Additional remains have been identified of Capt. Herbert C. Crosby and his Firebird Nine One crew SFC Wayne C. Allen, and SFC Francis G. Graziosi who were previously identified in 1991 and 2006. This latest identification process also produced positive identification of the remaining unidentified crew member, CW3 George A. Howes. Welcome Home Firebird Nine One crew! This is fabulous news, indeed.
The following is a summary from the official report provided to our family on December 18, 2010:
“Available evidence establishes that Cpt. Herbert C. Crosby, CW3 George A. Howes, SFC Wayne C. Allen, and SFC Francis G. Graziosi died in Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam, on 10 January 1970 when their UH-1C Iroquois helicopter crashed in bad weather. In 1988, and again in 1989, the S.R.V. repatriated commingled human remains that they alleged were those of U.S. servicemen. In 1991 some of the remains turned over by the S.R.V. in 1989 were identified as those of SFC Allen. In 1995 additional human remains were recovered from a secondary burial site in Quang Ham Dan Nag Province by U.S. personnel investigating REFNO 1547 [Firebird 91 case]. In 2006 laboratory analysis allowed for some of the 1989 and 1994 remains to be exclusively associated to CPT. Crosby, SFC Allen, and SFC Graziosi to the exclusion of other reasonable possibilities; however, the forensic technology available at the time did not allow for the 1988 remains to be identified. Laboratory analysis now allows for some of the 1988 remains to be identified as those of CW3 George A. Howes to the exclusion of other reasonable possibilities. Similarly, laboratory testing allows for some of the remains to be identified as Additional Remains of CPT Crosby, SFC Allen, and SFC Graziosi.”
|George A. [Andy] Howes, 1969, Chu-Lai, Vietnam|
Five additional teeth were identified along with two human bone fragments (a right tibia and a right clavicle). Both skeletal elements and two teeth were sampled for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis. Blood samples from my sister and myself were used for comparison DNA matching. This additional identification only reconfirms the initial identification (a tooth) in November 2006.
This was a surprise although the Army had told us in 2006 that additional remains may be identified in the future as technology became more advanced. This news just reconfirms the first identification of a single tooth. We are very happy that the other crew members also had additional remains identified, and we are really thrilled that positive identification has been made for Andy Howes, the remaining crew member not yet identified until now. This means the whole Firebird 91 crew is home in America, where they belong. A very merry Christmas gift, indeed.
The additional remains of my brother will be interred April 2011 along with his previous remains which were laid to rest during a military service in Arlington National Cemetery (Section 60, plot 557) in May 2007.
Visit http://www.rattler-firebird.org/ memorial pages for each of the crew members. You can do a search on my site here to find many stories of him and how his identification has opened a brave new world for me.
This is wonderful news. Thanks for keeping us updated.
I know this brings an odd happiness to those who have had questions for all these years.Again, thanks ML for all you do.