Perimortem calcaneal and talar fractures sustained in a military air crash in Vietnam

RW Mann US Army Central Identification Laboratory, Hickam AFB, HI 96853, USA.

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TD Holland US Army Central Identification Laboratory, Hickam AFB, HI 96853, USA.

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The authors report on the skeletal elements of a minimum of 37 men who died in 1965 when their C-123 cargo airplane crashed into a mountainside in South Vietnam. Natural environmental processes reduced their bodies to skeletons; these osseous remains were recovered from the crash site nearly 10 years later. Among the remains were the calcanei and tali of at least 37 people. These bones, devoid of soft tissue, provide a rare opportunity to examine and document the pattern of perimortem fractures in multiple individuals who died in the same incident. This case also provides information on a range of variability of skeletal fractures that is unavailable in comparative skeletal collections, and that might be overlooked with radiography or during physical examination.

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