The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced recently that U.S. Army Reserve Chief Warrant Officer 3 Larry A. Zich, 24, of Sturgis, South Dakota, killed during the Vietnam War, was accounted for Oct. 25, 2022.
In April 1972, Zich was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 37th Signal Battalion, 1st Signal Brigade. On April 3, a UH-1H Iroquois (tail number 68-16330, call sign "Cavalier 70") with a crew of four, including Zich as the co-pilot.
The crew departed from Marble Mountain, Da Nang, South Vietnam, on a combat support mission to Quang Tri City, South Vietnam. During the flight, the pilot told a Hue/Phu Bai Ground Control Approach (GCA) controller that he was lost, and believed they were near Quang Tri. Following the transmission, the GCA controller could not locate the helicopter on the radar, and reported the crew missing.
When the helicopter failed to appear at any of the air bases in South Vietnam, an aerial search was initiated but found no sign of the missing aircraft or crew.
The Joint Casualty Resolution Center conducted a number of investigation and recovery efforts between 1993 and 2014; a total of twelve investigations were conducted into this loss with negative results.
On April 11, 1988, the Defense Intelligence Agency received human remains from a Vietnamese refugee. Reportedly the remains belonged to nine different individuals who died in an aircraft crash and were buried in Quang Nam Province. Those remains were sent to Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii that same month.
To identify Zich’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.
Zich will be buried in Lincoln, Nebraska on a date yet to be determined.