thank you,

    Bob Pettway

    January 8, 2008

    Congressman Christopher S. Bond
    274 Russell Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510

    Congresswoman Claire McCaskill
    717 Hart Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510

    Congressman W. Todd Akin
    117 Cannon House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515

    Dear Congress(wo)man:

    I am a native Missourian and resident of St. Louis County since 1966. I served in the Navy from 1962 to 1966, the last 30 months in Patrol Squadron Five (VP-5) based at NAS Jacksonville, Florida. Our primary mission was anti-submarine warfare using the Lockheed P2V "Neptune" aircraft. I'm requesting your help in a cause that is near and dear to the hearts of all who served in VP-5 during the early 1960s. We are asking for closure to the identification and burial of the squadron's 12-man crew who perished in a crash on Greenland in early 1962. The details of this case are as follows:
      In January 1962, a VP-5 P2V aircraft, known as LA-9, disappeared over the North Atlantic during a routine mission from Keflavik, Iceland. After an exhaustive search, the Navy concluded the aircraft had crashed at sea.

      In August 1966, a British geologic survey team discovered LA-9's wreckage on the Kronborg Glacier in Greenland. One month later, the Navy sent a team to destroy the aircraft's classified equipment and recover the remains of the crew, but a blizzard limited the recovery effort. After (pre-DNA) forensic analysis, the remains of seven crewmen were identified and buried individually; the remains of the other five crewmen could not be identified and were buried in a common grave in Arlington National Cemetery (section 46, plot #754).

      In 1995, the Navy learned that human remains were still visible at the LA-9 crash site from photographs taken by a Greenland Air helicopter pilot.

      In 2000, a former VP-5 air crewman who had served during the 1960-1964 era learned the fate of his shipmates who had been lost in the crash of LA-9. He started a grass-roots effort to get the Navy to bring home all of the remains from that crash site, which was done in the summer of 2004.

      By the end of 2005, Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI) (Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii) completed the examination of the. recovered remains, and along with JPAC (Joint Prisoners of War, Missing In Action Accounting Command) made an official request through channels (Navy Casualty to Navy Mortuary) to the U.S. Army Administrators of Arlington National Cemetery for the group remains buried in Arlington (section 46, plot 754) to be disinterred so that all of those remains can be properly identified using DNA technology. All twelve families are united in the JPAC/Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI) endeavor and have submitted DNA samples.
    VP-5's grass roots group has been working with Navy Casualty on this issue since 2000, and was recently informed that no action has been taken by the U.S. Army Administrators of Arlington National Cemetery regarding the disinterment of the group grave. It appears that a favorable ruling from the Army's Assistant Secretary Manpower and Reserve Affairs is needed for Arlington to proceed with the disinterment.

    The Honorable Ronald J. James
    US Department of the Army, Office of the Assistant Secretary
    Manpower and Reserve Affairs
    The Pentagon, Room 2E468
    Washington DC 20310

    Sincerely,

    Charles G. Kuehnel
    St. Louis, MO 63128

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    Killed In Action Contributed by Patricia Kozak Masciantoni and forwarded by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [04JAN2008]

    December 22, 2007

    Senator Bill Nelson
    716 Hart Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510

    Dear Senator Nelson,

    Would you believe that remains of U.S. Navy servicemen who died in 1962 cannot be properly buried because of some type of communication issues between the Department of the Navy and the Department of the Army? It's happening right now, and it involves the Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii and Arlington National Cemetery. We, the families, want closure. Unfortunately, we are forced to take the step of pleading with our esteemed senators and congressional representatives to intercede on our behalf.

    I'll keep the facts brief for a story that started in 1962. It was during the height of the Cold War that a few aircraft left the Naval Air Station at Keflavik, Iceland, for a patrol of the Denmark Strait, tracking Russian submarines. Contact was lost between the base and one of the P2-V's, piloted by my father, Commander Norbert J. KOZAK. A crew of 12 was on that aircraft, all part of the VP-5 squadron based in Jacksonville, Florida, but deployed in Spain and Iceland. Following an extensive search, they were declared missing and presumed dead.

    In August 1966, quite by accident, a group of Oxford University graduate students and their professor were traversing a glacier in Greenland when they came upon the wreckage of the aircraft. They knew it to be from the United States, but had no way of knowing how long it had been on the ice. They brought document to the American Embassy in Iceland. Shortly after that, a group of U.S. Marines was sent to detonate the aircraft because of the secret sonar equipment on board. They recovered what they thought were all of the remains, but weather and timing prevented them from staying longer than about four days for this mission. I have met with the leader of that 1966 mission and have seen photos of the conditions in which they worked.

    In 2001, one of the men who found the aircraft almost 40 years before as a student, Kent Brooks, returned to the wreckage area in Greenland. He had since become a professor, lived in Copenhagen, and occasionally led expeditions in the area. He found human remains on the ice, along with parts of the aircraft. Dr. Brooks had been corresponding with a former VP-5 squadron member, Bob Pettway, and told him of the discovery.

    It took four years of inquiries, seeking information and writing letters before the Navy agreed to bring back the rest of the remains. You were helpful then, Senator Nelson, as I wrote asking you for assistance with the recovery. A final recovery was made in August, 2004.

    Since that time, the remains have all been identified, though family members do not know which remains are in the lab in Hawaii. I'd like to point out that DNA testing was completed on all remains, and the lion's share of the work of locating surviving family members for DNA donation was conducted by Bob Pettway.

    Now we have a situation of non-cooperation that impedes closing this case.

    When remains were brought back in 1966, most were buried in Arlington National Cemetery. One of the graves there contains the remains of five of the crewmembers (section 46, plot #754). It is necessary to exhume that grave and allow the lab staff in Hawaii to match the remains that they have, recovered in 2004, to the remains that were brought back in 1966.

    I have written the superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery, as has another family member, but we both received the same response. I'm enclosing both letters for your information.

    Senator Nelson, you are known for your strong support of the space program. My father flew one of the reconnaissance aircraft for the first manned spaceflight. At one time, he worked in a NASA facility in Chincoteague, Virginia. He spent almost 20 years in the Navy and served in WW2 and the Berlin Airlift. He was 40 at the time of his death; most of the crewmembers were in their 20's.

    After all of the work that has been done so that none of these men would be left on foreign soil, I cannot believe that two military departments cannot come to terms with allowing the lab staff to complete their work. I'm sure there are other issues here, but it is not clear to me why this cannot be resolved.

    For this reason, I am begging you for your help with bringing this to closure. As the daughter of the pilot of this aircraft and the executive officer of his squadron, I want to ensure that all family members have the opportunity to bury their loved ones, all of whom served with distinction.

    Thank you in advance for any help that you can provide.

    Sincerely,

    Patricia Masciantoni

    Enclosures:
    Letter to John Metzler, Jr.
    Response letter to Patricia Masciantoni
    Robert T. Pettway, Sr.

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    Killed In Action Contributed by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [22DEC2007]

    December 19, 2007

    Below is the latest message from Ken Terry of Navy Casualty:
      Bob:

      No luck at all. He spoke with LTC Lisa Valentine, USA, the Army Officer with Oversight Responsibilities for Arlington National Cemetery, and Mr. Harry Campbell of the U.S. Army Casualty and Memorial Affairs Operations Center, and neither were cooperative. Because this request involves disposition of remains issues established by Public Law (Title 10 USC, Sections 1481-83) we will pursue this issue through Office of the Judge Advocate General of the Navy (OJAG) for resolution and the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Manpower and Reserve Affairs. Hopefully, the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Manpower and Reserve Affairs will recognize the Secretary of the Navy's authority concerning disposition of Group Remains. Although the LA-9 Loss Incident has brought this matter to Navy's attention, the implications go well beyond this one Loss Incident, as you can imagine.

      Department of Defense Directive 1300.22, Mortuary Affairs Policy, establishes the Department of the Army as the Executive Agent for Mortuary Affairs. The Assistant Secretary of the Army, Manpower and Reserve Affairs, The Honorable Ronald J. James, represents the Secretary of the Army as the DOD Executive Agent. For your convenience, I am enclosing the mailing address of ASA(M&RA) below, as well as, including his BIO as an attachment.

      US Department of the Army, Office of the Assistant Secretary
      Manpower and Reserve Affairs
      The Pentagon, Room 2E468
      Washington DC 20310

      The package that we have prepared, is undergoing a legal review to ensure that the lawyers and us administrators are on the same sheet of music. I will let you know when we send the package up the chain-of-command.Ken
    This "legal review" Mr. Terry speaks of and the subsequent court action could take years before common sense prevailed, if it ever does. Therefore, I reccommend that we once again mount a nationwide letter writing campaign to our respective senators and congressmen, requesting that they intercede with the Army to exhume the 1966 unidentified group remains and allow Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI) to complete it's work. This disinterrment action SHOULD have been quietly accomplished within a few months following the August 2004 recovery mission.

    Robert T. Pettway, Sr.

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    Killed In Action Contributed by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [21DEC2007]

    December 20, 2007

    Congressman Zack Wamp
    U. S. House of Representatives
    Washington, DC 20515-4203

    Dear Congressman Wamp:

    I sincerely appreciate your help in securing information from the Navy regarding the loss of 12 air crewmen on board Navy aircraft LA-9 in Greenland in 1962. Your assistance was instrumental in convincing the Navy to mount a second recovery mission from a Greenland glacier in August, 2004, and they were successful in recovering additional crew remains.

    I've had recent communications with Mr. Ken Terry of Navy Casualty who advised me that the Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI) laboratory completed their examination of those remains around the end of 2005. However, Mr. Terry stated a problem has developed with the Army Administrators of Arlington National Cemetery over the unidentified group remains recovered in 1966.

    In 1966 on the first recovery mission to the crash site, a significant amount of remains were recovered which could not be identified with then current technology (before DNA analysis was discovered). These group remains were buried in Arlington National Cemetery in a common grave plot, section 46, plot #754. The names of five crewmen whose remains were not identified were placed on the marker for this plot. Seven crewmen's remains were identified and buried in single plots in 1966.

    With today's DNA technology, these unidentified group remains can now be identified. The Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI) Lab and JPAC have made an official request for the group remains to be disinterred from Arlington for examination by Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI), so that ALL of the recovered remains can be correctly identified and the final report can be as complete as possible. This request was properly made through channels (JPAC to Navy Casualty to Navy Mortuary) to the U.S. Army Administrators of Arlington National Cemetery and Army Mortuary. The request has to date either not been acted on or outright denied by the Army authorities, who have delayed the identification process by over two years because they refuse to exhume the (unidentified) group remains.

    After all of the work that has been done so that none of these men would be left on foreign soil, I cannot believe that the Army will not allow the Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI) lab to complete their work. The twelve families are united in their desire for identification and proper burial of their loved ones and each has submitted a DNA sample to Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI) for that purpose.

    For this reason, I am asking for your help in bringing closure to this tragedy. As a crewmate and friend of the deceased crew of LA-9, I want to ensure that ALL family members have the opportunity to bury their loved ones, men who served their country honorably and with distinction.

    Thank you in advance for any help that you can provide. If you have any questions about this, I can be reached at home at (423) XXX-XXXX; fax (423) XXX-XXXX, or email at rpettway@centurytel.net .

    Sincerely,

    Robert T. Pettway, Sr.

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    Killed In Action Contributed by Patricia Kozak Masciantoni [14JUN2004]

    Mr. John Moody
    Senior Vice President, News Editorial
    Fox News Channel
    1211 6th Avenue
    New York, NY 10036

    Dear Mr. Moody:

    Family members and former squadron members have waited more than 42 years for closure that we'll get because of two of your staff members: Ms. Heather Nauert and Capt. Chuck Nash. They have spent hours of their personal time contacting Department of the Navy personnel to support the recovery of remains of my father's crew who lie exposed on a glacier in Greenland.

    Ms. Nauert covered the story of the LA-9 crew on Veteran's Day, 2003, in which it was reported that 12 men on a Navy aircraft crashed in Greenland in 1962. Families are still waiting for a full recovery of their remains. It was through the efforts of Ms. Nauert and Capt. Nash that background information was obtained, and Ms. Nauert appeared with a compelling follow-up story on Memorial Day, 2004. I am convinced that it is through their efforts and the publicity on Fox News that families will receive a positive response from the Department of the Navy regarding a final recovery. As soon as I have official word, I'll fax it to Ms. Nauert.

    I want to express my deepest appreciation for their work. After a lifetime of essentially being ignored, it's difficult to put into words how it feels to finally have closure. Please accept my most heartfelt thanks to your wonderful news team. Ms. Nauert's and Capt. Nash's actions went well beyond their professional duties. On behalf of the families, former squadron members and friends of the LA-9 crew, it's important that you know how much their tenacity and professionalism mean to us.

    Sincerely,

    Patricia Masciantoni

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    Killed In Action "...Major Jean P. Cole (Ret) the OIC of the 1966 Recovery Mission, to his congressman, Representative Charles Taylor..." Forwarded by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [10MAY2004]

    May 4, 2004
    Representative Charles Taylor
    231 Cannon House Office Building
    Washington, D.C. 20515-3311.

    Dear Representative Taylor,

    I am writing to request your help in resolving the U. S. Navy's reluctance, foot dragging and failure to recover the remains of U. S. Navy personnel killed in a plane crash on Greenland in 1962.

    On January 12, 1962, from the NAS Keflavik, Iceland, Patrol Squadron 5 (Patron 5) launched a P2V-S Neptune aircraft, BuNo 131521 and designated LA-9 with 12 men onboard, on a routine "ice patrol" mission. After launch there was but one position report from the LA-9 and then eternal silence!

    Later that day Search and Recovery missions were launched and continued for seven days without sighting of debris or contact. It was assumed that the LA-9 was lost at sea and the crew was declared dead by the Navy.

    On August 8, 1966, nearly five years after LA-9 disappeared, four British geology explorers from Oxford University, England were traversing the Kronborg Glacier on the east coast of Greenland and happened upon the crash site of LA-9. The geologists collected some I.D. tags and wallets and continued on their expedition. They passed through Iceland in September 8, 1966 and turned over the I.D. tags and wallets to the American Embassy in Reykjavik, Iceland.

    When the authorities at the Naval Base, Keflavik were told of the discovery a recovery mission was organized consisting of seven military, four Marines, a Navy corpsman and a Navy EOD specialist plus eight Icelanders from the Icelandic Air/Ground Rescue Team. A Navy icebreaker, AGB 3, the ATKA was diverted to Iceland for the mission and the combined team departed Reykjavik for Greenland on September 19, 1966. Because of other mission requirements the ATKA was only available for this mission for four (4) days. Transit to and from Greenland expended two of the four available days allowing the team but two (2) days to recover the crew, destroy classified equipment and material and determining, if possible, any factors that were involved in the crash.

    Upon arrival at Kap Raven Fjord, Greenland we discovered that it had snowed considerably since the initial discovery and there was three to four feet of new snow on the glacier and crash site. The snow was a formidable obstacle but not insurmountable, two days to accomplish our mission and the diminished daylight hours was a challenge. When we departed the glacier on September 21, 1966 we believed we had accounted for all of the crew, we bagged every identifiable body part we uncovered.

    During August 2003 I learned that seven identified bodies were returned to the U. S. and either buried in separate ceremonies in Arlington National Cemetery or in various family plots per the wishes of the families. The unidentified remains were buried in a "common" grave with a marker containing the names of those crewmembers not identified.

    This is most important part of the crash history and the primary reason for the request for assistance. Dr. C. Kent Brooks. the leader of the original geological expedition returned to the glacier in 1995 for continued geology research. This visit like the first one was during the summer and he stated, "The wreckage lies in an area below the firn line (i.e., below the level at which snow accumulates), so it is on bare ice during the summer." They visited the crash site and he reported that there is identifiable body parts visibly embedded in the ice around the crash site. He passed his observations on to the Patrol Squadron 5 Association, who he had maintained contact with over the years. Officers of the association and members have requested the Navy take the necessary action to recover the remainder of the crew and return them to the U.S. and their families.

    The summer months of July and August are fast approaching and the window of opportunity will close, again. Please look into this matter to determine if the Navy is fulfilling its obligations to those who have served and died as well as the families who continue to wait! It would seem to me, that if the money and resources are available to locate and recover the John F. Kennedy Jr. aircraft they should recover the remainder of the LA-9 crew.

    Respectfully,
    Jean P. Cole
    Major USMC (RET)
    OIC of the LA-9 Recovery Mission

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    Killed In Action "...To: VADM Gerald L. Hoewing...From: Patricia Kozak Masciantoni..." Forwarded by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [10APR2004]

    April 5, 2004VADM Gerald L. Hoewing, USN
    Navy Personnel Command
    5720 Integrity Drive
    Millington, TN 38055-0000

    Dear VADM Hoewing:

    The following information is copied directly from the Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command website (http://www.jpac.pacom.mil):

    Commitment

    The U.S. Government, the Department of Defense and the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command remain committed to scientific excellence and the fullest possible accounting of all Americans still missing or unaccounted for in defense of this great country. JPAC will continue to fulfill our nation's promise to the POW/MIA families and those Americans still waiting to come home.

    "For two generations, you have demanded a full accounting of Americans whose fate is undetermined, and my administration will not rest until that accounting is complete." ~ George W. Bush

    I am respectfully requesting your full support for the recovery of remains of a U.S. Navy crew who died on January 12, 1962 (the LA-9 case). For more than 42 years, they have been visible each August when snow melts on the glacier in Greenland where their aircraft crashed. My father, CDR Norbert Kozak, was the executive officer of VP-5, based in NAS Jacksonville, Florida, but deployed to Iceland in January 1962. He flew with 11 others in a P2V Neptune on a routine ice patrol the morning of January 12, and never returned.

    Despite an extensive search effort, families waited almost five years before finding out, quite by accident, that the wreckage had been discovered by an Oxford University geological expedition. I still have the telegrams that were sent from the leader of this expedition to my mother. Following this discovery, a recovery effort ensued. However, due to the time of year, some remains were left on that glacier. Once again, by accident, my brothers and I discovered that civilians recently visited the site and confirmed that remains were visible. One of those who saw and reported the remains was Dr. Kent Brooks, one of the graduate students in 1966 who initially found the wreckage.

    How much longer we must wait before all of the men are brought back to U.S. soil?

    There is a VP-5 Reunion in Jacksonville on April 23 and 24, 2004. My mother, brother and I will attend a dinner on Saturday, April 24, with some of my father's former crewmates, at which time I pray we hear positive news.

    Thank you, sir, for your time and consideration.

    Sincerely,

    Patricia Kozak Masciantoni

    cc:
    RADM John W. Townes, III
    MCPON (SS/AW) Terry D. Scott

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    Killed In Action "...VP-5 April 2004 Reunion Guest Speaker..." Contributed by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [01MAR2004]

    Our guest speaker for the Saturday night banquet will be CPO John Bastien, who as a 1st class Hospital Corpsman was assigned to the NAS Keflavik, Iceland Hospital in September, 1966. John was one of the 15 volunteers on the LA-9 recovery mission to Greenland in 1966. He spent two days and a night on the glacier in the recovery of crew remains and destruction of aircraft wreckage.

    We are expecting a decision soon from the office of the CNO on a full, 2nd recovery mission for remains left at the LA-9 crash site. We have invited the CNO (or his designee) to address the Reunion with their decision, should it be positive for recovery. No response as yet.

    In addition, there will be a media person present on Friday and Saturday to video tape interviews of squadron personnel who knew the lost crew members, for the ultimate production of a documentary on the LA-9 incident and the current effort for full recovery, such as those shown on the History Channel or Discovery Channel.

    This could be a memorable Reunion. Still not too late for you to make a reservation.

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    Killed In Action Forwarded by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [25NOV2003]

    Mr. Pettway,

    What is the latest in the efforts to bring home the rest of the crew from VP-5? As a former member of VP-48 (1979-1982) and VP-22 (1987-1990) I always have a special place in my heart for VP personnel.

    Fair Winds and Following Seas,

    Douglas Storie
    AT1 USN (Retired)

    Dear Douglas,

    We are still awaiting the decision by the CNO on whether to approve the full recovery mission to the crash site. We continue in the meanwhile to increase public awareness. Writer John McCaslin, columnist for "Inside the Beltway", Washington Times, wrote an article on Nov. 10. This caused Fox News (national in NYC) to conduct a live interview of me on the John Gibson News Hour (5PM-6PM est) on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, about the LA-9 cause. I gave a 3 hour interview to a local reporter last week, who is writing an article.

    We will prevail,

    Bob Pettway

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    Killed In Action "...The Herald-Palladium, St. Joseph, Mich., October 27, 2003 from Michael Eliasohn..." Forwarded by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [29OCT2003]

    Mr. Pettway,

    Here's the article, which ran in The Herald-Palladium, St. Joseph, Mich., Oct. 27, 2003. Go ahead and put this on your Web site. Please credit it to the H-P (name of paper, town and date).

    I'll send you a paper copy and copies of the 1962 and 1966 articles.

    Thanks for your help and for the update you e-mailed me and keep me posted on future developments. Mrs. Nelski called today to thank me for the article and also said she would keep me updated on developments.

    Mike Eliasohn

    A proper burial?

    Woman wants Navy to recover bodies of crew from 1962 military plane crash
    By MICHAEL ELIASOHN
    H-P Staff Writer

    COLOMA - A relative of a former Coloma man killed in a military plane crash in 1962 is trying to prod the Navy into finding out if his remains, thought to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery, are instead still on a glacier in Greenland.

    Joseph Renneberg, who spent some of his teen years with his grandmother in Coloma, was 23 and one of 12 men aboard a Navy P2V5 Neptune reconnaissance plane that crashed Jan. 12, 1962.

    It was the height of the Cold War, and Neptune crews hunted for Soviet submarines that might fire nuclear missiles at the United States. Crews in northern climes also looked for icebergs in order to warn ships.

    Renneberg was a technician aboard plane LA-9, which took off from Iceland, was to fly along the coasts of Greenland, and then return. It disappeared from radar 2-1/4 hours into what was to be a 9-hour flight.

    Renneberg was raised by his grandmother, Marcelle Merrill, at Paw Paw Lake, from age 13, after his mother died, until he moved to Chicago to attend high school. His parents were divorced. He joined the Navy in 1958.

    Now, Merrill's daughter, Yvonne Nelski of Coloma, doesn't know if the casket for the funeral she attended in 1966 with her now-deceased mother and daughter included his remains.

    Coast Guard and Navy vessels searched the coasts of Iceland and Greenland before giving up the hunt for the crashed plane.

    It wasn't until August 1966 that British geologists on an expedition found the scattered remains of the plane and its crew.

    The Navy dispatched an icebreaker and helicopters to recover the remains. But by the time the recovery team got there, on Sept. 19, said Robert Pettway, who was in Renneberg's squadron, "The site was covered by 3 to 4 feet of snow, so they had to dig the snow away to find anybody."

    Making the task more difficult was the wreckage was scattered over two to three acres. News reports about the recovery effort said it appeared the plane flew straight into a glacier and exploded.

    It isn't know why the plane crashed, according to Pettway. There was a snowstorm going on and the plane may have had problems with its radar and altimeter.

    Pettway said seven bodies were identified. The partial remains of three crew members could not be identified.

    He said the identified bodies were buried by their families. The unidentified remains were buried in a common grave at Arlington National Cemetery, marked by a headstone with the names of the five unidentified sailors, since it wasn't known which three of the five unidentified or still missing sailors they were.

    In August 1995, another geological expedition happened on what was left of the crash site and the remains of two more crew members. One of the expedition members also had been on the 1966 expedition, Pettway said, and notified the Navy.

    "The Navy discussed going back and making a full recovery, but they didn't do it," he said.

    Pettway said that Congress passed a law that requires the military to make a maximum effort to recover the bodies of soldiers left behind in World War II and the wars in Korea and Vietnam.

    "But there is no legislation that covers peacetime (military) mishaps," Pettway said.

    Nelski didn't know about the 1995 discovery until, "A couple of years ago, I got a telephone call and the fellow said who he was and wanted to know if I was a relative of Joseph Renneberg."

    The caller was Don Latimer of San Diego, who said it is believed one of the two bodies found in 1995 is that of her nephew, Nelski said. He later asked if she would be willing to give a DNA sample to make a positive identification if the body is recovered.

    Latimer was transferred to another squadron shortly before the fatal crash.

    "We suspect one of the bodies is Renneberg, because he was a technician who flew in the rear of the plane," Pettway said. He said it's suspected the other body found in 1995 was the other crew member who sat in the rear, Grover Wells.

    Nelski, who was six years older than Renneberg, said even if the remains aren't her nephew, she wants them and the other sailor brought back, since they are someone's relatives.

    "Just because it wasn't wartime, those boys were still in the service," she said.

    Nelski said she plans to contact U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph.

    "What we need is public awareness to put pressure on Congress and the Navy to clean up this mess," said Pettway, who knew 11 of the 12 crew members.

    He said the Navy Casualty Unit in February recommended to the chief of Naval Operations that the two bodies in Greenland and three bodies remaining from a military plane crash in Antarctica in 1946 be recovered, but no decision has yet been made.

    "The Navy, I think, wants to do it ... it's just a matter of money and priorities," Pettway said.

    On the Web: VPNavy, an organization of veterans who served on Navy patrol aircraft, has a section of its Web Site devoted to the LA-9 crash: http://www.vpnavy.com/vp5mem.html

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    Killed In Action "...At last, some good news from the Navy bureaucracy! This email just arrived from Navy Casualty (Ken Terry, Head of Missing Persons Group). I am encouraged, and hope that our goal will be accomplished next summer (2004). The window of opportunity for a successful full recovery mission is only the month of August, each year. Ken Terry gave me his permission to post his email..." Forwarded by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [27OCT2003]

    Subject: RE: VP-5 Article
    Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2003 08:43:08 -0600
    Priority: Urgent
    Importance: high

    From: "Terry, Kenneth W CIV"
    To: "Robert Pettway"

    Bob:

    We have submitted our package again (third time) under the guidance of Admiral Townes, the new Commander, Navy Personnel Command, specifically recommending that the Secretary of the Navy request that the Secretary of the Army, as the Executive Agent for Mortuary Affairs within the Department of Defense, task the Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii, now referred to as the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Center (JPAC) Central Identification Laboratory, to conduct Feasibility and Risk Analysis Studies for both the LA-9 and George One cases. The package/recommendation is already in the hands of the Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP) and is being forwarded to the Surgeon General of the Navy (N093) for their chop/endorsement before it goes to SECNAV. Things are finally moving off of dead center and our efforts, both yours and ours, are starting to generate the attention within the Department of the Navy that these cases rightly deserve. Many now feel that the Surgeon General of the Navy (N093) should be the logical choice for the lead office on these cases to coordinate the Department of the Navy's efforts with the Central Identification Laboratory. I am including a copy of the updated Point Paper that was submitted in conjunction with this latest effort.

    R/S
    Ken

    UNCLASSIFIED
    Mr. Kenneth Terry
    9 Oct 03

    Subject: Recovery of Remains Associated with Non-Hostile Unaccounted-For Casualty Loss Incidents
    BACKGROUND
    • DoD Directive 1300.22 delineates the responsibilities of the service secretaries regarding the recovery of remains associated with casualty loss incidents of the armed forces.
    • NAVMEDCOMINST 5360.1 provides guidance for search, recovery, identification, care and disposition of remains of deceased DON persons.
    • Expenses incident to death, recovery, identification and disposition of remains are addressed in Title 10, USC, Sections 1481, 1482 and 1482a.
    DISCUSSION
    • Recovery efforts for survivors and/or remains associated with DON operational losses fall upon the parent command or applicable Area Commander.
    • The Chief of Naval Personnel has received multiple congressional inquiries regarding two Cold War Operational Loss Incidents, which fall outside the spectrum of normal recovery operations within DON.
    • The "George One", a Navy PBM-5 Martin Mariner Seaplane, BUNO 59098, was lost over the Antarctica on 30 Dec 46 (TAB A).
    • The "LA-9", a Navy P-2V Patrol Plane, BUNO 131521, was lost over Greenland on 12 Jan 1962 (TAB B).
    • Research indicates that the successful recovery of remains associated with the "George One" and the "LA-9" casualty incidents would be extremely good if teams from the U.S. Army Joint POW/MIA Accounting Center (JPAC) Central Identification Laboratory were employed.
    • JPAC CIL spearheads the recovery and identification of remains associated with Hostile (Combat) Unaccounted-For Casualty Cases from World War II through the Gulf War on behalf of the U. S. Government.
    • JPAC CIL currently employs 18 recovery teams that conduct recovery missions worldwide and is adapt at coordinating recovery operations within other countries and/or restricted areas.
    • One of JPAC CIL's recovery teams specializes in cold weather recoveries, utilizing equipment, which can pinpoint aircraft wreckage under blankets of ice and snow.
    • JPAC CIL has offered to assist DON in the recovery of remains for the "George One" and the "LA-9" Loss Incidents on a reimbursable basis.
    RECOMMENDATION

    That SECNAV request SECARMY, as Executive Agent for mortuary affairs within the Department of Defense, to conduct Feasibility and Risk Analysis Studies on the potential recovery of remains associated with the "George One" and "LA-9" cases.

    Tabs:
    A. Fact Sheet on the "George One"
    B. Fact Sheet on the "LA-9"

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    Killed In Action "...August 1st, 2003 - The Honorable Katherine Harris - From Jeff Redding - U.S. Navy Disabled Veteran - http://www.jeffredding.com..." Forwarded by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [06AUG2003]

    August 1st, 2003

    The Honorable Katherine Harris
    Member
    United States House Of Representatives
    1991 Main Street, Suite 181
    Sarasota, FL 34205

    Dear Congresswoman Harris:

    I have been a resident of Sarasota since becoming a disabled veteran due to blindness in 1993. I am writing to request your support in advocating the recovery of the remains of some of my fellow veterans.

    On January 12th, 1962 a Navy VP-5, P2 aircraft departed NAS Keflavik, Iceland and never returned. The rescue search was unable to find any wreckage. In 1966 a team of four British Geologists found the wreckage on a glacier at a remote location in Greenland. A recovery mission was launched and remains were recovered. Seven of the twelve crewmember's bodies were positively identified and some remains were buried in a shared tomb at a ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery.

    In 1996 one of the British Geologists returned to the crash site and discovered that there were at least two bodies still remaining in the wreckage. The bodies have been mummified because of the climate and during the warm summer months the snow recedes enough to reveal the wreckage and mummified remains.

    The family members of the crew, fellow squadron members, and veterans have been lobbying the government to authorize and fund a recovery of the remains of these fallen men who honorably served our great nation.

    Mr. Robert Pettway, a former squadron member with the lost crew and retired U. S. Secret Service Special Agent has been instrumental in contacting the appropriate offices in the government to accomplish this worthy mission. Our efforts have been getting increased press coverage, ABC's 20/20 has shown an interest in doing a story, and KPITV may produce a documentary about the cause.

    For more information about this please visit the below link: http://vpnavy.org/vp5mem.html

    In 1946 there was another Navy Plane that crashed in the Antarctic. Six of the nine crew members were rescued 13 days after the crash. Three of our fellow veterans still remain buried under the wing. This location is even more remote than the Greenland crash site.

    For more information about this incident visit: http://www.south-pole.com/p0000153.htm

    I believe our country has the ability and the responsibility to recover the remains at both of these crash sites. A common factor of both crashes is that they are in remote locations and that they occurred during peacetime. I was on active duty in the Navy from 1977 to 1989 and have traveled around the world. When my vision condition developed the Navy and VA took care of me, for which I will always be grateful. However, I hate thinking that if I would have died in a plane crash while on active duty my remains may not have been returned because it happened to be peacetime during the twelve years of my service.

    On August 30th, 2003 Mr. Pettway, Patty (Kozak) Masciantoni, the daughter of CDR Kozak, the pilot of LA-9, will be joined by other Veterans live on talk radio in the Sarasota/Bradenton area and in the West Palm Beach area. You may listen (or call in and talk live) to the talk show at 2PM e.s.t. in the Sarasota area on WTMY 1280 AM, and on WWNN 1470 AM in the West Palm Beach area. You may also listen to the show worldwide live online at http://www.the-seeker.com. Telephone: 800-488-1280 or (941) 954-1280

    Our country should do everything within its power to retrieve the remains of our lost veterans no matter how remote the location or how long it takes. Your support in these efforts would be highly appreciated by all our nations veterans and myself.

    Sincerely,

    Jeff Redding
    U.S. Navy Disabled Veteran
    http://www.jeffredding.com

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    Killed In Action VP-5 Mishap ThumbnailCameraPolaric "...I recently received this photo from Johannes Alme johsalm@frisurf.no (Norwegian) and is researching the incident. He is in contact with a member of the 1966 Oxford University expedition that discovered the crash site. The vessal "Polaric" was used by the Oxford expedition to convey them from Iceland to the eastern coast of Greenland, and return..." Forwarded by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [10MAR2003]

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    Killed In Action "...Just received word that the Point Paper/Recommendation Package has finally made it to the Chief of Naval Operations Office. Hopefully, your efforts will make the difference. Keep your fingers cross!..." Contributed by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [20FEB2003]

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    Killed In Action "...Forwarded by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com with permission for posting by Patricia Kozak Masciantoni..." [08JAN2003]

    January 4, 2003

    Senator John McCain
    241 Russell Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510

    Dear Senator McCain:

    January 12, 2003, will mark the 41st year that some remains of my father's crew have lain on a glacier in Greenland. CDR Norbert Kozak was the executive officer of VP-5, based in Jacksonville, Florida, but deployed to Iceland in January 1962. He flew the morning of January 12 with a crew of 11 others in a P2V Neptune bomber on a routine ice patrol, and the plane crashed into the upslope of a glacier before noon.

    We waited five years before finding out, quite by accident, that the wreckage had been discovered by an Oxford University geological expedition. My mother had to dig for information before we were told that indeed, the wreckage had been found and a recovery was underway. Due to the time of year that the recovery took place, some remains were left on that glacier. Once again, by accident, my brothers and I discovered that civilians had visited the site in 1995 and confirmed that remains were visible.

    For the past two years, a group of family members, colleagues and friends have sought additional information and requested a full recovery (see enclosed letter from Robert Pettway). Please tell me that you can help us.

    Isn't it ironic that I was reading a book about you when the enclosed letter arrived in my mailbox. I watched the news in Jacksonville when you returned to Florida after your horrendous experiences in Viet Nam. My mother knew your first wife, Carol. I know of the proud history of your family. Your father and grandfather are buried in Arlington National Cemetery, as is my father and most of his crew. Can't we give the rest of the men the same honor?

    You have enormous influence. I'm asking that you help us retrieve the rest of the crew, or please tell me if that will not ever be possible. As it is, we've been in limbo far too long. The decision for a full recovery rests on funding, and is in the hands of the Chief of Naval Operations. If our country cannot bring home these men, or will not, then I'd appreciate a letter from the CNO letting me know. I'll find a way to go there myself and retrieve their bones. We know of one instance where civilians have visited and scavenged the site for artifacts, so it's only a matter of time before more visitors do the same. We want to see their remains buried in a place of honor and not left in the open for curiosity seekers.

    You represent the people of Arizona, but you also have ties to Jacksonville, a family history with the U.S. Navy, and a sense of duty and honor. Please help us with this request.

    Thank you, sir, for your time and consideration.

    Sincerely,

    Patricia Kozak Masciantoni

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    Killed In Action "...Forwarded by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com..." [08JAN2003]

    December 15, 2002

    Senator John McCain
    241 Russell Senate Office Building
    Washington, D.C. 20510

    Dear Senator McCain:

    For the past two years, a group of navy veterans and family members of the deceased have launched a national campaign to persuade the U.S. Navy and Department of Defense to mount a recovery mission for the remains of LA-9 navy aircrewmen lost on the Greenland Icecap, January 12, 1962. The progress of this cause may be viewed on the web site http://www.vpnavy.com/vp5mem.html. Many of your colleagues in both houses of Congress have heard from constituents (family members and friends of the lost aircrewmen) and have appealed to the Navy Department in their behalf. You sir, are uniquely able to have a positive impact in this just cause, and I respectfully request your assistance.

    For background data, please refer to the attached letters from Mr. Cates, Dept. of the Navy, to Senator Tim Johnson, and the notice from the VPNavy - VP-5 Main Summary Page. The decision on whether to assign and fund the recovery of these airmen is now before Admiral Vern Clark, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO).

    The following paragraph is quoted from the remarks of Admiral Vern Clark at the Change of Command and Retirement Ceremony for Vice Admiral John Ryan at the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis MD, on June 7, 2002:
      This place, the United States Naval Academy, is, truly, the bedrock of who we are as an institution, this thing called the United States Navy. I like to refer to people who capture the heart of it, and I often quote them, like John McCain in his book, "Faith of My Father's." Listen to this thought: "Glory is not a conceit. It is not a decoration for valor. It is not a prize for being the most clever, the strongest, or the boldest. Glory belongs to the act of being constant to something greater than yourself, to a cause, to your principles, to the people upon whom you rely and who rely upon you in return." Then he goes on to say, "No misfortune, no injury, no humiliation, can destroy it. This is the faith that my commanders affirmed, that my brothers in arms encouraged my allegiance to. It was the faith that I had unknowingly embraced at the Naval Academy."
    To allow our own Navy servicemen's remains to lay forever on a glacier in a foreign land would be a breach of faith. At enormous costs, the Navy did not hesitate to raise from the ocean bottom the remains of John F. Kennedy, Jr., and his family members, as well as the students aboard the Japanese fishing vessel Ehime Maru. I believe it would be glorious indeed, for the Navy and for our country, to bring home these Navy aircrewmen's remains from Greenland for proper burial and repatriation in the national cemetery. I pray that you will personally make these sentiments known to Admiral Clark.

    Sincerely,

    Robert T. Pettway
    Special Agent, U.S. Secret Service (Retired)

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    Killed In Action "...NOW IS THE TIME TO APPEAL TO CONGRESS! Navy Casualty recommendations are submitted to CNO for consideration! Let's bring our fallen crewmates home! Time Is Running Out!..." [23NOV2002]

    After discussions on the Non-Hostile Unaccounted-For Casualty Cases at the DoD Joint Casualty Conferences during November 2001, as well as, January and September 2002, Navy Casualty was finally able to go forward with a Point Paper and recommendation to CNO regarding the recovery of remains associated with the LA-9 and George One cases.

    The George One is a similar type casualty loss incident in which three Navy service members were killed and buried in a common grave on a glacier in the Antarctica. The Point Paper provides background information and outlines the Service Secretaries' responsibilities regarding the recovery, identification and disposition of remains and additional remains associated with Non-Hostile Unaccounted-For Casualty Cases, which falls within the provisions of the service's current death programs (Title 10 USC, Sections 1481 and 1482, applies).

    The latest recommendation simply requests that CNO identify a lead office within the Department of the Navy to coordinate recovery operations with the Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii, for the LA-9 and George One Lost Incidents. Normally, recovery of remains or survivors associated with a current casualty incidents are performed by the command or applicable Area Commander.

    Unfortunately, in both LA-9 and George One cases, the remains were determined to be unrecoverable and a "Presumptive Finding of Death" determination was made for the service member(s). Now we are faced with the situation in which, we have the opportunity and technology to recover remains and/or additional remains associated with these loss incidents, but we no longer have available Navy assets or the expertise to accomplish these type of recoveries. However, these same types of recoveries are currently being performed by the Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI), in conjunction with the U.S. Government's Full Accounting Effort in the recovery, identification and disposition of remains associated with Hostile (Combat) Unaccounted-For Casualty Cases from pass wars. Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI) has indicated that they are willing to assist the Department of the Navy in the recovery of remains from the LA-9 and George One Casualty Incidents, on a reimbursable basis. Ironically, the Point Paper/Recommendation was forwarded to the office of the Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP) that very afternoon. After CNP chops the package, it will be forwarded to CNO for a decision on our recommendation.

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    Killed In Action "...The decision on whether or not to make a second recovery mission to the LA-9 wreck site is currently in the hands of the Secretary of the Navy (a presidentially appointed political position).

    This is copied from the most recent letter from Navy Casualty, Bureau of Naval Personnel..." [06JUN2002]

    The Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) ultimately will determine the lead office within the Department of the Navy for recovery of ancient remains associated with non-hostile casualty cases and identify funding sources for these recoveries. When these decisions have been finalized by SECNAV, Navy Casualty stands ready to provide the same services to family members of deceased service members associated with Unaccounted-For Non-Hostile Casualty Cases as we currently provide to the family members of Unaccounted-For Hostile (Combat) Casualty Cases."

    I suggest that letters be written to the SECNAV, requesting that he assign responsibility and funding for the recovery of LA-9 crew members from the crash site on the Kronberg Glacier in Greenland. Send a copy of the SECNAV letter to your local Congressional Representative and your Senators to Congress. Then follow that with another (personal) letter to each of the 3 politicians who represent you in Congress, requesting that they join the efforts of Congress members in urging the SECNAV to order the recovery of the remains of the LA-9 crew members for their repatriation and proper burial.

    The Secretary of the Navy is: The Honorable SECNAV, Gordon R. England, Secretary Of The Navy, Washington, D. C. 20350-1000.

    Use any of the info that you read on the vpnavy web site in your letters. Keep the letters short, no more than 1 or 2 pages, typed. You can reference the web site in your letters http://www.vpnavy.com/vp5mem.html.

    Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com

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    Killed In Action "...Mr. James A. Bird jabird56@yahoo.com received the following correspondence from Senator E. Benjamin Nelson..." [16MAR2002]

    UNITED STATES SENATE
    WASHINGTON, DC 20510-2706

    March 11, 2002

    LT James A. Bird USNR (Ret)

    Dear James:

    I have received a response to your inquiry regarding the remains of Crew 9 in Greenland. I am enclosing a copy for your information.

    Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance in this matter.

    Thank you ror allowing me to assist you with this inquiry. Please feel free to contact me again if the need arises.
    Sincerely,

    Senator E. Benjamin Nelson
    United States Senator

    DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
    NAVY PERSONNEL COMMAND
    5720 INTEGRITY DRIVE
    MILLINGTON TN 38055-0000

    The Honorable E. Benjamin Nelson
    United States Senator
    Attn: Jan McCarty
    7602 Pacific Street, Suite 205
    Omaha, NE 68114

    February 19, 2002

    Dear Senator E. Benjamin Nelson:

    Thank you for your letter of November 6, 2001, on behalf of Lieutenant James A. Bird, United States Naval Reserve, Retired, concerning the loss of Crew 9 Patrol Squadron Five and recovery of remains.

    Your desire to assist Lieutenant Bird is appreciated. This case, others like it, and overall recovery options are being reviewed by the Department of Defense (DoD), Navy Casualty, and other government agencies that are involved in the Full Accounting Effort for the recovery of remains associated with unaccounted for casualty cases. While the ultimate goal is recovery, the effort must strike a balance between retrieval of remains and recovery crew safety. I am sure Lieutenant Bird can appreciate the logistical and safety challenges this case presents because of the remote, hard-to-reach locale with harsh arctic climate resulting in very limited recovery windows.

    To complicate the issue, this case does not fall within the mission responsibilities of the Full Accounting Effort, which was specifically established to address Unaccounted-For Hostile (Combat) Casualty Cases from World War II through current conflicts. Research by Navy Casualty indicates that this case is a non-hestile, peacetime aircraft mishap. Further research reveals that no specific policy exists that addresses the recovery of ancient remains associated with Non-Hostile Unaccounted-For Loss Incidents. As a result of this case and several more non-hostile cases that have been referred to Navy Casualty, the matter was placed on the agenda of the DoD Joint Casualty Conference, hosted by the Navy, during November 2001. The Defense Prisoner of War, Missing Personnel Office agreed to take the matter for action, the results of which were presented at the January 2002 DoD Joint Casualty Conference in Hawaii. Basic decisions concerning responsibilities for the initial recovery (Service Secretaries) and subsequent recovery efforts (Central Identification Laboratory Hawaii), funding requirements (Service Secretaries), and the applicable public law which governs the recovery of remains in conjunction with Non-Hostile Loss Incidents (USC Title 10, Sections 1481 and 1482) were readily agreed upon. Further research, however, is required to determine whether current personnel recovery policies would also apply to the recovery of ancient remains associated with Unaccounted-For Non-Hostile Casualty Cases.

    The Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) ultimately will determine the lead office within the Department of the Navy for recovery of ancient remains associated with non-hostile casualty cases and identify funding sources for these recoveries. When these decisions have been finalized by SECNAV, Navy Casualty stands ready to provide the same services to family members of deceased service members associated with Unaccounted-For Non-Hostile Casualty Cases as we currently provide to the family members of Unaccounted-For Hostile (Combat) Casualty Cases.

    I hope this will be helpful in responding to your constituent's concerns for complete recovery of the remains of Crew 9. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me at (Phone Number) if I can be of further assistance in this or any other matter.

    Sincerely,

    E. A. CATES
    Special Assistant
    Congressional Liaison Office
    By direction

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    Killed In Action "...Mr. Robert Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com received the following correspondence from Congressmen Zack Wamp (3rd District Tennessee)..." [28FEB2002]

    DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
    NAVY PERSONNEL COMMAND
    5720 INTEGRITY DRIVE
    MILLINGTON TN 38055-0000

    The Honorable Zach Wamp
    Member, United States House of Representatives
    Attn: Rene' Worley
    900 Georgia Avenue, Suite 126
    Chattanooga, TN 37402

    February 19, 2002

    Dear Congressman Wamp:

    Thank you for your letter of June 12, 2001, on behalf of Mr. Robert Pettway, a former member of the United States Navy, concerning the loss of Crew 9 Patrol Squadron Five and recovery of remains. We received your letter from the Office of the Judge Advocate General on January 10, 2002.

    Your desire to assist Mr. Pettway is appreciated. This case, others like it, and overall recovery options are being reviewed by the Department of Defense (DoD), Navy Casualty1 and other government agencies that are involved in the Full Accounting Effort for the recovery of remains associated with unaccounted for casualty cases. While the ultimate goal is recovery1 the effort must strike a balance between retrieval of remains and recovery crew safety. I am sure Mr. Pettway appreciates the logistical and safety challenges this case presents because of the remote, hard-to-reach locale with harsh arctic climate resulting in very limited recovery windows.

    To complicate the issue, this case does not fall within the mission responsibilities of the Full Accounting Effort, which was specifically established to address Unaccounted-For Hostile (Combat) Casualty Cases from World War II through current conflicts. Research by Navy Casualty indicates that this case is classified as a non-hostile, peacetime aircraft mishap. Further research reveals that no specific policy exists that addresses the recovery of ancient remains associated with Non-Hostile Unaccounted-For Loss Incidents. As a result of this case and several more non-hostile cases that have been referred to Navy Casualty, the matter was placed on the agenda of the DoD Joint Casualty Conference, hosted by the Navy, during November 2001. The Defense Prisoner of War, Missing Personnel Office agreed to take the matter for action, the results of which were presented at the January 2002 DoD Joint Casualty Conference in Hawaii. Basic decisions concerning responsibilities for the initial recovery (Service Secretaries) and subsequent recovery efforts (Central Identification Laboratory Hawaii), funding requirements (Service Secretaries), and the applicable public law which governs the recovery of remains in Conjunction with Non-Hostile Loss Incidents (usc Title 10, Sections 1481 and 1482) were readily agreed upon. Further research, however, is required to determine whether current personnel recovery policies would also apply to the recovery of ancient remains associated with Unaccounted-For Non-Hostile Casualty Cases.

    The Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) ultimately will determine the lead office within the Department of the Navy for recovery of ancient remains associated with non-hostile casualty cases and identify funding sources for these recoveries. When these decisions have been finalized by SECNAV, Navy Casualty stands ready to provide the same services to family members of deceased service members associated with Unaccounted-For Non-Hostile Casualty Cases as we currently provide to the family members of Unaccounted-For Hostile (Combat) Casualty Cases.

    I hope this will be helpful in responding to your constituent's concerns for complete recovery of the remains of Crew 9. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me at (901) 874-2708 if I can be of further assistance in this or any other matter.

    Sincerely,

    E. A. CATES
    Special Assistant
    Congressional Liaison Office
    By direction

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    Killed In Action "...Mr. Robert Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com received the following correspondence from the Navy Personnel Command..." [08JAN2002]

    DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
    NAVY PERSONNEL COMMAND
    5720 INTEGRITY DRIVE
    MILLINGTON TN 38055-0000

    December 19, 2001

    Dear Mr. Pettway,

    In response to your e-mail of May 20, 2001 to the Chief of Naval Personnel regarding the recovery of additional remains associated with the January 12, 1962 loss incident involving an U.S. Navy P2 V Patrol Plane, the following information is provided.

    Our research on this case indicates that U.S. Navy P2 V Patrol Plane, Bureau No. 131521 from Patrol Squadron 5, was lost during a routine reconnaissance flight from Naval Station Keflavik, Iceland, on January 12, 1962. No communication from the missing aircraft was received to indicate that the crew was experiencing problems, either mechanically or weather related-Subsequently, an extensive search and rescue operation failed to uncover anything in the way of wreckage or debris that would provide an explanation as to what happen to the aircraft and crew. As this loss incident was thought to have occurred over open water, Presumptive Findings of Death were subsequently determined for each of the crewmembers, after the Search and Rescue Operation was discontinued and an appropriate Aircraft Mishap Investigation was concluded.

    This was the status of the case until August 1966, when wreckage was found by a United Kingdom Geological Expedition on the Kronborg Glacier, located on the eastern coast of Greenland near the Denmark Strait. Evidence at the site indicated that the wreckage was that of an U.S. Navy aircraft, which apparently flew straight into the upslope of the glacier, scattering wreckage over a fairly large area. However, the report regarding the finding of the crash site was not submitted to authorities until the expedition completed its work, which cost recovery operations valuable time during the relatively short annual warming period during the months of August and September. Nevertheless, a recovery team, consisting of US. Marines from the Naval Air Station Keflavik, members of the Air Ground Rescue Team in Reykjavik, and Navy personnel assigned to the U.S. Navy icebreaker, USS Atka, were able to reach the crash site in early September 1966. At the time of the recovery operation, the crash site was covered with several feet of fresh snow, which had to be removed by hand. An extensive search of the exposed wreckage resulted in the recovery of partial remains that were believed to represent 10 of the 12 crewmembers. However, positive identification for only seven crewmembers was sub~3equently made using dental forensics and skeletal analysis. The Department of the Navy provided individual interments for these seven crewmembers in accordance with the families' wishes during early October 1966. Additionally, a group interment for unidentifiable remains was held on October 17, 1966 at Arlington National Cemetery.

    Again the case appeared to be closed. However, in late August of 1995, a helicopter crew came upon the wreckage, which had been completely exposed due to the unusually warm weather conditions of that year. Upon landing, additional partial remains were sighted and photographed, which are thought to represent at least two individuals. This information and the photographs were forwarded to the Iceland Defense Force Public Affairs Office, who in turn forwarded them to Navy Casualty. Discussions regarding a recovery attempt during 1996 were undertaken with the Operations Branch of the Central Identification Laboratory Hawaii (CILHI), however no such attempt was made.

    This matter was again referred to Navy Casualty during May of this year, as the result of Congressional interest regarding the feasibility of recovering the additional remains sighted in August of 1995. Navy Casualty is part of a network of Department of Defense (DoD), Military Services, and other government agencies involved in the U.S. Government's Full Accounting Effort for the recovery of remains associated with combat Unaccounted-For Casualty Cases from previous conflicts dating back to World War II. Policy guidance however, does not exist within the framework of the U.S. Government's Full Accounting Effort regarding the recovery of remains or additional remains associated with Unaccounted For Casualty Cases resulting from peacetime operational missions.

    Navy Casualty, on behalf of Department of the Navy, raised this issue with the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) during the DoD Joint Casualty Conference held in November 2001. As the organization within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, responsible for policy guidance and oversight for missing personnel affairs, DPMO has agreed to draft policy guidance on the issue of recovery and identification of remains from non-hostile loss incidents. This policy guidance will address parameters for the planning, conduct, and funding of non-hostile recoveries, and will identify responsible parties. Following full coordination of this policy with the military services and agencies involved in the U.S. Government's Full Accounting Effort, appropriate Department of Defense (DOD) aid Service regulations will be evaluated for consistency and compliance. The draft policy will be presented to the upcoming DoD Joint Casualty Conference in January 2002.

    Signed

    Director, Casualty Assistance and Retired Activities Division (PERS 62)

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    Killed In Action "...Mr. Robert Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com - The issue of recovery of Unaccounted-For Remains associated with peacetime operational missions was indeed discussed at our DoD Joint Casualty Conference hosted here at BUPERS, 14-16 November. Although, the LA-9 and the George One cases were mentioned specifically, the issues involve go deeper than just addressing these cases separately. I did have individual discussions with representatives from the Central Identification Laboratory Hawaii (CILHI), on both cases and am currently waiting on CILHI's response. More important, the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO), which is the organization within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy that is responsible for policy guidance and oversight for missing personnel affairs, agreed to draft policy guidance on the issue of recovery and identification of remains from non-hostile loss incidents! This policy guidance will address parameters for the planning, conduct and funding of these recoveries; and will identify responsible parties as well. The "Draft Policy Guidance" will be presented at the next DoD Joint casualty Conference to be held in January 2002, for initial coordination. This is a major step in acknowledgement that Unaccounted-For Remains from non-hostile loss incidents should be pursued by the military services and interagencies involved in the U.S. Government's Full Accounting Effort, in addition to Unaccounted-For Remains from hostile or combat loss incidents. Your efforts on the LA-9 Case will not only effect recovery of the additional remains sighted in August of 1995 for your case, but hopefully will pave the way for recovery efforts on other Non-Hostile Unaccounted-For Casualty cases as well. Will keep you informed of our progress on the LA-9 Case as information is received. R/S. Kenneth W. Terry P62P@Persnet.Navy.Mil..." [12DEC2001]

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    Killed In Action "...Response to letter to President Bush re: recovery of remains of VP-5 crew...John Masciantoni jmasciantoni@cfl.rr.com - Dear Ms. Masciantoni: Thank you for your letter to President Bush concerning the recovery of remains from the Patrol Squadron Five (VP-5) aircraft wreckage on the Kronborg glacier. I am answering on behalf of the President. As you may know, Chapter 76 of Title 10, United States Code, commonly referred to as "the Missing Persons Act," governs the recovery and identification of remains of all American military personnel unaccounted for from World War II, the Korean War, and other conflicts and contingencies. However, the Missing Persons Act and pertinent Department of Defense (DoD) directives derived from this act, only apply to the recovery of servicemembers unaccounted for as the result of hostile action. In the case of the VP-5 crewmembers, their loss was classified as non-hostile due to an aircraft mishap and therefore, does not fall under current recovery guidelines. However, as you mention in your letter, the Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS), POW/MIA Activities Branch, will be discussing the overall issue of "non-hostile" recoveries and the VP-5 case specifically at the upcoming POW/MIA Casualty Conference in November 2001. Following the conference, BUPERS will forward its recommendations to the appropriate Department of Defense agencies for consideration. To be of assistance, I have forwarded your letter to personnel at BUPERS so they may also be aware of your concern in this matter. Again, thank you for writing to the President. Sincerely, Name Not Printed Here - Director, White House Liaison Office - Office of the Secretary of the Navy..." [01OCT2001]

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    Killed In Action "...Family steps in to return crew's remains...The Florida Times-Union...By Rachel Davis Times-Union staff writer..." [01OCT2001]

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    Killed In Action "...I received a very positive letter today from Congressman Bob Stump. Congressman Stump is Chairman of the Armed Services Committee and a member of the Veteran's Affairs Committee (Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations). Feel free to contact me for details of the letter...John Masciantoni jmasciantoni@cfl.rr.com..." [28SEP2001]

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    Killed In Action "...‘Burial with honors' still lacking for some victims...Clay Today News September 6th, 2001...By Doug Newton dougnewton1@hotmail.com, Clay Today News..." [06SEP2001]

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    Killed In Action "...The Clay Today Newspaper in Orange Park, Florida will be publishing an article about VP-5 Mishap - stay tuned! ...John Masciantoni jmasciantoni@cfl.rr.com..." [04SEP2001]

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    Killed In Action "...We now have Senators Bill Frist (Tennessee), Max Cleland (Georgia), Congressmen Zack Wamp (3rd District Tennessee), and John J. Duncan, Jr. (2nd District Tennessee) assisting in our efforts to bring the VP-5 crew home...Robert T. PETTWAY, SR. rpettway@epbfi.com..." [10AUG2001]

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    Killed In Action Contact: Robert T. PETTWAY, SR. rpettway@epbfi.com for further information.
    Write Your Representative: http://www.house.gov/writerep/
    Write Your Senator: http://www.senate.gov/senators/senator_by_state.cfm [09AUG2001]

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