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Name: CW3 George Andrews Howes
Status: Remains were returned on Dec 2010 from an incident on 01/10/1970 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Declared dead on 11/06/1978.
Age at death: 19.6
Date of Birth: 06/15/1950
Home City: Knox, IN
Service: AV branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 71 AHC, 14 CAB
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 69-23
Service: AV branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 14W-023
Short Summary: Chu Lai. Crashed into South China Sea because of a heavy rain storm. See CPT Herb Crosby.
Aircraft: UH-1C tail number 66-00739
Call sign: FIREBIRDS
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: *
Primary cause: SVN-BNR
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: vehicular accident
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: co-pilot
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 09/14/1969
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
The initial status of this person was: non-hostile missing - bonified
Length of service: *
Location: Quang Tin Province I Corps.
Military grid coordinates of event: BT107143

Additional information about this casualty:
From a relative to From: Donn Wilimzik

This is what I know about CW3 George ( Andy ) Howes. You may have already got it but I was just given permission to send it out.

I want to give you the update. There are no real answers of what happened to Andy except that he is dead and the family has accepted the remains that the Army has as being his. The remains were in one of 23 boxes of remains given to the US by the SRV in November of 1988. The Army has guessed at where the remains came from but there is no chain of evidence. They may have been turned over to the SRV by bone hunters but even that is sketchy. The condition of the bones did not allow for DNA sequencing until the technology advanced in 2007 and 2008. There are 6 bones - a right upper arm, a left lower arm, aa right upper leg, a left lower 2 bones, and 1 rib. All of the bones are partial and degraded but positively match the DNA profile provided by Rob and his sister. There are more remains in the box(es) that cannot be identified with today's technology but that may change in the future and they may be more.

Plans for burial are on hold until Rob returns from India in 2012. Rob is only in the US between then and now next December and that is no time for a service. He will be talking to his sister's daughters to get their input on where - Knox orr Arlington. My daughters and I came down for Arlington but it is Rob's ultimate choice. Our point was full military honors in Knox will be very different from full military honors in DC at Arlington. We have Andy's dress blues and the Army will "dress" the remains in them. My grandson is a Marine and they will do what they do so that he can escort the body from Hawaii. Michael is in Afganistan and will be back by then. So some plans have been made. But when and where will probably not be clear until 2012. The Army will continue to take good care of him until then.

There is relief in knowing the answer to the final question and we are working with knowing that some of the questions will never be answered. We do not know what happened between January 10, 1970 and November 1988 and will never know. I find myself a little teary this morning but grateful that Rob included our daughters and me in the meeting with the Army.

We will stay in touch and I will update you on anything else I know. Thanks for being Andy‚«÷s friend and looking for him all these years.

From: Donn Wilimzik

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Chief Warrant Officer George A. Howes, of Knox, Ind., will be buried Aug. 5 in Arlington National Cemetery. On Jan. 10, 1970, Howes and three aircrew members were returning to their base at Chu Lai, South Vietnam aboard a UH-1C Huey helicopter. Due to bad weather, their helicopter went down over Quang Nam Province, Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.). A search was initiated for the crew, but no sign of the helicopter or crew was spotted.

In 1989, the S.R.V. gave to U.S. specialists 25 boxes that reportedly contained the remains of U.S. servicemen related to this incident. Later that year, additional remains and a military identification tag from one of the other missing servicemen were obtained from a Vietnamese refugee.

Between 1993 and 1999, joint U.S./S.R.V. teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), conducted three investigations in Ho Chi Minh City and two investigations in Quang Nam-Da Nang Province (formerly Quang Nam Province). A Vietnamese citizen in Ho Chi Minh City turned over a military identification tag bearing Howes' name and told the team he knew where the remains of as many as nine American servicemen were buried. He agreed to lead the team to the burial site. In 1994, the team excavated the site and recovered a metal box and several bags containing human remains. In 2006, the remains of three of the four men were identified and buried. No remains could be attributed to Howes given the technology of the time. In 2008, given advances in DNA technology, the remains were reanalyzed.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used dental comparisons and mitochondrial DNA - which matched that of Howes' sister and brother_in the identification of the remains.

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

Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died while missing
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Religion: Protestant - no denominational preference
The following information secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: warrant officer
This record was last updated on 08/02/2011

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Date posted on this site: 11/13/2023

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