ARLINGTON, Va. (WVLA) — The body of Baton Rouge serviceman killed in the line of duty during the Vietnam War will finally be returned to his family for a burial with full military honors.
The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office reports that Army Capt. James M. Johnstone will be buried on Dec. 12 in the Arlington National Cemetery. Scientiests identified Johnstone utilizing forensic identification tools.
Capt. Johnstone was the pilot for a reconnaissance mission on Nov. 19, 1966. His OV-1A Mohawk crashed during the daytime over Attapu Province, Laos. Witnesses reported seeing the crash, but did not see any parachutes exit the aircraft. Officials say heavy enemy presence in the area prevented the possibility of a recovery effort.
An investigation began in 1993 in that area where the crash occurred. Since then teams spoke to witnesses and located the aircraft wreckage. They also found human remains, military equipment, and Johnstone’s identification card.
The remains of more than 900 Americans killed during the Vietnam War have been returned. Today, more than 1,600 Americans remain unaccounted for from the conflict.
Johnstone was 28 years old at the time of his death. He was born in Baton Rouge and his last home address was listed in Ft. Mills, South Carolina. His family called him "Monty."