Raul Antonio Guerra

Journalist 3rd Class
United States Navy
18 December 1942 - 08 October 1967
Los Angeles, California
Panel 27E Line 071

National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Raul Antonio Guerra

11 Nov 2007

In loving memory of my best friend,
Seaman Raul A. Guerra

For the past 50 plus years you have always been in my heart and on my mind. Growing up as kids, teenagers, and young adults you made a lasting impact on my life. After coming home from Vietnam and receiving the news that you, my best friend, had been killed was one of the most saddened days of my life. No longer could I hear your voice, hear you laugh, see your smile, or just share the brotherly love that we had.

I wish you could have been there to share my new family, get to meet my children, and grow old in our friendship together. These past 40 years after the war it has always saddened my heart to know your body was never recovered. Did you die in pain? Were you alone? I've talked to you in spirit and I truly believed you were always here with me.

On Nov 11th 2007, on the front page of the Whittier Daily News Paper, Brother, there you were. The article read Journalist killed in Vietnam War Comes Home Remains recovered!! One day shy of Veterans' Day I get the news. Veterans' Day 2007 has been the best Veterans' Day ever! Welcome Home, Brother. WELCOME HOME!

Loving Memories Only,
Your Best Friend
Lance Corporal Ruben Valencia

From a friend like a brother,
Ruben Valencia And Family

A Note from The Virtual Wall


The E-1 Tracer was an early warning/radar tracking aircraft used to extend the carrier's radar horizon and to provide flight following for other aircraft. On 08 Oct 1967, E-1B BuNo 148132 from the carrier USS ORISKANY diverted to Chu Lai, refueled, and departed in bad weather to return to the ship. As the aircraft, flying in instrument conditions, passed to the west of Danang radar contact was briefly lost. When regained, the ground controller realized the aircraft was in danger of striking a high ridgeline northwest of Danang and recommended an immediate change of course for terrain avoidance. The crew acknowledged the controller's transmission and advised they were making a sharp starboard turn - but radar and radio contact was lost immediately thereafter. Adverse weather hampered immediate search efforts, but three days later a search helicopter spotted the wreckage of the aircraft on the south face of a steep mountain about 20 kilometers northwest of Danang. It was apparent the crash was not survivable, and a combination of location, terrain and hostile forces in the area precluded a ground recovery. The five persons aboard the aircraft, all assigned to VAW-111, were classed as died, body not recovered:

  • LTJG Norman L. Roggow, Aurelia, IA, copilot
  • LTJG Donald F. Wolfe, Hardin, MT, radar officer/navigator
  • LTJG Andrew G. Zissu, New York, NY, pilot
  • ATC Roland R. Pineau, Berkley, MI, systems operator
  • JO3 Raul A. Guerra, Los Angeles, CA, passenger
The recovery and identification of the remains of three crewmen - LTJG Roggow, LTJG Wolfe, and ATC Pineau - was announced on 12 June 2007, and on 26 October the identification of the remaining two men was announced:

Press Release

October 26, 2007

Navy Crew MIA From Vietnam War is Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of five U.S. servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been accounted-for and will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

They are Lt. j.g. Norman L. Roggow, of Aurelia, Iowa; Lt. j.g. Donald F. Wolfe, of Hardin, Mont.; Lt. j.g. Andrew G. Zissu, of Bronx, N.Y.; Chief Petty Officer Roland R. Pineau, of Berkley, Mich.; and Petty Officer 3rd Class Raul A. Guerra, of Los Angeles, Calif.; all U.S. Navy. Pineau was buried on Oct. 8 in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. The dates and locations of the funerals for the other servicemen are being set by their families.

On Oct. 8, 1967, Zissu and Roggow were the pilots of an E-1B Tracer en route from Chu Lai Air Base, Vietnam, back to the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany. Also on board were Wolfe, Pineau and Guerra. Radar contact with the aircraft was lost approximately 10 miles northwest of Da Nang, Vietnam. Adverse weather hampered immediate search efforts, but three days later, a search helicopter spotted the wreckage of the aircraft on the face of a steep mountain in Da Nang Province. The location, terrain and hostile forces in the area precluded a ground recovery.

In 1993 and 1994, human remains were repatriated to the United States by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) with information that linked the remains to unassociated losses in the same geographical area as this incident. Between 1993 and 2004, U.S/S.R.V. teams, all led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), investigated the incident more than 15 times in Da Nang city and Thua Thien-Hue Province.

Between 2004 and 2005, the joint teams surveyed and excavated the crash site where they recovered human remains and crew-related items. During the excavation in 2005, the on-site team learned that human remains may have been removed previously from the site. S.R.V. officials concluded that two Vietnamese citizens found and collected remains at the crash site, and possibly buried them near their residence in Hoi Mit village in Thua Thien-Hue Province. In 2006, another joint U.S./S.R.V. team excavated the suspected burial site in Hoi Mit village, but found no additional remains. In 2007, more remains associated with this incident were repatriated to the United States by S.R.V. officials.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA and dental comparisons in the identification of the remains.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend like a brother,
Ruben Valencia and Family

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 11 Nov 2007
Last updated 11/14/2007