The remains of a Goldsboro native and Air Force navigator killed during the Vietnam War were recovered in Laos in mid-January, according to a press release sent by Seymour Johnson Air Force Base today.
The remains of Col. Edgar Felton Davis, of the 11th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, were identified by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Jan. 18. Davis was reported missing in action after his RF-4C Phantom fighter-bomber jet was shot down Sept. 17 during a mission 15 miles south of the city of Sepone in the Savannakhet Province, Laos.
Davis was later declared deceased after search and rescue teams could not locate him or the fallen aircraft. His name is listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. on panel 43W, line 13.
Church Prichard, director of public affairs for the DPAA, said that the remains were recovered in the Boulapha District, Khammouan Provice, Laos, in 2015. The process of identifying Davis' remains took until December 2017, due to the wide range of tests of evidence necessary to the investigation.
"What people always think is that, with DNA testing, you just get a piece of bone and you test it and that's it. It's not that simple," Prichard said. "We pull everything together, DNA, autosomal evidence, circumstantial evidence from whatever is found on the scene and also interviews and witness accounts."
The ground in the area where Felton was found is fairly acidic, Prichard said, which meant that remains consisted of bones.
"We don't want people to think we're coming back with a full body intact," he said.
The next step is to work out funeral arrangements with Felton's designated family members, after which DPAA will send out another release detailing those arrangements and providing more information.
Davis graduated from Brogden High School in 1953, and went on to graduate from North Carolina State University in 1958. The 2018 Freedom Classic Air Force vs. Navy Baseball Series game in Kinston Saturday will be played in dedication to Davis. A white rose will be painted on the POW/MIA seat in the stadium to honor his memory.