In this Book
- Combat Talons in Vietnam: Recovering a Covert Special Ops Crew
- Published by: Texas A&M University Press
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Because of the clandestine nature of these missions, Gargus was not permitted to inform the families of the crew where and under what circumstances they perished. He could only say that the aircraft failed to return from a nighttime mission and that the search for it was in progress. This was the official explanation, and it remained so for thirty years.
In the late 1990s, the Combat Talon veteran community at Hurlburt Field in Florida, still uncertain of the full story, decided to dedicate a memorial to the lost crew. Knowing that many wartime mission records were now declassified, Gargus soon embarked on a long journey of inquiry, research, and puzzle solving to reconstruct the events of that mission and the fate of its crew. He discovered that the wreckage of the plane had been found in 1992 and that the remains of the crew were being held in Hawaii. Through numerous Freedom of Information Act requests, interviews, and site visits, Gargus sought to answer the question of why it took so long to find the wreckage and, more importantly, why the special operations command units and crewmember families were left uninformed. By 2000, largely through Gargus’s efforts, the remains were relocated to a common grave at Arlington National Cemetery.