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Memphis Marine Among Thirteen Service Members Memorialized at Arlington National Cemetery

Friday, May 17, 2013 | 03:52am

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder joins with the United States Department of Defense to remember the loss of Private First Class James R. Maxwell of Memphis who was declared Missing in Action (MIA) during the Vietnam War.

According to the Department of Defense, Maxwell and 12 other service members were killed on May 15, 1975 when the helicopter they were in was shot down off the coast of Cambodia. 

In 1995, U.S. and Cambodian authorities conducted an underwater recovery operation of the helicopter crash where they located remains. 

A portion of Maxwell’s remains were buried on August 30, 2012 in Center Ridge, Arkansas where his brothers Paul and Gary Maxwell and sisters Patricia Cates and Janie Estes now live. 

Due to the inability to completely separate the remains of the service members killed in the helicopter crash, Maxwell as well as  Private First Class Daniel Benedett of Seattle, Washington, 2nd Lieutenant Richard Vandegeer of Cleveland, Ohio, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Bernard Guase Jr., of Birmingham, Alabama, Hospitalman Ronald J. Manning of Steubenville, Ohio, Lance Corporal Gregory S. Copenhaver of Lewistown, Pennsylvania, Lance Corporal Andres Garcia of Carlsbad, New Mexico, Private First Class Lynn Blessing of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Private First Class Walter Boyd of Portsmouth, Virginia, Private First Class James J. Jacques of La Junta, Colorado, Private First Class Richard W. Rivernburgh of Schenectady, New York, Private First Class Antonio R. Sandoval of San Antonio, Texas and Private First Class Kelton R. Turner of St. Louis, Missouri were buried in a single casket on May 15, 2013 at the Arlington National Cemetery.

“It has been 38 years since Private First Class James Maxwell and his fellow service members went missing in action,” Grinder said.  “Although we are saddened by the loss of this heroic Tennessean, we are also relieved the Maxwell family has received closure and has been able to lay their loved one to rest.”



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