Raphael Cruz

Staff Sergeant
United States Air Force
23 May 1935 - 03 September 1964
Stockton, California
Panel 01E Line 028


USAF Aircrew

Purple Heart, Air Medal, Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Raphael Cruz

20 Oct 2006

Ralphie, we finally brought you back after thirty three years, primo. I met the plane at Travis and six of you came back together. Most of the family was there also, we laid you to rest in San Bruno National Cemetery and at Arlington in D.C.

We are all very proud of you, cuz. I did some research on you and they named a street after you at Hurlburt Field in Florida, it is called Cruz Drive. I got to Danang two months after you went down and I never knew until about fifteen years later. With your family in Stockton and ours in San Diego, we lost track of each other. Danny still remembers when you got together in Germany. Airman, go with God.

Your primo, David

From his first cousin,
David Gonzales
P. O. Box 230178, Encinitas, Ca 92023

03 May 2007

You will be forever remembered
by someone who wears your MIA bracelet.


A Note from The Virtual Wall

October 30,1996

The remains of American servicemen previously unaccounted-for from Southeast Asia are being returned to their families for burial in the United States.

The remains have been identified as Captain Howard P. Purcell, USAF, of Landsdowne, Pa.; 1stLt Neil B. McKinney, USAF, of Muncie, Ind.; Staff Sgt Raphael Cruz, USAF, of Stockton, Calif.

On Sept. 2, 1963, Purcell, McKinney and Cruz were flying aboard a B-26B aircraft on an air cover mission over Kontum Province, Vietnam. They were observed by their relief aircraft, but never returned to Da Nang Air Base. An extensive search and rescue effort failed to locate the missing aircraft. In 1992, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) repatriated to the United States human remains and identification media for all three crew members. The remains of these three servicemen were identified individually, and are also part of a group remains identification. Mitochondrial DNA testing was used to confirm the three identifications.

The three men were in B-26B tail number 44-34682. Their remains were repatriated on 27 March 1992, with positive identification advised to their respective families on 10 Oct 1996.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his first cousin,
David Gonzales
P. O. Box 230178, Encinitas, Ca 92023

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 20 Oct 2006
Last updated 10/11/2007