Remains of 3 missing Vietnam soldiers to be buried
May 27, 2011
WATERFORD, Conn.—The remains of three soldiers missing since their helicopter crashed in Vietnam in 1972 are expected to be buried together this fall at Arlington National Cemetery, the pilot's widow said Friday. ....
Name: Robin Ray Yeakley
Rank/Branch: E4/US Army
Date of Birth: 24 July 1948
Home City of Record: South Bend IN
Date of Loss: 11 June 1972
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 162326N 1072407E (YD565135)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 3
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: OH6A
Refno: 1874
Source: Compiled from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S.
Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families,
published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK in 2006.
Other Personnel In Incident: Arnold E. Holm; Wayne Bibbs (missing from one
OH6A); James E. Hackett; James R. McQuade, Richard D. Wiley (missing from
second OH6A).
SYNOPSIS: By December 1971, U.S. troops in-country had declined dramatically
- from the 1968 peak of nearly 55,000 to less than 30,000. The enemy,
temporarily on the defensive by the moves into Cambodia in 1970 and Laos in
1971, began deploying new NVA forces southward in preparation for another
major offensive.
In March 1972, the Vietnamese launched a three-pronged invasion of the
South. One NVA force swept south across the DMZ, its goal apparently the
conquest of the northern provinces and the seizure of Hue. A second NVA
force drove from Laos into the Central Highlands, and a third effort
involved a drive from Cambodia into provinces northwest of Saigon.
Fierce fighting ensued on all three fronts, with NVA success the greatest in
the northern provinces. Fighting continued until by June, the North
Vietnamese began withdrawing from some of their advance positions, still
holding considerable amounts of South Vietnamese territory in the northern
On June 11, 1972, Capt. Arnold Holm, pilot, PFC Wayne Bibbs, gunner, and SP4
Robin Yeakley, passenger, were aboard an OH6A observation helicopter flying
from Camp Eagle to the Northern Provinces of South Vietnam on a visual
reconnaissance mission. The function of their "Loach" chopper was searching
out signs of the enemy around two landing zones (LZ's). The OH6 joined with
the AH1G Cobra gunship as "Pink Teams" to screen the deployment of air
cavalry troops. On this day, Holm's aircraft was monitoring an ARVN team
During the mission, Holm reported that he saw enemy living quarters,
bunkers, and numerous trails. On his second pass over a ridge, at about 25'
altitude, the aircraft exploded and burned. It was reported that before the
aircraft crashed that smoke and white phosphorous grenades began exploding.
After the aircraft impacted with the ground, it exploded again. Other
aircraft in the area received heavy anti-aircraft fire. No one was seen to
exit the downed helicopter, nor were emergency radio beepers detected.
In another OH6A (tail #67-16275), 1Lt. James R. McQuade, pilot, and SP4
James E. Hackett, gunner, tried to enter the area of the crashed OH6A, but
encountered heavy fire and their aircraft was also shot down. McQuade's
aircraft was hit, and the intensity of the resulting fire caused white
phosphorous and smoke grenades carried aboard the aircraft to explode prior
to hitting the ground. The aircraft continued to burn after impact and no
crewmen left the ship before or after the crash.
No ground search was made for survivors or remains of either aircraft
because of hostile fire in the area.
There are unanswered questions remaining from Vietnam. Of the nearly 2500
Americans who did not return alive or dead, experts venture that hundreds
may still be alive. Thousands of reports have been received concerning them.
Whether the two OH6A crews are among those seems unlikely. But one can
imagine their willingness to deploy on one more combat team to bring those
who are alive home to freedom.
Crash site discovered of local veteran missing since Vietnam War
Back in 1972, Specialist Robin Yeakley of South Bend and two other soldiers
were shot-down in the middle of heavy fighting between the armies of North
and South Vietnam...
Posted: 07/25/2006 05:33 pm
Last Updated: 07/25/2006 06:49 pm
Story filed by NewsCenter16 Reporter
Robert Borrelli
South Bend, IN - After more than three decades, the mystery of a missing
local soldier appears to be over.
Robin Yeakley would have been 58-years-old on Monday, but he never made it
past 23. He was shot-down in heavy fighting in the middle of the Vietnam


Soldiers Missing from Vietnam War Identified
11/07/2011 10:37 AM CST

November 07, 2011

Soldiers Missing from Vietnam War Identified

            The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of three servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

            Army Capt. Arnold E. Holm Jr. of Waterford, Conn.; Spc. Robin R. Yeakley of South Bend, Ind.; and Pfc. Wayne Bibbs of Chicago, will be buried as a group, in a single casket representing the entire crew, on Nov. 9, in Arlington National Cemetery.  On June 11, 1972, Holm was the pilot of an OH-6A Cayuse helicopter flying a reconnaissance mission in Thua Thien-Hue Province, South Vietnam.  Also on board were his observer, Yeakley, and his door gunner, Bibbs.  The aircraft made a second pass over a ridge, where enemy bunkers had been sighted, exploded and crashed, exploding again upon impact.  Crews of other U.S. aircraft, involved in the mission, reported receiving enemy ground fire as they overflew the crash site looking for survivors.

            Between 1993 and 2008, joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), interviewed witnesses, investigated, surveyed and excavated possible crash sites several times.  They recovered human remains, OH-6A helicopter wreckage and crew-related equipmentincluding two identification tags bearing Yeakley's name.

            Scientists from the JPAC used forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence to identify the crew.

            Today more than 1,600 American remain un-accounted for from the Vietnam War.  More than 900 servicemen have been accounted for from that conflict, and returned to their families for burial with military honors since 1973.  The U.S. government continues to work closely with the governments of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia to recover all Americans lost in the Vietnam War.

            For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO website at or call 703-699-1169.