On October 8, 1967, Petty Officer Raul Guerra was one of five members of the United States Navy who died in a plane crash near Da Nang Province in Vietnam. At the time of the crash, recovery efforts were thwarted due to the terrain and weather.
Raul is a native of Montebello, CA born in 1942. He attended Eastmont Elementary and Montebello High School where he met his childhood best friend, Ruben Valencia, a former Marine and veteran of the Vietnam War. Raul joined the Navy in 1966 as a Navy Journalist and he was assigned to the USS Oriskany in Vietnam.
Ruben Valencia has been working diligently with the Department of the Navy and the Department of Defense Prisoner of War Missing in Action (DOD POW/MIA) Accounting Agency (DPAA) to bring him home. In 2007 Raul's remains were located. Twelve years later, his remains were positively identified and now he is home.
Raul was laid to rest at Rose Hills Cemetary today. Ruben Valencia, who now lives in Pico Rivera and whose backyard overlooks Rose Hills Cemetary will be able to visit and sit with his friend.
The Montebello Police Department was honored to be able to assist with the homecoming of Petty Officer Raul Guerra and laying him to rest. I was fortunate enough to participate in today's events and had the pleasure to meet Ruben. We shared a hug and a few words about his friend.