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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Missing Marine Buried Today

Private First Class Daniel Andrew Benedett went missing on May 15, 1975.

Private First Class Daniel Andrew Benedett went missing on May 15, 1975.

The remains of a Marine who went missing on May 15, 1975 were buried at Arlington National Cemetery today.

Private First Class Daniel Andrew Benedett was on a helicopter shot down off a Cambodian island on a mission to rescue the crew of the Mayaguez, a merchant ship seized by the Khmer Rouge.

The crew was not on the island and they actually were released without incident. The island where the U.S. thought the crew was being held was called Koh Tang.

The battle there is considered to be the last American military action during the Vietnam War. Saigon had fallen two weeks before.

Daniel Benedett’s remains were not identified until earlier this year. The remains of 12 other Marines who were also on his chopper were identified several years ago:

  • 2nd Lt. Richard Vandegeer of Cleveland, Ohio
  • Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Bernard Gause, Jr. of Birmingham, Ala.
  • Hospitalman Ronald J. Manning of Steubenville, Ohio
  • Marine Corps servicemen Lance Cpl. Gregory S. Copenhaver of Lewistown, Pa.
  • Lance Cpl. Andres Garcia of Carlsbad, N.M.
  • Pfc. Lynn Blessing of Lancaster, Pa.
  • Pfc. Walter Boyd of Portsmouth, Va.
  • Pfc. James J. Jacques of La Junta, Colo.
  • Pfc. James R. Maxwell of Memphis, Tenn.
  • Pfc. Richard W. Rivernburgh of Schenectady, N.Y.
  • Pfc. Antonio R. Sandoval of San Antonio, Texas
  • Pfc. Kelton R. Turner of St. Louis, Mo.

More than 1,600 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.

In an obituary published on May 20, 1975, Daniel Benedett’s father said his son joined the Marines “so he could look around and see what career he’d want to enter.” He was 19.


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