Vietnam War-era Airman Finally to be Buried

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Nearly four decades after his plane was shot down off the waters of Vietnam, the remains of a Navy airman from Fort Worth will be laid to rest today.

The remains of Lieutenant junior grade Frank E. Hand III will be buried at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.

The Navy will provide four F/A-18 Hornets to perform the "missing man" formation over the cemetery -- a special gesture for Hand's younger brother Bruce Hand.

Twenty-six-year-old Frank Hand, along with three other officers and eight sailors, took off on a routine mission on April First, 1968. They were in a P-3 Orion from an air base in Thailand.

According to news accounts, the airplane was hit by anti-aircraft fire from a Cambodian gunboat. No one survived.

In the summer of 2002, a team of Defense Department MIA hunters in Ho Chi Minh City got a call from their counterparts in the Vietnamese government. Some fishermen had discovered human bones and airplane wreckage in the Gulf of Thailand.

The Navy made the DNA match to Hand.

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