The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today
that the remains of two U.S. servicemen, missing from the Vietnam War, have been
accounted for and will be returned to their families for burial with full
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Robert E. Pietsch, 31, of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Maj.
Louis F. Guillermin, 25, of West Chester, Pa.,will be buried as a group Oct. 16,
in a single casket representing the two servicemen at Arlington National
Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. Guillermin's individual remains weres buried
Oct. 5, 2013, in Broomall, Pa.
On April 30, 1968, Guillermin and Pietsch were on an armed-reconnaissance
mission when their A-26A Invader aircraft crashed in Savannakhet Province,
Laos. Witnesses saw an explosion on the ground and did not see any signs of
survivors. Search and rescue efforts were unsuccessful, and Guillermin and
Pietsch were listed as Missing in Action.
In 1994, a joint U.S./Lao People's Democratic Republic (LPDR) team, lead by
the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), surveyed the crash site in
Savannakhet Province, Laos. The team recovered human remains and evidence, but
was unable to fully survey the site due to the presence of dangerous unexploded
In 2006, joint U.S./LPDR teams assisted by Explosive Ordnance Disposal
personnel cleared the site and gathered additional human remains and evidence,
such as personal effects and crew-related equipment.
The remains recovered were analyzed by scientists from JPAC and the Armed
Forces DNA Identification Laboratory using circumstantial evidence and forensic
analysis, such as mtDNA comparisons. Portions of the remains were individually
identified as Guillermin through an mtDNA match from a hair sample from
Guillermin's medical file. The rest of the remains recovered were not
individually identified, but correspond to both Pietsch and Guillermin.
There are more than 1,640 American service members still unaccounted-for from
the Vietnam War.
For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for
missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703)