Remains of NY airman killed during Vietnam rescue identified

December 14, 2018

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The remains of a New York airman killed when his helicopter was shot down during a rescue mission in the Vietnam War have been identified.

The Pentagon announces Friday that U.S. Air Force Col. Richard Kibbey, of the Albany suburb of Delmar, has been accounted for.

The 32-year-old Kibbey and three other crewmembers of a rescue and recovery squadron were sent to rescue a downed American pilot in North Vietnam in February 1967. After rescuing the pilot, the helicopter was hit by enemy ground fire, exploded and crashed.

Kibbey, the rescued pilot and two helicopter crewmembers were killed. One crewmember was rescued.

In March 2017, Vietnamese officials excavated the crash site and recovered human remains.

DNA analysis, dental records and other evidence was used to identify the remains as Kibbey’s.

Funeral details weren’t immediately available.

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