CAPT Victor Apodca:
Summary: You should have come to this page from an article
describing the loss of USAF Captain Victor Apodaca and 1LT Jon Busch on June 8, 1967, when
their F-4C was shot down. If you have not read that article, follow this link to the original article, read it for background, then return to
this page using the links there.
In 1988, remains later identified as Busch were repatriated. On-the-scene
investigations of the Apodaca-Busch crash site indicated that Busch's body had been thrown
from the aircraft but that Apodaca likely did not get out of the aircraft and his body was
destroyed in the crash. After numerous investigations spanning several years, a very
small quantity of human remains were recovered that were reported by the Vietnamese to be
the remains of Captain Apodaca. On June 20, 2001, the Dept of Defense announced the
identification of Captain Apodaca's remains.
These fragmentary remains were identified using mtDNA testing. The DoD
annoucement meant that the family -- specifically CAPT Apdoaca's primary next of kin
-- his oldest son -- had accepted the identification. There is a bit more to this
Active duty military personnel are required to designate one person to serve as their
Primay Next of Kin - PNOK. The PNOK decides where the service member will be buried,
what will be done with his/her personal effects, etc., etc. PNOK status is deterined
by law, unless the service member designates differently. In Captain Apodaca's case,
his wife was his PNOK for several years. Later, she designated the oldest son as
PNOK. Captain Apodaca had two sons. He also had four sisters and one
brother. One of those sisters, Delores Alfond, has been one of the more vocal MIA
"activists." She has never been happy that the son is the PNOK and had
authority to accept Captain Apodaca's identification. However, while Delores was off
being an activist, the sons were quietly following the identification process.
Immediately after the identification was announced, Delores Apodaca Alfond issued a
denunciation of the identification; I have posted a copy of the TWO
versions of her letter at this link. Her rejection of the identification is
filled with misinformation and misleading statements, which are dealt with in the article
containing the two versions of her letter.
In the interest of getting the facts before the public, I have published here two