Rattler/Firebird Association

An E-mail from Ann Howes

From: Howes, Ann

Date: December 29, 2010

Subject: ANDY

I want to give you the update. There are no real answers of what happened to Andy except that he is dead and the family yesterday accepted the remains that the Army has as being his. The remains were in one of 23 boxes of remains given to the US by the SRV in November of 1988. The Army has made numerous attempts to determine where the remains came from but there is no chain of evidence. They may have been turned over to the SRV by bone hunters but even that is sketchy. The condition of the bones did not allow for DNA sequencing until the technology advanced in 2007 and 2008. There are 6 bones --- a right upper arm, a left lower arm, a right upper leg, the 2 left lower bones and 1 rib. All of the bones are partial and degraded but positively match the DNA profile provided by Rob (Andy’s brother) and his sister.

Plans for burial are on hold until Rob returns from his posting in India in 2012. Rob is currently in the States but has to return next week. He will only be in the US between then and now next December and that is no time for a service. He will be talking to his sister’s daughters to get their input on where – Knox Indiana or Arlington. My daughters and I came down for Arlington but it is Rob’s ultimate choice. Our point was full military honors in Knox will be very different from full military honors in DC at Arlington. We have Andy’s dress blues and the Army will “dress” the remains in them. My grandson is a Marine and they will do what they do so that he can escort the remains from Hawaii. Michael is in Afganistan and will be back by then. So some plans have been made. But when and where will probably not be clear until 2012. The Army will take good care of him until then.

There is great relief in knowing the answer to the final question and we are working with knowing that some of the questions will never be answered. We are grateful that accounting has continued and that all of Firebird 91 have been identified.

Please pass this email on to any Firebirds you think will want to know. We hope you will all take comfort in knowing that the crew of Firebird 91 is all accounted for.