Release No. 09-02-11Sept. 6, 2011
WASHINGTON (AFRNS) -- The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced Sept. 1 that the remains of a serviceman, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Air Force Maj. Thomas E. Reitmann of Red Wing, Minn., will be buried Sept. 8 in Arlington National Cemetery.
In 1965, Reitmann was assigned to the 334th Tactical Fighter Squadron deployed out of Seymour-Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., to Takhli Air Base, Thailand. On Dec 1, 1965, he was flying a strike mission as the No. 3 aircraft in a flight of four F-105D Thunderchiefs as part of Operation Rolling Thunder. His target was a railroad bridge located about 45 nautical miles northeast of Hanoi. As the aircrew approached the target area, they encountered extremely heavy and accurate anti-aircraft artillery. While attempting to acquire his target and release his ordnance, Reitmann received a direct hit and crashed in Lang Son Province, North Vietnam. Other pilots in the flight observed no parachute, and no signals or emergency beepers were heard. Because of the intense enemy fire in the area, a search-and-rescue team was not able to survey the site and a two-day electronic search found no sign of the aircraft or Reitmann.
In 1988, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam repatriated remains to the United States believed to be those of Reitmann. The remains were later identified as those of another American pilot who went missing in the area on the same day as Reitmann.