GUERRA, RAUL ANTONIO ID announced 10/26/2007 Name: Raul Antonio Guerra Rank/Branch: E3/US Navy Unit: Early Warning Squadron 111, Detachment 34, USS ORISKANY (CVA34) Date of Birth: 18 December 1942 (Baja Mexico) Home City of Record: Los Angeles CA Date of Loss: 08 October 1967 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 160935N 1080322E (AT875905) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 3 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: E1B Refno: 0856 Other Personnel in Incident: Roland R. Pineau; Norman L. Roggow; Donald F. Wolfe; Andrew G. Zissu (all missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project with the assistance of one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviewed: 15 March 1990. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 2007. REMARKS: CRASH SIT CNFM - NO RECOV POSS - J SYNOPSIS: The USS ORISKANY was one of several U.S. aircraft carriers to be semi-permanently stationed on Yankee Station in Vietnam. Its attack wings flew against varied targets in North Vietnam including bridges, ammunitions stores, highways, and railroads. 1967 was a particularly active year for all carriers, and the ORISKANY was no exception. On October 8, 1967, LtJg. Andrew G. Zissu was the pilot of an E1B aircraft which launched from the ORISKANY on a morning combat mission in support of a major strike over North Vietnam. Zissu's crew that day included LtJg. Donald F. Wolfe, LtJg. Norman L. Roggow, and ATC Roland R. Pineau. Also on board was one passenger, Seaman Raul A. Guerra, listed as a Journalist Petty Officer, Third Class. The E1 aircraft was a propeller aircraft that was generally used by the Navy for Early Warning operations, or for flight assistance in bombing missions. Typically, the slower moving E1, unable to keep up with faster moving jet aircraft, would be used in a standoff position for radar jamming while the jet aircraft executed their mission. At the completion of the combat mission, the aircraft was sent to Chu Lai, South Vietnam for refueling before the next mission. The aircraft landed at Chu Lai, refueled and took off again for another mission on the back to the USS ORISKANY. Immediately after takeoff radio contact with the ship was made and the crew reported that their flight was airborne and would be ready for its mission upon arrival. In addition, radio contact was established immediately after takeoff with DaNang Radar who was to keep them under observation during their trip north to the ship. They planned to fly directly over DaNang and then proceed to the ship. As they approached DaNang radar on a northwesterly course, radar contact was lost, however, radio contact was maintained with the aircraft. After overflying DaNang, radar contact was again established at a point approximately 10 miles northwest of DaNang in mountainous terrain. An immediate right turn was recommended by the radar controller to a northeasterly course. The pilot acknowledged that he was turning, right before he could complete his turn, radar and radio contact was lost simultaneously and an alert issued by DaNang radar immediately. An aggressive search and rescue and operation was conducted, however, efforts were hampered because of adverse weather, low visibility, and rain. The weather improved and the aircraft wreckage was sighted, scattered over a wide area on a sheer face of Monkey Mountain near Da Nang. A fellow detachment officer flew over the crash site in an Air Force Helicopter and positively identified the wreckage as that of the missing E1B. Because of the hazardous terrain, the crash site was inaccessible by helicopter and too dangerous for ground parties to be sent in. Due to the terrain characteristics at the crash site, the force of the impact into the face of the ridge, and the obvious complete destruction of the aircraft, it was not believed that there were survivors. No sign of survivors was noted. It was not possible to recover remains, and all personnel aboard the aircraft were declared Killed/Body Not Recovered. The Navy did not rule out the possibility of hostile interference, although the general feeling was that inclement weather was the cause of the crash. The Defense Intelligence Agency further expanded the men's classification to include an enemy knowledge ranking of 3. Category 3 indicates "doubtful knowledge" and includes personnel whose loss incident is such that it is doubtful that the enemy wound have knowledge of the specific individuals (e.g. aircrews lost over water or remote areas). The Navy men on board the E1B lost on October 8, 1967 were listed as killed, body not recovered. They are among nearly 2500 Americans who remain unaccounted for from the Vietnam war. The cases of some, like the E1B, seem clear - that they perished and cannot be recovered. Unfortunately, mounting evidence indicates that hundreds of Americans are still captive, waiting for the country they proudly served to secure their freedom. In our haste to leave an unpopular war, it now appears we abandoned some of our best men. In our haste to heal the wounds of this same war, will we sign their death warrants? Or will we do what we can to bring them home?
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 1253-07
October 26, 2007
Navy Crew MIA From Vietnam War is Identified
The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of five U.S. servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been accounted-for and will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors.
They are Lt. j.g. Norman L. Roggow, of Aurelia, Iowa; Lt. j.g. Donald F. Wolfe, of Hardin, Mont.; Lt. j.g. Andrew G. Zissu, of Bronx, N.Y.; Chief Petty Officer Roland R. Pineau, of Berkley, Mich.; and Petty Officer 3rd Class Raul A. Guerra, of Los Angeles, Calif.; all U.S. Navy. Pineau was buried on Oct. 8 in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. The dates and locations of the funerals for the other servicemen are being set by their families.
On Oct. 8, 1967, Zissu and Roggow were the pilots of an E-1B Tracer en route from Chu Lai Air Base, Vietnam, back to the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany. Also on board were Wolfe, Pineau and Guerra. Radar contact with the aircraft was lost approximately 10 miles northwest of Da Nang, Vietnam. Adverse weather hampered immediate search efforts, but three days later, a search helicopter spotted the wreckage of the aircraft on the face of a steep mountain in Da Nang Province. The location, terrain and hostile forces in the area precluded a ground recovery.
In 1993 and 1994, human remains were repatriated to the United States by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) with information that linked the remains to unassociated losses in the same geographical area as this incident. Between 1993 and 2004, U.S/S.R.V. teams, all led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), investigated the incident more than 15 times in Da Nang city and Thua Thien-Hue Province.
Between 2004 and 2005, the joint teams surveyed and excavated the crash site where they recovered human remains and crew-related items. During the excavation in 2005, the on-site team learned that human remains may have been removed previously from the site. S.R.V. officials concluded that two Vietnamese citizens found and collected remains at the crash site, and possibly buried them near their residence in Hoi Mit village in Thua Thein-Hue Province. In 2006, another joint U.S./S.R.V. team excavated the suspected burial site in Hoi Mit village, but found no additional remains. In 2007, more remains associated with this incident were repatriated to the United States by S.R.V. officials.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA and dental comparisons in the identification of the remains.
For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/ or call (703) 699-1169.