Buried in Arlington 10/20/2007
Name: Roland Robert Pineau
Rank/Branch: E7/US Navy
Unit: Early Warning Squadron 111, Detachment 34, USS ORISKANY (CVA34)
Date of Birth: 06 July 1929
Home City of Record: Berkley MI
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: Raul A. Guerra; 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, interviews: 15
March 1990. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 2007.
REMARKS: CRASH SIT CNFM - NO RECOV POSS - J    {please see below note from
family member re: this USG remark}
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
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?
Subject: responding as a family member of a POW/MIA
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2003 12:47:21 -0400
08-Oct-67 PINEAU ROLAND R. USN                  Crash site confirmed, no
recovery possible <>
According to your web site above, my uncle's crash site has been confirmed
and no recovery possible.  As the vice president of the Prisoner of War
committee of Michigan and a family member of a missing Michigan man, I can
personally tell you that the crash site has NEVER been confirmed!!!!!! As of
today, his site is due for investigation.  Please update your records so if
anyone else should inquire, they will receive the correct information.
Thank you!
Debbie McClain
Prisoner of War Committee
of Michigan
Vice President - Family Member
Library of Congress
post-1975 Vietnam: Detailed Report, Investigation Case 0856
Country: post-1975 Vietnam
Name: Pineau, R.R.
Subjects: Crash site; Danang City
Comments: Material evidence found at site somewhat contradictory. Recommend
J2 conduct further analysis to determine whether ground troops sent into
area to possibly destroy E-1B after crash. Aircraft wreckage heavily
scavenged. Recommend excavation.
Reel: 470
Page: 196-201
Type of Document: Message
Date of Report: 97 07 18
Date of Information: 97 05 21
Document Number: 181739ZJUL97
Originator: JTFFA

post-1975 Vietnam: Detailed Report of Excavation of Case 0856
Country: post-1975 Vietnam
Name: Pineau, R.R.
Subjects: Crash site; Remains
Comments: Report refers to 0856
Reel: 481
Page: 652-660
Type of Document: Message
Date of Report: 98 06 26
Date of Information: 98 04 21
Document Number: 261951ZJUN98
Originator: JTFFA

post-1975 Vietnam: Analysis of Material Evidence Associated with Case 0856
Country: post-1975 Vietnam
Name: Pineau, R.R.
Subjects: Crash site; Dan Nang
Comments: Items recovered/photographed and left in place during 46th JFA
cannot be correlated to specific aircraft type or case, but analysis of
material evidence recovered during 21st JFA correlates to aircraft involved
in case 0856 incident.
Reel: 471
Page: 124-26
Type of Document: Message
Date of Report: 97 10 01
Date of Information: 97 05 23
Document Number: 010742ZOCT97
Originator: JTFFA

PUBLISHED: Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Berkley man killed in Vietnam 40 years ago laid to rest
Navy chief buried at Arlington, memorialized at home
By Catherine Kavanaugh
Daily Tribune Staff Writer
BERKLEY -- Forty years after Roland Pineau died following a combat mission over Hoi Mit Mountain, Vietnam, the family of the chief radar technician has closure.

On Monday, his sister, Mary Pineau, cut a weather-worn yellow ribbon from the flagpole outside the Kenmore Street house where they grew up. ......

Contact Catherine Kavanaugh at or (248) 591-2504.



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 or call (703) 699-1169.