Name: ROBERT GRANTHAN LAPHAM
Date of Birth: 2/18/1927
Date of Casualty: 2/8/1968
Home of Record: MARSHALL, MICHIGAN
Branch of Service: AIR FORCE
Casualty Country: LAOS
Casualty Province: LZ
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 1231-07
October 18, 2007
Air Force Pilot Missing From Vietnam War is
The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel
Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing
from the Vietnam War, have been identified and returned to his family for
burial with full military honors.
He is Major Robert G. Lapham, U.S. Air Force,
of Marshall, Michigan. He will be buried Friday in Arlington National Cemetery
near Washington, D.C.
On February 8, 1968, Lapham was flying the
lead A-1G Skyraider in a flight of two in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam.
The aircraft were alerted to join an airborne forward air controller to
destroy enemy tanks that had overrun the Lang Vei Special Forces Camp.
After completing one pass on the tanks, Lapham was nearing his target on
the second pass when he crashed. The crew of the other aircraft involved
in the mission reported seeing no parachute.
Between 1993 and 1998, joint U.S./Socialist
Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting
Command (JPAC), traveled to Quang Tri Province two times to investigate
the incident and interview witnesses. One team also surveyed the crash
site and found aircraft wreckage.
In 2003, another joint team investigated the
incident and resurveyed the crash site. The team found more wreckage and
pilot-related evidence, including Laphamís identification tag.
Between 2004 and 2006, JPAC teams traveled
to Quang Tri Province four times to excavate the crash site. The teams
recovered human remains, aircraft wreckage and pilot-related items.
Among other forensic identification tools
and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC also used dental comparisons
in the identification of the remains.
For additional information of the Defense
Departmentís mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web
site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.
18 October 2007