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Thursday, May 03, 2007

SIGONELLA, Sicily (May 2, 2007) - Patrol Squadron Five (VP) 5 Executive Officer, Cmdr. Reggie Howard, receives his command-at-sea pin pinned on by his wife. Howard relieved Cmdr. Brent R. Klavon as commanding officer while on deployment in Sigonella, Sicily, from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Harry J. Rucker III

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Muzzling the Military

Michael Yon has written recently of the increased difficulty he's had when working with the Army brass in Iraq. He's noted repeatedly that they seem to be making things as difficult as possible for those who are trying to get the truth out - those who are bringing attention to all of the good work being done in Iraq, and the character and quality of our Heroes.

What the heck is going on? It didn't make a lick of sense to me...until I saw this:

Army Tightens Rules on GI Blogs, E-Mail

"Tightens" is an understatement. While the old rules required a check when posting any information about operations, the new rules amount to a gag order. Soldiers must submit anything placed in a public forum to "an OPSEC review prior to publishing"- blog posts, emails, message board postings, letters....the possibilities are endless.

Failure to do so could result in actions including court-martial, "administrative, disciplinary, contractual, or criminal action."

And as if that wasn't enough, the new rules expand the personnel affected to include "all Soldiers, Department of the Army (DA) Civilians, Department of Defense (DOD) contractors, and family members."

Now seems a pretty good time to state that I am not, nor have I ever been, in any branch of the U.S. military. I am not the family member of any active duty military personnel. Pure civilian here. I can say what I like....for now.

The policy's author, Major Ray Ceralde, is quick to minimize the intrusiveness of the new policy:
"It is not practical to check all communication, especially private communication..."

Maybe so, but that creates a new problem - inconsistency in enforcement. It's a point that the Major emphasizes with the following:

"Some units may require that soldiers register their blog with the unit for identification purposes with occasional spot checks after an initial review. Other units may require a review before every posting."

OK....but how do you decide what to check, how often to check, and what is a concern? With the consequences as serious as they are for violation, how do you, as an officer, manage the new policy while you're supposed to be fighting a war?

Isn't it easier, and more consistent, to just forbid your Soldiers to blog, or post in message boards, altogether?

David, at The Thunder Run, writes, This is it friends...the milblogs are dead and along with it, all public support for the good things being done every day by our troops on the ground, and we have only the brass to thank for it. What Al Qaida in Iraq couldn't do with VBIEDs they did with a word processor and a complete lack of understanding of the need to win the information war.

Matt of BlackFive says, "The soldiers who will attempt to fly under the radar and post negative items about the military, mission, and commanders will continue to do so under the new regs. The soldiers who've been playing ball the last few years, the vast, VAST, majority will be reduced. In my mind, this reg will accomplish the exact opposite of its intent. The good guys are restricted and the bad continue on..." His complete post, with updates and links to what others are saying, is here.

The ramifications of Army Regulation 530--1: Operations Security (OPSEC) (.pdf file) are far-reaching. Letters home, letters to troop supporters like Soldiers' Angels, blog postings, electronic messages, comments to others' posts, all of it could be under the scope.

As a Soldier stateside, let alone in a war zone, would you want to deal with this? Sure, there might be a Soldier here or there that might post something that would be of concern, but don't we trust our troops enough to believe that they wouldn't want to put anything out there that would pose a risk to their military brothers and sisters? And how many of them self-edit what is sent to family and friends - not because of fear of reprisal, but simply to keep them from worrying?

Far more likely than a mountain of oversight is the path of least resistance - Soldiers will stop blogging on their own, or officers will forbid anything that requires oversight.

The one big similarity to Vietnam and Iraq has been the loss of ground in the Information War. And now the Army is not only conceding defeat - they're regulating it. Milblogs have been a prime source of positive information - a primary weapon against negative media and moonbat hype.

Take away guns from law-abiding citizens, and only criminals have guns.

Silence those who support the war, and the only voices heard will be those who malign the troops and seek to undermine the war. Regulated defeat in the Information War.

It is the ultimate insult - and a tragic irony - that those who would bleed or die to protect freedom of speech for others appear to have the least right to it themselves.

David notes, "This should be a major topic of discussion at the CENTCOM Discussion at the upcoming Milblog Conference this Saturday."

Indeed. I'll be there, and you can be sure that I'm looking forward to that discussion.

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Two F-15E Strike Eagles prepare to launch in support of Exercise Green Flag at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., April 24, 2007. During Green Flag, aircrews practiced employing airpower within an irregular warfare environment. U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald

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Officials ID Five Missing WWII Airmen

May 02, 2007


Five Missing WWII Airmen are Identified

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

They are 1st Lt. Cecil W. Biggs, of Teague, Texas; 1st Lt. William L. Pearce, of San Antonio, Texas; 2nd Lt. Thomas R. Yenner, of Kingston, Pa.; Tech. Sgt. Russell W. Abendschoen of York, Pa.; and Staff Sgt. George G. Herbst of Brooklyn, N.Y.; all U.S. Army Air Forces. Pearce was buried April 27 in Louisville, Ky.; Herbst will be buried June 8 at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.; Biggs will be buried June 9 in Teague, Texas; Abendschoen’s funeral is June 13 at Arlington; and Yenner will be buried July 30 at Arlington.

Representatives from the Army met with the next-of-kin of these men in their hometowns to explain the recovery and identification process and to coordinate interment with military honors on behalf of the secretary of the Army.

On Sept. 21, 1944, a C-47A Skytrain crewed by these airmen was delivering Polish paratroopers to a drop zone south of Arnhem, Holland, in support of “Operation Market Garden.” Soon after departing the drop zone, the plane crashed and there were no survivors. The Germans opened the dikes in the region where the plane crashed and flooded the area before any remains could be recovered.

When Dutch citizens returned to their homes in Arnhem the next year, they recovered remains from the Skytrain’s wreckage and buried them in a nearby cemetery. A U.S. Army graves registration team later disinterred the remains which were reburied as group remains in 1950 at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Kentucky.

In 1994, a Dutch citizen located more human remains and other crew-related materials at a site associated with this C-47 crash. They were eventually turned over to U.S. officials.

Among dental records, other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA in the identification of the remains of these five men. The remains that could not be attributed to a specific individual have been buried with the first set of group remains at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery.

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.

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RIVRON 1 — U.S. Navy Petty Officers 1st Class Stacy Burleson and Michael Beane from Riverine Squadron 1, conduct an orientation ride in a small unit riverine craft at Lake Qadisiya, the man-made reservoir on the North side of Haditha Dam, Iraq, April 27, 2007. U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer Jon E. McMillan

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In Today's News - Thursday, May 3, 2007

Quote of the Day
"So the important thing in a military operation
is victory, not persistence."

-- Sun Tzu

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Congress Furious Over Iraqi Plans for Summer Vacation
Iraqi PM Asks for Debt Relief; Rice, Syrians to Meet
Rocket Attack in Baghdad's Green Zone Kills 4
U.S.: Al Qaeda Leaders' Fate Unknown
FACTBOX: What is the Iraq Compact?

Operation Enduring Freedom
Afghan Bus Bombing Kills One, Wounds 29
NATO seeks ways to cut Afghan civilian toll
Suspected IED Cell Members Detained In Khowst

Homeland Security / War on Terror / Hamas-Hezbollah Happenings
N.Irish UVF paramilitaries end armed campaign
Olmert faces fresh round in battle for survival
Don't let crisis harm peace process: EU

Troops on Trial
Marine Charged in Comrade's Shooting Death

Other Military News
Big Paydays at Cash-Strapped VA
Gates: Walter Reed Should Be Closed as Planned
Army Tightens Rules on GI Blogs
Military Gets Big Pay Raise
Soldiers Face Punishment Over Blogs Def Tech: Milbloggers a Dying Breed?
AP: Senior VA officials get big bonuses

Homegrown Moonbats
Leo, Rosie make Time's most influential

Politics / Government
10 to Meet in First GOP Presidential Debate
Obama Takes MySpace Page From Ex-Backer
Republicans prepare for their first 2008 debate
Reuters Factbox: Ten Republican candidates
Britain's Blair faces last electoral test

Illegal Immigration / Border Control
Police to Probe Cop Behavior at L.A. Rally

In the Courts / Crime and Punishment / Law and Order
Dad Accused of Rape to Appear in Court
Woman Planned to Torture, Kill Neighbor
Cops: Woman Killed Baby to Hide Pregnancy
Return Address Foils Death Threat Attempt
Busta Rhymes arrested on DUI charge

U.N. News
U.N. climate talks down to wire

Science / Medicine / Technology
Jupiter's Moon Erupts
IBM uses self-assembling material in chip advance
Nokia unveils thin Barracuda, 6 more new phones
RIM unveils newest BlackBerry: The Curve

Mother Nature
Talks at climate conference progress

Widow, 93, Selling North Dakota Town
Need an alibi? Online company can provide it
Naked man superglued to exercise bike
Cashiers claim desperate measures

Other News of Note
Wal-Mart Recalls Baby Bibs Containing Lead
Bus carrying Pa. students hits truck

Fox News
Dow Board Won't Act on News Corp. Bid

Reuters: Top News
Turkish parliament confirms July 22 election
Sarkozy keeps advantage after television debate - Video
Actress Pinkett Smith says family comes first
Bette Midler setting up shop in Las Vegas
Star marriage sparks the great Bollywood divide
European stocks off highs, dollar dips
Celgene drops on Revlimid sales
Taser jumps on Cramer recommendation
Euro hits record high versus yen
Why hasn't jobs picture changed?
GM profit falls after housing finance loss
Dutch court to decide on ABN LaSalle sale
RIM courts broader market with BlackBerry Curve
Apple unveils plans to go greener
Microsoft to acquire mobile ad company ScreenTonic
Texas Instruments to build $1 bln plant in Philippines

AP World News
Suns, Spurs advance in NBA playoffs
U.S. Stocks Head Toward Higher Open
Suns sink Lakers to win series in 5
Spurs win series, change itinerary
Sens' fluky goal brings Devils to brink
Poll: Joan Baez at Walter Reed?
New Must-Have Benefits Guide
Op-ed: Middle East Earthquake
SpouseBUZZ: Live! Going to SD
The Web's Best Equipment Guide
Kit Up! Wants You!
Warfighters: Tell us about your gear.

CENTCOM: News Releases

USJFCOM to assist as DoD and DEA partner up to support personnel recovery - podcast
Learn more about JPRA
Joint Knowledge Development and Distribution Capability rolls out enhanced Joint Knowledge Online - podcast
Noble Resolve 07 enhancing homeland defense - podcast
Liveblogging: Noble Resolve 2007Learn more about Noble Resolve

Group Will Ensure Wounded Warriors Get Care - Story
Transcript: Briefing with Gates, West and Marsh
Video Clip: Gates on Importance of Troop Care
Bush: Al Qaeda Cannot Gain Safe Haven in Iraq - Story
General Impressed with Agencies' Collaboration - Story
Security Surge to Position Iraq, Ambassador Says - Story
Gates: Officials Expected Rise in Violence as Plan Unfolds
Pentagon Channel Launches New News Program - Story

More Headline News
Bush Vetoes Emergency War-Funding Bill
Bush: Coalition Stands Strong in Face of Terror
U.S., Republic of Montenegro Sign Agreement
Month of May Dedicated to Appreciating Troops

Military News
Webcasts Bring Graduations to Deployed Parents
Edwards Airmen Star in 'Ironman' Superhero Movie
U.S. Soldiers, Community Remember Wereth 11

War on Terror
Five Enemy Fighters Killed - Story
Coalition Kills Seven, Nabs 21
136 Taliban Fighters Killed
Taliban’s Influence Waning
Five U.S. Servicemembers Killed

America Supports You
Arizona Team Thanks Troops - Story
NASCAR Family Offers Support
Golfers Tee Off for Fisher House
Musicians to Honor Veterans
NASCAR Honors Troops

Unmanned Aircraft Wing Debuts - Story
New Concept Ensures Latest Technologies Reach Warfighters
Technology Leaves No Place to Hide
Edwards Readies for Testing

Face of Defense
Soldier Helps African Youngsters - Story
Soldier Beats Injury, Runs Marathon
Marine Helps Rebuild Iraq
Cousins Reunite at Speicher PX

U.S. Ambassador: Improved Security Helps Iraq’s Political Progress - Story
For Top News Visit DefenseLink

Army Engineers, Iraqis Build New Water Plant - Story
Task Force, Council Discuss Bank Reopening - Story
Marines Donate Fitness Equipment to Villagers - Story
Tops in Blue Perform for U.S. Airmen, Soldiers - Story

Iraqi Soldiers Hustle Through Basic Training
Seabees Help Marines Spearhead Effort
Fallujah Engineers Rebuild City’s Electric Grid
Cavalry Soldiers ‘Live the Legend’ in Iraq

Marines Collect Sandals for Residents in Africa
Country Desk Officers Play Vital Role in Africa

Troop Commander Delivers Aid, Mentorship
Unmanned Aircraft Boosts Surveillance Efforts

Renewal In Iraq
Iraq: Security, Stability
Fact Sheet: Progress and Work Ahead
Report: Strategy for Victory in Iraq
Iraq Daily Update
This Week in Iraq
Multinational Force Iraq
State Dept. Weekly Iraq Report
'Boots on the Ground' Audio Archive
Weekly Reconstruction Report (PDF)
Iraq Reconstruction

Afghanistan Update

Fact Sheet: Budget Request
Fact Sheet: Terror Plots Disrupted
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar

Ansbach Aschaffenburg Berlin Berlin-Tempelhof Berlin/Schonefeld Bremerhaven
Darmstadt Frankfurt Frankfurt/Main Freiburg/Breisgau Garmisch
Garmisch-Partenkirchen Geilenkirchen Gelnhausen Giessen Kitzingen
Hanau Am Main Heidelberg Mainz Mannheim Nurnberg Stuttgart Trier
Wiesbaden Wurzburg


Agana Agana Heights Agat Andersen AFB Asan Barrigada

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut
An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Kadena Air Base Okinawa Tokyo Yokohama

Today in History
1294 - John II becomes duke of Brabant/Limburg
1342 - Count Hartmann II becomes ruler of Vaduz (Liechtenstein)
1382 - Battle on Beverhoutsfield near Brugge
1455 - Jews flee Spain
1494 - Jamaica discovered by Christopher Columbus; he names it "St Iago"
1515 - Persian Gulf: Portugese fleet occupies Ormuz
1616 - Treaty of Loudun kills French civil war
1624 - Spanish silver fleet sails to Panamá
1629 – French Huguenot leader duke De Rohan signs accord with Spain
1640 - English Upper house accept Act of Attainder
1654 - Bridge at Rowley, MA begins charging tolls for animals
1660 - Sweden, Poland, Brandenburg & Austria sign Peace of Oliva
1661 - Johannes Hevelius observes 3rd transit of Mercury ever to be seen
1662 - Royal charter granted Connecticut
1678 - French conquering fleet at Curaçao, 1200 die
1715 - Edmund Halley observes total eclipse phenomenon "Baily's Beads"
1747 - Willem IV appointed viceroy of Holland/Utrecht
1765 - 1st US medical college opens in Philadelphia; founded by John Morgan, the School of Medicine belonged to the College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania).
1802 - Washington DC incorporates as a city
1810 - Lord Byron swims the Hellespont
1815 - Battle at Tolentino: Austria beats king Joachim of Naples
1830 - 1st regular steam train passenger service starts
1845 - 1st Black lawyer (Macon B. Allen) admitted to the bar (Massachusetts); Fire kills 1,600 in popular theater in Canton China
1846 - Mexican army surrounds fort in Texas
1851 - Most of San Fransisco destroyed by fire; 30 die
1855 - Antwerp-Rotterdam railway opens
1861 - General Winfield Scott presents his Anaconda Plan; Lincoln asks for 42,000 Army Volunteers & another 18,000 seamen
1863 - Battle of Chancellorsville-Beaten Union army withdraws; Battle of Fredricksburg, VA (Marye's Heights); Battle of Salem Church, VA
1864 - 3rd day in Battle at Alexandria, LA: Confederate assault
1901 - Fire destroys 1,700 buildings in Jacksonville FL
1906 - British-controlled Egypt takes Sinai peninsula from Turkey
1919 - Afghánistán Emir Amanoellah begins war against Great Britain; America's 1st passenger flight (New York-Atlantic City)
1921 - West Virginia imposes 1st state sales tax
1923 - 1st nonstop transcontinental flight (New York-San Diego) completed
1926 - British general strike-3 million workers support miners; US marines land in Nicaragua (9-months after leaving), stay until 1933
1929 - Prussia bans anti-fascists
1936 - French People's Front wins elections
1938 - Concentration camp at Flossenbürg goes into use; Vatican recognizes Franco-Spain
1941 - German air raid on Liverpool
1942 - Japanese troop attack Tulagi, Gavutu & Tanambogo, Solomon Islands; Luftwaffe bombs Exeter; Nazis execute 72 OD'ers in reprisial in Sachsenhausen, Netherlands; Nazis require Dutch Jews to wear a Jewish star
1943 - Strike against obligatory labor camps ends, after 200 killed; US 1st armour division occupies Mateur Tunisia
1944 - Meat rationing ends in US
1945 - 1st Polish armour brigade occupies Wilhelmshafen; Allies arrests German nuclear physics Werner Heisenberg; British troop join in Rangoon; German ship "Cap Arcona" sinks in East Sea, 5,800 killed
1946 - International military tribunal in Tokyo begins
1947 - Japan forms a constitutional democracy
1949 - 1st firing of a US Viking rocket; reached 80 km
1952 - 1st landing by an airplane at geographic North Pole
1956 - A new range of mountains discovered in Antarctica (2 over 13,000')
1962 - Express train crashed into wreckage of a commuter train and a freight, killing 163, injuring 400 (Tokyo, Japan)
1963 - Martin Luther King Jr delivers his "I have a dream" speech
1965 - 1st use of satellite TV, Today Show on the Early Bird Satellite; Cambodia drops diplomatic relations with the US
1967 - Black students seize finance building at Northwestern University
1971 - Erich Honecker succeeds Walter Ulbricht as East German party leader; National Public Radio begins programming; 112 NPR stations premiere "All Things Considered"; Nixon administration arrests 13,000 anti-war protesters in 3 days
1982 - New York Times reports that military will get 25% of NASA's budget; President Reagan begins 5 minute weekly radio broadcasts
1983 - Soviet leader Andropov decreases nuclear weapons in Europe; US bishops condemn nuclear weapons
1986 - Air Lanka crashes, killing 22; NASA launches Goes-G, it failed to achieve orbit
1988 - 4,200 kg Colombian cocaine in seized at Tarpon Springs FL
1991 - 356th & final episode of CBS 2nd longest running series Dallas, 2nd only to Gunsmoke
1994 - D66/Dutch Liberal Party win Dutch 2nd Parliamentary election; US space probe Clementine launched

- Margaretha, English princess/duchess of Bourgondie
1455 - Joâo II the perfect, King of Portugal (1481-95)/took in Spanish Jews
1469 - Niccolò Machiavelli, Italian politician/writer (The Prince)
1692 - Jan J. Mauricius, Dutch Governor-General of Suriname (1742-51)
1816 - Montgomery Cunningham Meigs, Union Brevet Major General
1826 - Charles XV Louis E, King of Sweden/Norway (1859-72)/poet
1844 - Edouard A. Drumont, French anti-semitic journalist
1849 - Jacob Riis, reporter (New York Tribune, New York Evening Sun)
1898 - Golda Meir [Meyerson], 4th Israeli PM (1969-74); Septima Poinsette Clark, civil rights activist/educator
1916 - Henry Barbosa Gonzalez, (Representative- TX)
1921 - Vasco dos Santos Gonçalves, Portuguese leftist colonel
1923 - Ralph M. Hall (Representative- TX)
1935 - Donald P. Hodel, US Secretary of Interior (1985-89)
1949 - Albert Sacco, PhD/astronaut (STS 73); Ron Wyden (Representative- OR)

1010 – Ansfried, 9th bishop of Utrecht (995-1010)/saint, dies at about 69
1294 - Jan I, duke of Brabant/Limburg/poet
1410 - Alexander V [Petros Philargi], Kreta's Pope (1409-10)
1442 - Engelbert I Earl of Nassau-Dillenburg
1481 - Mohammed II [Fâtih], sultan of Turkey (1451-81)
1737 - Abraham Patras, Governor-General of East-Indies (1735-37), dies at 65
1758 - Benedict XIV [Prospero L. Lambertini], Pope (1740-58), dies at 83
1764 - Francesco Algarotti, Italian earl/encyclopedist, dies at 53
1774 - Heinrich A. Fouqué, Prussian general (7 year war), dies at 76
1841 - Cornelis T. Elout, Dutch minister of Finance/Navy/Colonies, dies at 74
1863 - Elisha Franklin "Bull" Paxton, Confederate Brigadier-General, dies at 35
1916 - Pádraic Pearse, Irish nationalist, executed by British firing squad
1925 - Clément Ader, French engineer (steam engine airplane), dies at 84
1926 - Napoleon V Bonaparte, French pretender to the throne, dies at 63
1939 - [Karl Eduard] Wilhelm Groener, German general, dies at 71
1942 - Johan H. Westerveld, Lieutenant-Colonel/leader Order Service, executed
1945 - Louis L. H. de Visser, Dutch MP (CPN), dies at 66
1955 - Philips C. Visser, explorer/ambassador to Moscow
1965 - Otto Forst de Battaglia, Austrian diplomat/genealogist, dies at 75
1978 - Wim van Doorne, Dutch auto manufacturer (DAF), dies at 71
1991 - Gerrit Mik, child psychiatrist/Dutch MP (D66), dies
1992 - George Murphy (Senator-CA)/actor, dies of Leukemia at 89
1994 - Haty Tegelaar-Boonacker, Dutch MP (CDA), dies at 63

Reported Missing in Action
Moore, Ralph E., US Army (IN); Killed / BNR

Avery, Robert Douglas, USMC (NC); A6A disappeared on mission (w/Clem)

Clem, Thomas D., USMC (IN); A6A disappeared on mission (w/Avery)

Chaney, Arthur F., US Army (VA); AH1G shot down (w/McKain), KIA/BNR

Clark, Stephen W., USMC (CA); F8E shot down, KIA/BNR

McKain, Bobby L., US Army (KS); AH1G shot down (w/Chaney), KIA/BNR

Terry, Oral R., US Army (IL)

Churchill, Carl R., USAF (ME); F4D shot down (w/Conaway)

Conaway, Lawrence Y., USAF (OH); F4D shot down (w/Churchill)

The following USAF personnel reported MIA when their C130 was shot down:
Bracy, Lester, Jr.; remains recovered August, 1972 – ID’d June, 1974

Hopper, Joseph Clifford (TN); remains recovered August, 1972

McIver, Alexander (CA); remains recovered August, 1972

Slater, Freddie Leon, (MD); remains recovered August, 1972

Unger, Don Lee (FL); remains recovered August. 1972

Widerquist, Thomas Carl (IL); remains recovered August, 1972 – ID’d June, 1974

Also reported MIA this day in 1972:
Ayres, Timothy R., USAF (TX); F4E shot down, released by DRV March, 1973 – retired as a Lt. Colonel - alive and well as of 1998

McDonald, Joseph W., USMC (NY); A6A shot down (w/Williams)

Sienicki, Theodore S., USAF (NJ); F4E shot down, released by DRV March, 1973 – retired as a Major - alive and well as of 1998

Williams, David B., USMC (LA); A6A shot down (w/McDonald) - remains returned October, 1989

Moreau, Ron; released May, 1973

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