Something for Memorial Day: Remains of Maryland airman returned to family.


The remains of a Maryland airman missing in action during the Vietnam War will be returned to his family for burial, the Department of Defense announced Tuesday.

Air Force Senior Master Sgt. James K. Caniford, of Brunswick, will be buried May 28 at Arlington National Cemetery.

Caniford and 13 other men were aboard an AC-130A Spectre gunship that took off from Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on an armed reconnaissance mission over southern Laos on March 29, 1972, according to the Department of Defense.

The aircraft was struck by an enemy surface-to-air missile and crashed. Search-and-rescue efforts were stopped after a few days because of heavy enemy activity, defense officials said.

In 1986, a team excavated the crash site and recovered human remains and other evidence, including identification tags, life-support items and aircraft wreckage, authorities said. The remains of nine men from the crew were identified.

Teams resurveyed the crash site in 2005 and 2006 and found more remains, including those of Caniford, Maj. Barclay B. Young, of Hartford, Conn., and two men whose names are being withheld at the request of their families.

One thought on “Something for Memorial Day: Remains of Maryland airman returned to family.”

  1. I know this is a bit late but I didn’t find out about the burial until the day before. Had I known earlier I would have attended the ceremony. I have worn a James K. Caniford POW/MIA bracelet for the past 15 years and was very pleased and surprised that Sergeant Caniford’s remains were recovered. I can now retire his braclet. If any family member would like to receive it I would gladely give it to them. If not I will place it at the “Wall” on a future trip to DC.

    Jim Williams, LaVale, Maryland

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