Name: CW2 Bobby Lyn Mc Kain
Status: Remains were returned on 08/11/08 from an incident on 05/03/1968 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Age at death: 22.2
Date of Birth: 02/11/1946
Home City: Garden City, KS
Service: AV branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: A/1/9 CAV 1 CAV
Major organization: 1st Cavalry Division
Flight class: 65-19W
Service: AV branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 54E-027
Short Summary: Engaged NVA crew served weapon on east side of a shau valley west of Khe Sanh near "co roc". see chaney & refno 1155.
Aircraft: AH-1G tail number 66-15332
Call sign: Apache?
Service number: W3152914
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 062B = Helicopter Pilot, Utility and Light Cargo Single Rotor
Primary cause: SVN-BNR
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: unknown or not reported
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: pilot
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - pilot
Length of service: 03
Location: Quang Tri Province I Corps.
Additional information about this casualty:
Soldiers Missing From The Vietnam War Are Identified The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of two U.S. servicemen, missing from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors. They are Chief Warrant Officer Bobby L. McKain, of Garden City, Kan.; and Warrant Officer Arthur F. Chaney, of Vienna, Va., both U.S. Army. McKain will be buried on Aug. 11 in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C., and Chaney will be buried Sept. 16 in Arlington. Representatives from the Army met with the next-of-kin of these men to explain the recovery and identification process, and to coordinate interment with military honors on behalf of the secretary of the Army. On May 3, 1968, these men flew an AH-1G Cobra gunship on an armed escort mission to support a reconnaissance team operating west of Khe Sanh, in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. Their helicopter was hit by enemy anti-aircraft fire, exploded in mid-air and crashed west of Khe Sanh near the Laos-Vietnam border. The crew of other U.S. aircraft flying over the area immediately after the crash reported no survivors, and heavy enemy activity prevented attempts to recover the menĂs bodies. In 1985, an American citizen with ties to Southeast Asian refugees turned over to U.S. officials human remains supposedly recovered from an AC-130 aircraft crash in Laos. While subsequent laboratory analysis disproved the association of the remains to the AC-130 crash, some of the remains were those of McKain and Chaney. Between 1989 and 2003, Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) investigative teams working in Laos and Vietnam made five attempts to locate the crewĂs crash site, but could not confirm the location. 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 identifying the remains. For additional information on the Defense DepartmentĂs mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.
Vietnam-Era MIA 1st Cav Aviators To Be Buried At Arlington (July 17, 2008) Chief Warrant Officer Bobby L. McKain of Garden City, Kan. and Warrant Officer Arthur F. Chaney of Vienna, Va. will finally be laid to rest, 40-years after the two 1st Cavalry Division aviators died in the explosive crash of an Army helicopter in Vietnam. The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced Thursday that the remains of the two servicemen have been identified and will be returned to their families with full military honors. McKain will be buried on Aug. 11 and Chaney on Sept. 16 at Arlington National Cemetery. The two soldiers were assigned to the 1st Cavalry DivisionĂs A Troop, 1st Squad, 9th Cavalry when they took off on May 3, 1968 on a mission to support a reconnaissance team operating west of Khe Sanh in South VietnamĂs Quang Tri Province. Their AH-1G Cobra gunship was hit by enemy anti-aircraft fire and exploded in midair. It crashed west of Khe Sanh near the Laos-Vietnam border. Enemy fire made it impossible to recover the two soldiersĂ bodies. Two decades later, an American citizen with ties to refugees from Southeast Asia turned over remains from an AC-130 aircraft crash in Laos. Tests determined the remains werenĂt associated with the AC-130 crash, but did confirm that some were those of McKain and Chaney. Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command teams made five attempts between 1989 and 2003 to locate the helicopterĂs crash site, but could not confirm the location. But through the use of mitochondrial dental comparisons, and other forensic identification tools as well as circumstantial evidence, scientists were able to confirm the identity of the remains. The 1-9 Cav was inactivated at Fort Hood in July 2005, but was reactivated three months later with the 4th Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Bliss. Find this article at: http://www.kwtx.com/home/headlines/25593599.html
Vietnam War Casualties, One From Vienna, To Be Buried Remains of MIA Pilots Identified By Ian Shapira, Washington Post Staff Writer Washington Post July 19, 2008 Pg. 3 When the phone call came five weeks ago to his Colorado home, Gilbert ˘Gib÷ McKain was in disbelief. A U.S. government official wanted to share his latest findings about McKainĂs only brother, who had been shot down while flying a helicopter during the Vietnam War: Bobby McKainĂs remains, after 40 years of mystery and government sleuthing along the Vietnam-Laos border, had been identified. Gib McKain felt elated but also skeptical, hardened after so many years of having ˘MIA÷ in his vocabulary and still unsure how investigators matched his brotherĂs remains to his familyĂs DNA. ˘I had totally forgotten about doing the swab kit÷ for the DNA test, said McKain 61, a retired federal worker. ˘Then they flew out and showed me the kit, and I remembered. I thought they were never going to find anything.÷ The Defense Department announced this week that investigators had identified the remains of Army Chief Warrant Officer Bobby L. McKain of Garden City, Kan., and his co-pilot, Warrant Officer Arthur F. Chaney of Vienna, who were killed when their helicopter gunship was hit by anti-aircraft fire and exploded in midair in Vietnam on May 3, 1968. Their remains were believed to be scattered west of Khe Sanh in South Vietnam, near the border with Laos. Now, four decades after the men were listed as missing in action, their remains are being returned for burial at Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon said Thursday. Remains of 890 people who served in the Vietnam War and were once listed as missing in action have been identified through forensic investigations, a Defense spokesman said. ChaneyĂs family could not be reached for comment. For Gib McKain, the ordeal began when he was in the Army, based at Fort Monmouth, N.J., and realized one day that he had stopped receiving mail. ˘So I went to the mailroom, and they said it had been put on hold, that Š your mother did it,Ă ÷ McKain recalled. ˘I said, ŠYou canĂt hold my mail.Ă I started going through the letters, and there was one from a girl. It said, ŠSorry to hear about your brother.Ă ÷ McKain immediately dialed his mother in Kansas. ˘She said, ŠI was afraid you would go AWOL if you found out,Ă and I said, ŠI wouldnĂt have done that,Ă ÷ McKain said. ˘I thought, heĂs still alive.÷ McKain felt optimistic. It was Bobby, after all, who took pilot lessons first and persuaded Gib to follow suit. McKain recalled how the two just talked, flying from one Kansas town to the next, accumulating conversations, forging a bond. But Bobby McKain did not survive. The military said that he and Chaney, flying an AH-1G Cobra gunship, were shot down as they escorted a reconnaissance team. Immediately after the crash, other U.S. aircraft surveyed the scene and saw no survivors. The McKains held a memorial service about three months later in Garden City, where the family had moved in the mid-1950s. There was also a woman in BobbyĂs life. ˘Patti. From Alabama,÷ McKain said. ˘IĂll be doggone if they were engaged or busted up when he was shot down. I remember her name being Patti. P-A-T-T-I.÷ Seventeen years passed. In June 1985, a U.S. citizen with ˘ties to Southeast Asian refugees÷ came across bundles of human remains, the department said. The U.S. citizen ¨ whose name officials did not know yesterday but said is probably deep within their reports ¨ found five small bundles of bone and teeth fragments. The U.S. citizen believed the remains were from the crew of an AC-130 ˘Spectre Gunship÷ that crashed in March 1972 in Savannakhet, Laos, Pentagon spokesman Larry Greer said. But lab results later disproved any link between that crash and the remains, Greer said. Forensic anthropologists saved the evidence and sought to match DNA from the remains to families of missing soldiers. Outside the lab, military investigators scoured the Laos-Vietnam border areas from 1989 to 2003. They made five attempts to locate McKain and ChaneyĂs crash site. But anthropologists in the lab finally made the match. They had DNA swabs from both families and matched them to the remains delivered by the U.S. citizen. After Gib McKain received that call five weeks ago, he and the Chaneys exchanged letters. ˘They said we can come to their services at Arlington, and I wrote back saying they were welcome at ours,÷ McKain said. Bobby McKain will be buried on Aug. 11 and Chaney on Sept. 16. It is unclear what else the two men had in common, except, to Gib McKainĂs amusement, their mothers were both named Lillian.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - killed
single male U.S. citizen
Religion: Methodist (Evangelical United Brethren)
The following information secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: warrant officer
This record was last updated on 07/19/2008
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