Thursday, September 19, 2013
Air Force pilot Maj. James E. Sizemore of San Diego was killed when his aircraft crashed in Laos in 1969. His remains were not identified until last April, reports the Department of Defense, and he will be buried with full military honors on September 23 at Arlington National Cemetery.
Sizemore was assigned to the 609th Special Operations Squadron in Nakhon Phanom Airfield, Thailand, but made his home in San Diego, according to POWnetwork.org.
Sizemore was a few months shy of his 40th birthday when his A-26A Invader crashed during a night armed reconnaissance mission over Laos on July 8, 1969. Maj. Howard V. Andre Jr., of Memphis, Tennessee, was also killed in the crash.
A U.S./Lao People’s Democratic Republic team investigating an aircraft crash site in Laos discovered aircraft wreckage from an A-26A Invader. A more complete investigation was conducted two different times in 2010:
[J]oint U.S./Lao People’s Democratic Republic teams conducted excavations of the crash site recovering human remains, aircraft wreckage, personal effects and military equipment associated with Sizemore and Andre.
Scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) were able to positively identify the remains as belonging to Sizemore and Andre by using the circumstantial evidence from the crash site, as well as forensic identification tools like matching dental records.