Laura Gutschke, Abilene Reporter-News Published 5:07 p.m. CT Oct. 4, 2018 | Updated 4:00 p.m. CT Oct. 5, 2018
The remains of a Navy pilot from West Texas will be returned to his family more than 50 years after he and his jet disappeared during a Vietnam War combat photo mission.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency on Thursday announced identification of Navy Reserve Cmdr. Charles B. Goodwin of Haskell, Texas. Burial will be in a private ceremony Friday at the Texas State Veterans Cemetery at Abilene.
Goodwin was a graduate of Haskell High School and enlisted at the Naval Reserve Training Center in Abilene in 1957, according to Reporter-News files.
Officials say Goodwin was 25 years old on Sept. 8, 1965, when he flew an RF-8A off the USS Coral Sea. Goodwin minutes later reported being in thunderstorms. That was his last transmission.
Search efforts over the target area and adjacent coastal waters were unsuccessful. No emergency radio signals were heard, and no aircraft wreckage was sighted. Goodwin was declared missing in action as of Sept. 8, 1965, according to the accounting agency news release.
He was declared presumed dead in 1977.
A Vietnamese refugee in 1988 provided information on possible remains. Between April 1993 and December 2016, multiple attempts were made by the Vietnamese Office for Seeking Missing Persons and Joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam teams to locate the crash site, but attempts were unsuccessful, the news release stated.
In December 2016, a Joint Forensic Review team received possible human remains that had been in the possession of a Vietnamese national. The remains were sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.
Through dental and anthropological analysis, the remains were matched to Goodwin. He was officially accounted for on May 18, 2017.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
(Photo: Reporter-News file photo)
In this file photo from 1977, Ida Mae Goodwin of Haskell, mother of Commander Charles B. Goodwin, accepts the medals her son was awarded posthumously for service in Vietnam. Charles Goodwin was listed as missing in action from 1965 to 1977 when he was declared presumed dead. Presenting the medals are Yeoman First Class Leo Gonzales, left, and Lt. W.L. Allen, commander of the Abilene Naval Reserve Training Center.