Gunnery Sgt. Richard W. Fischer
Jun 15, 1947 – Jan 8, 1968
A Marine from Madison (East High 65) who disappeared in Vietnam January 1968.
Burial November 19, 2007 nearly 40 years later.
His remains were identified via DNA tests.
Hundreds of friends, family and fellow Vietnam veterans attended the burial and memorial
service. Fischer was buried with full military honors. His family purchased a headstone
with his name in 1978.
Fischer vanished in Vietnam's Quang Nam Province when he was part of a Marine ambush team.
Military investigators started searching for Fischer's body in the area where he disappeared
in the 1990s. After tips from local residents, they excavated a burial site where they
found his remains in 1994.
Investigators initially failed to recover a DNA sequence from bone samples to prove it was
Fischer. Technology improved over time, and they succeeded in obtaining a sequence in 2007.
Fischer's sister and niece gave DNA samples, which were matched to his DNA. Fischer's
remains were flown back to Wisconsin from a military base in Hawaii where they had been for
more than a decade.
"Our country made it a promise to these military servicemen that were going out that if they
were lost, we would come and look for them. It's our duty to search for these men and women
all over the world until each and every one of them is home."