Sorry for the delay, but was swamped the past few weeks.
Thanks for your inquiry to the 04 March 1971 JU-21A loss in SEA. REFNO 1715
is correct, and in using this number, I will try to obtain some update on
where the case stands.
Dave Headley, an old 138th SEA Vet, was one of our staff members here at the
USAF Life Sciences Equipment Lab (LSEL) from 1997-2006.
He's a good man, and he personally worked 1715 back in 2005, with his
conclusions stating that three US Army aircrew members were aboard the
involved aircraft, based on the represented Material Evidence/ME flight
apparel and equipment.
But as I do not have visibility as to what was Human Remains/HR (if any)
were recovered from the a/c loss site in 1992, 1996, and 2000, I cannot give
you a current update to this case. I can state that if no HR were found, or
identifiable, then the case is still technically open, in spite of the
burden of proof of non-survivability demonstrated by the ME. Current that
US law ludicrously states that for MIA cases prior to 2005, a service
member/SM can only be accounted for via: 1) returned alive to US control; 2)
identified using HR. No consideration of ME is given whatsoever.
However, in post-2005 cases, any manner of evidence can be used to account
for a US SM (which it has in GWOT, since 2001) . Welcome to the inane and
illogical bureaucracy of US law.
As for Harry Ravenna's case, the same ridiculous conditions apply: all ME
clearly supports that both men were aboard the U-6A on impact, and did not
survive, but since no HR was found, the case cannot be closed, and it will
thus remain in limbo, and unresolved.
Very sad and frustrating overall, as this stupidity prevents many MIA
families from obtaining full closure towards their loved one's status.
Feel free to email me with whatever questions/comments you have, at any