According to a Nov. 9 Pentagon press release, DOD has identified the remains of Col. Charles J. Scharf, of San Diego, who piloted a F-4C that was hit by enemy fire and went down in flames on Oct. 1, 1965, on a mission over North Vietnam. Other aircraft on the mission saw one parachute as the F-4 went down but after circling the area made no radio or visual contact. Several excavations began in 1992 and ended in 2004, producing remains, such as personal effects and a plastic denture tooth. A DNA test using a relative was inconclusive, but DOD researchers were able to extract DNA from gummed adhesive on letters Scharf sent to his wife.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.