JAMES K CANIFORD
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HONORED ON PANEL 2W, LINE 121 OF THE WALL

JAMES KENNETH CANIFORD

WALL NAME

JAMES K CANIFORD

PANEL / LINE

2W/121

DATE OF BIRTH

08/26/1948

CASUALTY PROVINCE

LZ

DATE OF CASUALTY

03/29/1972

HOME OF RECORD

FREDERICK

COUNTY OF RECORD

Frederick County

STATE

MD

BRANCH OF SERVICE

AIR FORCE

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Contact Details

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR JAMES KENNETH CANIFORD
POSTED ON 5.28.2008
POSTED BY: Dave Avery

Welcome Home

"All we have of freedom -- all we use or know -- This our fathers bought
for us, long and long ago." Rudyard Kipling
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POSTED ON 5.27.2008
POSTED BY: CLAY MARSTON

FOUR AIRMEN MISSING IN ACTION FROM VIETNAM WAR ARE IDENTIFIED AND RETURNED TO FAMILIES FOR BURIAL


DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 447-08

Tuesday 27 May 2008

FOUR AIRMEN MISSING IN ACTION FROM VIETNAM WAR ARE IDENTIFIED

The Department of Defense POW / Missing Personnel Office ( DPMO ) announced today that the remains of four U.S. servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

They are Major BARCLAY BINGHAM YOUNG, of Hartford, Connecticut; and Senior Master Sergeant JAMES KENNETH CANIFORD, of Brunswick, Maryland.

The names of the two others are being withheld at the request of their families.

All men were U.S. Air Force.

Caniford will be buried on 28 May in Arlington National Cemetery and Young's burial date is being set by his family.

Remains that could not be individually identified are included in a group which will be buried together in Arlington.

Among the group remains is Air Force Lieutenant Colonel HENRY PAUL BRAUNER of Franklin Park, New Jersey, whose identification tag was recovered at the crash site.

On 29 March 1972, 14 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.

The aircraft was struck by an enemy surface-to-air missile and crashed.

Search and rescue efforts were stopped after a few days due to heavy enemy activity in the area.

In 1986, joint U.S.- Lao People's Democratic Republic teams, lead by the Joint POW / MIA Accounting Command ( JPAC ), surveyed and excavated the crash site in Savannakhet Province, Laos.

The team recovered human remains and other evidence including two identification tags, life support items and aircraft wreckage.

From 1986 to 1988, the remains were identified as those of nine men from this crew.

Between 2005 and 2006, joint teams resurveyed the crash site and excavated it twice.

The teams found more human remains, personal effects and crew-related equipment.

As a result, JPAC identified Young, Caniford and the other crewmen using forensic identification tools, circumstantial evidence, mitochondrial DNA and dental comparisons.




PROVIDED BY -

WWW.HISTORICALMILITARIA.COM



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POSTED ON 4.23.2008
POSTED BY: Michael Robert Patterson

In Honored Remembrance of Sergeant Caniford

23 April 2008: Jimmy Caniford would have been 60 in August.

But, instead of growing into middle age, getting married, having kids and grand kids, Caniford died when his aircraft was shot down over Laos on March 29, 1972, five months before his 24th birthday.

His body was not recovered, and for 36 years, he was listed as missing in action.

Last month, Caniford’s family learned his remains had been recovered at the crash site. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

“This means we’ll finally have a place to go where he’s going to be,” Caniford’s father Jim of Fort Myers, Florida, said. “The overworked
expression ‘closure’ is the one I want to use. It’s a finalization of the unknown we’ve lived with for so many years.”

As soon as he graduated from Middletown High School in Frederick County, Maryland, Jimmy Caniford enlisted in the Air Force at the age of
17 — he had to get written permission from his parents.
After basic training, he volunteered to fight in Vietnam.

As an AC-130 Hercules gunship illuminator operator, Staff Sergeant. Caniford flew missions over Vietnam out of the Philippines — the AC-130’s primary missions were close air support and armed reconnaissance; the illuminator operator’s job was to shoot illumination flares, watch for enemy anti-aircraft positions and drop smoke to mark targets for F-4D fighters.
When his enlistment was up, Caniford re-upped and was assigned to the 16th Special Operations Squadron at Ubon Air Force Base in Thailand.

“He believed 120 percent that we were doing the right thing in Vietnam,” said Caniford’s sister Diana DiLoreto, 58, of Alva. “He felt we were
making a huge difference. If somebody didn’t believe it and talked to him, he changed their mind.”

On March 29, 1972, Caniford’s plane, whose call sign was Spectre 13, took off for a night mission over North Vietnamese supply routes in Laos.

At about 3 a.m., Spectre 13 was attacking an enemy convoy when it was hit by a surface-to-air missile.

Spectre 13 crashed in the jungle, and the pilot of an F-4D flying low over the burning wreckage saw no sign of survivors.

Less than an hour after the crash, a Forward Air Controller arrived at the site to control search and rescue efforts.

The Caniford family received word March 30 Jimmy Caniford’s plane had been shot down.

Jimmy Caniford’s youngest sister, Shelly, was living with her parents; Diana lived three blocks away; their father was at work; their mother was at their grandmother’s house, painting the kitchen.
“The Air Force knocked at my parents’ door, and my sister knew immediately something had happened to Jimmy,” DiLoreto said. “She called me to get our grandmother’s address. I was still sleepy and didn’t ask why.

“Then she called back. She was crying hysterically and said Jimmy’s plane had been shot down. I flew out of bed, dressed in about a minute and ran to the house.”

By 6 p.m. March 30, none of the Spectre 13 crew had been found, and the search was called off. All 14 crewmen were listed as missing in action.

“Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, months into years, and years into decades,” DiLoreto saod. “You live with hope. You rely on your faith. Every day you still carry a glimmer of hope. Without it, you’re letting your brother down. When we were told they’d found Jimmy, it was: OK, we can blow out that light.”

Before the Canifords could blow out the light, however, they endured 36 years of uncertainty.

Seven years after Spectre 13 was shot down, Jimmy Caniford was officially pronounced dead and his name went up on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

In February 1986, a team from the United States and Laos excavated the crash site and recovered remains of nine crewmen, none of them Caniford’s.

“Mom got sick after Jimmy was shot down; her health deteriorated,” DiLoreto said. “She said the only way she could live with this is to pray he died rather than being a prisoner. But the next day, she’d say if he’s a prisoner, he might get out. It was constant turmoil. You have to live with it. You have to find a way to cope.”

Finally, on March 18, the Canifords received word a recent excavation of Spectre 13’s crash site had recovered Jimmy Caniford’s remains.

“I always thought it would be nice if we had a place to put flowers on a grave,” DiLoreto said. “I really didn’t think this would happen in my parents’ lifetime. I thought he’d greet them in heaven or something.”

Although Jimmy Caniford’s remains have been recovered, and his family can now use the overworked expression “closure,” they still feel the turmoil and will always grieve for the young man who would have been 60 in August.

“Growing up, Jimmy was my best friend,” DiLoreto said. “He was a great brother and a great man. He would have been a great father.

“If he had a dollar in his pocket, he bought you something. He was very unselfish. Obviously he was unselfish: He gave his life for what he believed.”

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/jkcaniford.htm
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POSTED ON 2.3.2006
POSTED BY: Vanessa Carter

Spectre AC130 crew

POSTED ON 12.15.2005
POSTED BY: CLAY MARSTON

IN REMEMBRANCE OF THIS FINE YOUNG UNITED STATES AIR FORCE SERVICEMAN WHOSE NAME SHALL LIVE FOREVER MORE



UNITED STATES AIR FORCE

SENIOR MASTER SERGEANT

JAMES KENNETH CANIFORD


served as a

CREWMEMBER

of an

AC130A HERCULES " SPECTRE "

with the

16th SPECIAL OPERATIONS SQUADRON

based at

Ubon Royal Thai Airbase, Thailand


On the night of 29 March 1972, an AC130A Hercules "Spectre" gunship departed Ubon Royal Thai Airbase, Thailand on a night reconnaissance mission over supply routes used by North Vietnamese forces in Laos.

The crew of the aircraft consisted of pilots

Major Irving Burns Ramsower II

and

1st Lieutenant Charles Joseph Wanzel III


and crew members


Major Henry Paul Brauner

Maor Howard David Stephenson

Captain Curtis Daniel Miller

Captain Barclay Bingham Young

Captain Richard Castillo

Captain Richard Conroy Halpin

Staff Sergeant Merlyn Leroy Paulson

Staff Sergeant Edwin Jack Pearce

Staff Sergeant Edward Dewilton Smith Jr.

Staff Sergeant James Kenneth Caniford

and

Airman First Class William Anthony Todd

and

Airman First Class Robert Eugene Simmons.

As the aircraft was in the jungle foothills 56 miles east of Savannakhet in southern Laos, it was shot down by a Russian Surface to Air Missile (SAM).

U.S. government sources stated in February 1986 that a fighter escort plane reported that the aircraft crashed in a fireball, no parachutes were seen, nor was radio contact made with the AC130 or any of its crew.

However, family members were later told that a support plane traveling with the AC130 heard radio signals indicating that there were survivors.

The support aircraft plane left the area to refuel.

When it returned, there were no signs of life.

Because of enemy concentration, rescue teams could not get into the area.

A clandestine Pathet Lao news agency release stated:

" The U.S. imperialists on the night of March 30 sent aircraft to attack the liberated zone in Savannakhet Province, Southern Laos. An L.P.L.A. antiaircraft unit shot down on the sopt a U.S. AC-130 in addition to another American AC-130 which had been shattered over the same province early morning on March 29. Many U.S. crewmen aboard these planes were killed."

The Air Force reviewed this release and stated that no AC-130 had been shot down on March 30; however, one had been lost at that location on March 31, but the crew had all been rescued.

The report, although distorted, was believed to relate to the Young aircraft.

Several years later, the inscribed wedding band of Curtis Miller was recovered by a reporter and returned to Miller's family.

The existence of the ring suggests to Miller's mother that the plane did not burn, and gives her hope that he survived.

A May 1985 article appearing in a Thai newspaper stated that the bodies of Simmons and Wanzel were among 5 bodies brought to the base camp of Lao Liberation forces.

The same article reported a group of 21 Americans still alive, held prisoner at a camp in Khammouane Province, Laos.

The U.S. and Laos excavated this aircraft's crash site in February 1986.

The teams recovered a limited number of human bone fragments, personal effects and large pieces of plane wreckage.

It was later announced by the U.S. Government that the remains of Castillo, Halpin, Ramsower, Simmons, Todd, Paulson, Pearce, Wanzel and Smith had been positively identified.

In a previous excavation at Pakse, Laos in 1985, remains recovered were positively identified as the 13 crew members, although independent examiners later proved that only 2 of those identifications were scientifically possible.

The U.S. Government has acknowledged the errors made in identification on two of the men, but these two individuals are still considered " accounted for ".

Because of the identification problems of the first excavation, the families of the Savannakhet AC130 have carefully considered the information given them about their loved ones.

The families of Robert Simmons and Edwin Pearce have actively resisted the U.S. Government's identification, which is in both cases based on a single tooth.

These families do not know if their men are alive or dead, but will insist that the books are kept open until proof dictates that there is no longer any hope for their survival.

Nearly 600 Americans were lost in Laos during the Vietnam war, and many were known to have survived their loss incident.

However, the U.S. did not negotiate with Laos for these men, and consequently, not one American held in Laos has ever been released.

Irving Burns Ramsower II was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel during the period he was maintained as being Missing In Action.

Charles Joseph Wanzel III was promoted to the rank of Captain during the period he was maintained as being Missing In Action.

Henry Paul Brauner was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel during the period he was maintained as being Missing In Action.

Howard David Stephenson was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel during the period he was maintained as being Missing In Action.

Curtis Daniel Miller was promoted to the rank of Major during the period he was maintained as being Missing In Action.

Barclay Bingham Young was promoted to the rank of Major during the period he was maintained as being Missing In Action.

Richard Castillo was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel during the period he was maintained as being Missing In Action.

Merlyn Leroy Paulson was promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant during the period he was maintained as being Missing In Action.

Edwin Jack Pearce was promoted to the rank of Chief Master Sergeant during the period he was maintained as being Missing In Action.

Edward Dewilton Smith Jr. was promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant during the period he was maintained as being Missing In Action.

James Kenneth Caniford was promoted to the rank of Senior Master Sergeant during the period he was maintained as being Missing In Action.

William Anthony Todd was promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant during the period he was maintained as being Missing In Action.

Robert Eugene Simmons was promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant during the period he was maintained as being Missing In Action.





YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN

NOR SHALL YOU EVER BE



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