You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Vietnam MIA's remains returning to Washington state

Jul. 11, 2013 - 12:09PM   |  
  • Filed Under

SPOKANE, WASH. — The remains of an Air Force pilot killed in the Vietnam War are being returned to Walla Walla for burial this weekend.

Maj. Larry J. Hanley, 26, was attacking an anti-aircraft position in Laos in 1969 when his plane crashed, according to the Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office. The crash site was found last year, and his remains were identified through a genetic match with Hanley’s mother and sister, the office said this week.

Hanley’s funeral is scheduled for Saturday at Assumption Catholic Church in Walla Walla, and he will be buried with full military honors at Mountain View Cemetery.

Hanley was born Feb. 13, 1943, in Spokane and raised in Walla Walla.

He graduated from Walla Walla High School and went on to attend the University of Washington and Central Washington University, where he became a member of the Air Force ROTC. He graduated from CWU in 1966 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force.

After graduation from flight school, he was assigned to the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing’s 435 Tactical Fighter Squadron at Ubon Air Base in Thailand.

Hanley flew 119 combat missions over Vietnam then returned to the United States. In August 1969, he volunteered to return to Vietnam. When asked by his family why he was volunteering to return, he replied that he was going so some married man would not have to go.

On Nov. 4, 1969, Hanley, an F-105D Thunderchief pilot, was attacking an enemy anti-aircraft position when his aircraft crashed in Khammouan Province, Laos. Neither Hanley’s wingman nor the forward air controller directing the attack witnessed the crash, and the location remained unknown.

Hanley was declared missing in action and in 1979, a military review board amended his status to killed in action. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of major in 1978.

On Feb. 24, 2012, the Joint Prisoner of War Accounting Command received human remains that were found by a resident at a crash site in Khammouan Province.

To identify the remains, military experts used circumstantial evidence and forensic tools, such as dental comparisons and DNA, which matched Hanley’s mother and sister.

The news has brought grief and relief to Hanley’s sisters, JoAnn Aliverti of Walla Walla, and Darlene Allen of Kirkland. Aliverti told the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin she and her sister were “very, very happy this happened,” but the news was also tinged with sadness.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Air Force Times

This Week's Air Force Times

CrossFit vs. unit PT
Troops will do the training plans in a $2.5 million study

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook