Remains of El Reno serviceman killed in Vietnam identified

The remains of Lt. Col. Clarence F. Blanton, of El Reno, have been identified and will be returned to Oklahoma for burial with full military honors Saturday. Blanton, 46, was commander at Lima Site 85 in Laos when it was overrun by Vietnamese commandos in 1968.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD zcampfield@opubco.com Modified: September 11, 2012 at 10:21 pm •  Published: September 11, 2012
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“From 1994 to 2009 ... teams pursued multiple leads from dozens of witnesses interviewed, including those involved with the attack,” the release reads. “In 2005, a Laotian citizen provided U.S. officials an identification card bearing Blanton's name and human remains purportedly found at the base of Phou Pha Thi.”

Circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools — including mitochondrial DNA which matched that of Blanton's sister — convinced scientists the remains belong to Blanton.

Blanton's family now lives in Hot Springs, Ark., according to the department.

Since 1973, nearly 1,000 servicemen killed in the Vietnam War have been accounted for and returned to their families for burial. More than 1,660 Americans remain unaccounted for from the conflict.

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