The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced July 18 that the remains of a serviceman, missing from the Vietnam War, have been identified and have been returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Michael B. Judd of Cleveland, Ohio, was buried July 15, in Arlington National Cemetery. On June 30, 1967, Judd was aboard a CH-46A Sea Knight helicopter that was attempting to insert a U.S. Marine Corps reconnaissance team into hostile territory in Thua Thien-Hue Province, Vietnam. As the helicopter approached the landing zone, it was struck by enemy fire from the surrounding tree line, causing the aircraft to catch fire. The aircraft crashed landed. Although most of the reconnaissance team to survived, Judd and four other crew members of the team, died in the crash.
In 1993, joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) teams investigated the case in Thua Thien-Hue Province. The team interviewed local villagers who claimed to have discovered an aircraft crash site in the nearby forest while searching for firewood in 1991. The team surveyed the location finding aircraft wreckage that could not be associated with a CH-46A.
During the 1990s, joint U.S./S.R.V. teams continued to investigated the loss in Thua Thien-Hue Province. In 1999, the team interviewed the same local villagers who provide relevant case information and the joint team surveyed the crash site again, this time uncovering aircraft wreckage consistent with a U.S. military helicopter.
In 2012, joint U.S./S.R.V. recovery teams began excavating the crash site and recovered human remains and aircraft wreckage from the CH-46A helicopter that Judd was aboard.
Scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, including dental comparisons in the identification of Judd remains.