MIA Facts Site

Report of the
Senate Select Committee
on
POW-MIA Affairs:
Appendix 2d

 SMITH 324 COMPELLING CASES



Laos Eugene H. Debruin
(0018)

On September 5, 1963, an Air America C-47 transport on which Mr.
Debruin was a "kicker" was shot down by hostile ground fire over
Savannakhet Province. It crashed approximately twenty two
kilometers northeast of Muang Phine. Eugene Debruin and four non-
U.S. crewmen parachuted out and were captured. According to the
Pathet Lao, the remaining two American civilian crewmen who were
not reported to have bailed out died in the crash. On May 31,
1966, the Pathet Lao spokesman in Vientiane, Soth Phetrasy,
confirmed that Mr. Debruin was alive and in captivity.

Information from an American escapee and a Thai captured with Mr.
Debruin recounted Mr. Debruin's capture and prison chronology
through July 3, 1966, the last time they knew Mr. Debruin to be
alive with them in Khammouane Province. Accounts of the prison
escape include information that four of the seven prison guards
were killed during the escape attempt. One Thai who escaped and
was recaptured was not killed after recapture.

A photograph of Mr. Debruin was later obtained by Air America in
May 1969 and showed Mr. Debruin in captivity circa 1965. A credit
card and other information concerning the dead pilot was later
obtained through private sources.

On September 25, 1982, Pathet Lao Colonel Khamla Keuphithoune told
a visiting National League of Families delegation that Eugene
Debruin was killed attempting to escape from captivity.

Information has surfaced from American POW hunters throughout the
last half of the 1980s and into 1991, as well as from Lao and Thai
residents of Thailand, which asserts that Mr. Debruin is still
alive in Laos and living freely with a Lao wife and children in
Khammouane Province. The Debruin case is well known in the private
POW/MIA community due to extensive efforts and informational
leaflets distributed by Mr. Debruin's brother who for many years
has attempted to recover his brother. The Joint Task Force Full
Accounting has received information regarding Mr. Debruin's grave
site and is currently planning to excavate it.

South Vietnam Kurt C. McDonald
Edward R. Dodge
(0051)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



North Vietnam Edward A. Dickson
(0053)

On February 7, 1965, Lieutenant Dickson was the pilot of an A-4 on
a combat mission over Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province. His
aircraft was hit by hostile ground fire and he headed out to sea.
He was observed by other U.S. aircraft crew to eject from his
aircraft but his parachute was not seen to deploy. He was declared
dead/body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.

On March 17, 1968, an issue of the Vietnam Courier carried a
photograph of a beach grave site reportedly containing the remains
of Lieutenant Dickson. A wartime Associated Press wirephoto
depicted a body reportedly of Lieutenant Dickson and listed
personal artifacts of his which had been recovered. A number of
U.S. POWs returning from captivity in North Vietnam described a
North Vietnamese movie they had been shown which contained a
sequence reportedly showing the recovery of Lieutenant Dickson's
remains from the water and the grave site where his remains were
interred.

In August 1985, Vietnam turned over Lieutenant Dickson's Geneva
Convention Card and Identity Card. In January 1991, a U.S. team in
Vietnam examined a document listing the wartime combat operations
in Bo Trach District which referred to the downing of a U.S.
aircraft with one airman on February 7, 1965.

In January and July 1991, a U.S. team obtained substantially
similar information from the People's Army of Vietnam Military
Region IV museum.



South Vietnam James H. McLean
(0054)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



Laos Arthur D. Baker
James W. Lewis
(0070)


On April 7, 1965, Baker and James were crewmen on a B-57B, one in
a flight of four aircraft on an interdiction mission launched from
Bien Hoa Air Base, South Vietnam and with its target in Xieng
Khouang Province, Laos. The crew was last seen descending through
thin overcast toward the target area and it never reappeared.
Extensive search and rescue efforts through April 12th failed to
locate either the aircraft or its crew.

On April 14, 1965, the New China News Agency reported the shoot
down of a B-57 approximately three miles north-northeast of the
town of Khang Khay. This was described as the first B-57 shoot
down of an aircraft launched from South Vietnam.

Both crewmen were initially reported missing in action in South
Vietnam while on a classified mission. Their loss location was
later changed to Laos. There was limited wartime reporting about
U.S. aircraft losses in the general area the crewmen were last
reported but they could not be correlated to this specific
incident. U.S. intelligence continues to receive information which
may correlate to this shoot down but provides no positive
information on the fate of the crewmen.

In January 1974 Major Baker's next-of-kin requested his case review
go forward and he was declared killed in action, body not
recovered, in January 1974. Lewis was declared dead/body not
recovered, in April 1982. Returning POWs were unable to provide
any information on the fate of these two servicemen.



Laos Charles E. Shelton
(0079)

On April 29, 1965, Captain Shelton was the leader in a flight of
two reconnaissance aircraft over Laos. Due to bad weather in their
primary target area, Captain Shelton turned to the next target near
Sam Neua City, Sam Neua Province. His aircraft was hit by hostile
fire while at 3000 feet and lining up on his target. He ejected
with a good chute and the other aircraft overhead was in contact
with him by radio. Inclement weather delayed any possible recovery
attempt until May 1. Search and rescue efforts on 2-3 May were
negative. A U.S. controlled team was inserted into the area on May
3 and learned from local villagers that Captain Shelton was last
seen hanging in a tree. Similar teams continued to search for him
through February 1966 but with negative results.

After his shoot down, Pathet Lao ralliers reported hearing about
the capture of an American correlating to the capture of Captain
Shelton. He reportedly died in a cave in Vieng Xai, east of Sam
Neua town, and near another POW, Captain Hrdlicka.

In September 1982 a Pathet Lao security official, Colonel Khamla,
stated that Captain Shelton died in captivity in 1968 and was
buried near his place of imprisonment. His grave was described as
obliterated by a U.S. air strike.

The Joint Task Force investigated the purported grave site in April
1992 and was unable to locate any remains.

Colonel Shelton is still carried in a POW status.



Laos David L. Hrdlicka
(0084)

On May 18, 1965, Captain Hrdlicka was piloting the lead aircraft in
a flight of four F-105D on an interdiction/bombing mission in Houa
Phan Province, Laos, previously known as Sam Neua Province. His
aircraft was hit by hostile fire and he was seen to bail out, land
safely and was later reported by villagers living near his landing
point in the custody of Pathet Lao communist forces. A May 24
Pathet Lao radio broadcast announced his capture. A July 26
broadcast by Pathet Lao radio broadcast a post-capture tape
recording made by Captain Hrdlicka.

Captain Hrdlicka was listed by the Department of Defense as a POW
at the time of the Paris Peace Accords but was later declared to
have died in captivity, body not recovered. Wartime reports from
Pathet Lao defectors placed Captain Hrdlicka in a cave in the Vieng
Xai area of Sam Neua Province through at least 1966.

On September 25, 1982, National League of POW/MIA Families visitors
were told by a Lao security official, Colonel Khamla, that Captain
Hrdlicka had died in 1968 of natural causes exacerbated by
malnutrition and while imprisoned in a cave in Sam Neua. Colonel
Khamla stated he was buried nearby but his grave was destroyed by
U.S. bombing. Photocopied personal documents belonging to Captain
Hrdlicka were passed to the U.S. by the Lao in February 1988. A
private citizen visiting Laos in September 1989 was provided the
photocopy of a document which apparently also belonged to Captain
Hrdlicka. A photograph of Captain Hrdlicka after capture is in the
Lao museum.

Captain Hrdlicka's purported grave site was investigated by the
Joint Task Force Full Accounting in April 1992. Witnesses were
interviewed who described Captain Hrdlicka's burial there in 1968.
No remains were located. Efforts continue to locate Captain
Hrdlicka's remains.


South Vietnam Charles A. Dale
David S. Demmon
(0094)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



South Vietnam Walter L. Hall
Bruce G. Johnson
Fred M. Owen
Robert L. Curlee
Donald R. Saegaert
Joseph J. Compa, Jr.
Craig L. Hagen
(0096)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



South Vietnam John R. Schumann
(0099)

On June 16, 1965, Captain Schumann was serving as the advisor to
the Cai Be District Chief, Dinh Tuong Province when he was seen
captured by Viet Cong forces. In July 1965, elements of the South
Vietnamese Army's 7th Infantry Division captured Viet Cong
documents in Dinh Tuong Province which included a photograph of
Captain Schumann in captivity. In December 1965, three American
POWs released by the Viet Cong confirmed Captain Schumann was in
captivity and was still alive. In October 1967, a photograph of
Captain Schumann in captivity appeared in the Soviet "Red Army"
newspaper in Moscow.

Based on information from American POWs released during Operation
Homecoming at the town of Loc Ninh in South Vietnam, Captain
Schumann was taken to Tay Ninh Province and held with other
Americans. In 1966 he became very ill, suffering from pneumonia
and with malfunctioning kidneys. He was with other American POWs
when he died at 1330 hours early in July 1966. His body was
removed and buried at an unknown location.

Captain Schumann was declared dead/body not recovered, in March
1967. He was listed by the Provisional Revolutionary Government as
having died in captivity on July 6, 1966. His remains have not yet
been recovered.

During October-November 1992, U.S. investigators with a joint
U.S./Vietnamese team in Vietnam located and interviewed a former
guard and interpreter at the People's Army of Vietnam B-2 Theater
of Operations B-20 prison camp which had confined U.S. POWs. Both
sources described Captain Schumann's death at prison camp B-20.
The investigators determined the prison camp was leveled and
converted into farm land after April 1975 with the result that any
facility locations and burial sites can no longer be located.



South Vietnam Richard C. Bram
John F. Dingwall
(0108)

See Vessey Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



South Vietnam Fred Taylor
Henry J. Gallant
(0109)

See Vessey Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



North Vietnam Walter Kosko
(0114)

On July 27, 1965, Captain Kosko was the pilot of an F-105D, one in
a flight of four aircraft from Takhli Air Base, Thailand, on a
bombing mission over Phu Tho Province, North Vietnam. There was
intense anti-aircraft fire directed at the flight. Following an
explosion near his aircraft, Captain Kosko reported he was hit and
there was smoke in his cockpit. He later ejected and other flight
members observed a fully deployed chute and survival gear.
There was no beeper or voice contact with him after his ejection.

Captain Kosko was seen to land in the Black River. A search of the
river disclosed an inflated life raft which was empty and no
evidence of the pilot. On July 27th and 28th, Radio Hanoi reported
eight U.S. aircraft shot down on July 27, 1965 and stated that
pilots had been taken into custody from shoot downs in Ha Tay
Province. Captain Kosko landed on the border of Ha Tay and Vinh
Phu.

Captain Kosko was initially declared missing. Returning U.S. POWs
were unable to provide any information concerning his fate. In
November 1977 he was declared dead/body not recovered, based on a
presumptive finding of death.

U.S. investigators in Vietnam in 1988 and 1990 visited the area of
Captain Kosko's loss. Vietnamese officials stated that Captain
Kosko's life raft was recovered during the war. One witness stated
it was used as a fishing boat in the local river until it
deteriorated and was discarded. U.S. investigators were told
Captain Kosko had indeed landed in the Black River, had never
reappeared after going under water, and they believed he drowned in
the river.



North Vietnam Fredric M. Mellor
(0124)

On August 13, 1965, Captain Mellor was the pilot of an RF-101 and
the flight leader in a flight of two aircraft over Son La Province.

His aircraft was hit by hostile ground fire, his radio became
inoperative and the second aircraft could see a fire in the nose of
Captain Mellor's aircraft but he maintained control of it. With
the second aircraft now in the lead, Captain Mellor suddenly
disappeared from sight.

Another aircraft arrived on the scene, an RF-101, and the new
aircraft was able to establish radio and beeper contact with
Captain Mellor who had parachuted out and was alive on the ground.
Rescue helicopters were called but when they arrived later they
were unable to establish contact with and locate Captain Mellor.

Captain Mellor was reported missing and in December 1977 was
declared dead/body not recovered. Returning U.S. POWs were unable
to provide any information on his precise fate.

In February 1991, U.S. investigators in Vietnam interviewed
witnesses to the downing of a U.S. aircraft corresponding to the
loss incident of Captain Mellor. The witnesses stated that the
pilot ejected safely and was able to evade for half a day. Late on
the afternoon he was located by local militia. The pilot opened
fire on them and they returned the fire, wounding the pilot. He
was captured but later died, apparently of blood loss. No remains
could be located by the U.S. investigators.



North Vietnam James Branch
Eugene M. Jewell
(0135)

On September 4, 1965 Captain Branch and First Lieutenant Jewell
were the crew in an F-4C aircraft on a strafing mission in Nghe An
Province. They had just completed a strike on the target when
another air crew observed a secondary explosion but later
determined it was Captain Branch's aircraft which had crashed. No
survivors were seen, no parachutes were seen and no beepers were
heard. Returning U.S. POWs heard the pilot was killed when he flew
into a hill. His wingman believed no possibility of survival.

Both airmen were initially declared missing. After Operation
Homecoming they were declared dead/body not recovered.



North Vietnam Charles J. Scharf
Martin J. Massucci
(0158)

See Vessey Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



North Vietnam Dean A. Pogreba
(0162)

On October 5, 1965, Major Pogreba was the pilot of an F-105D, the
lead in a flight of four aircraft on a strike mission over North
Vietnam. There was heavy anti-aircraft fire over the target area
in Lang Son Province and rain showers in the target area
intermittently obscured it.

After completing his bombing mission through dense cloud cover,
Major Pogreba was last seen rolling off the target, still an area
of heavy anti-aircraft fire and from which three surface to air
missiles were launched. He radioed he was departing the area on
the prebriefed exit route. The members of the flight also used the
prebriefed exit route and maintained radio silence until reaching
the coast. Major Pogreba never arrived and was declared missing.
Visual and electronic search failed to disclose any evidence of
either him or his aircraft.

Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information on Major
Pogreba's precise fate. However, one returnee offered his view
that while in prison in North Vietnam, "it was thought that Major
Pogreba was down in China" but no one knew the origin of this
story. Major Pogreba was not identified alive in captivity by any
returning U.S. POW and in November 1977 he was declared killed in
action, body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of
death.

In February 1991, retired U.S. General Tom Lacy told Major
Pogreba's next of kin that he had spoken with Major Pogreba and
knew where he was. General Lacy said Major Pogreba was downed over
China and he, General Lacy, had made two failed attempts to rescue
him.

According to a next of kin, the People's Republic of China stated
that an F-105 had strayed into Chinese air space. The available
record documents that on October 6, 1965, Radios Hanoi and Beijing
reported U.S. aircraft were shot down in certain areas of North
Vietnam and pilots captured on October 5th. No names of any
captured pilots were given and the areas in which aircraft were
reported shot down did not correlate to an area where Major Pogreba
was operating when declared missing.

On October 5, 1965, the People's Republic of China announced that
four U.S. aircraft had intruded into Chinese air space over Kwangsi
Province on that date and one had been shot down. There was no
mention of the type of aircraft involved. Although Pogreba was
last known to be approximately 40 nautical miles from Kwangsi
Province and was lost on that date, two other aircraft were also
shot down on October 5th, crashed inside North Vietnam and
approximately 30 miles from China, and in the general area where
Pogreba was lost which was not known to be in Chinese air space.

In 1985, China acknowledged it had deployed over 300,000 of its
forces in northern Vietnam during the war years, many of whom were
in the northern tier of provinces which included the area where
Pogreba was lost. Chinese units included various anti-aircraft
forces.



North Vietnam George C. McCleary
(0183)

On November 5, 1965, Lieutenant Colonel McCleary was the pilot of
an F-105, the flight leader of a flight of four aircraft on a SAM
suppression mission over North Vietnam. A surface to air missile
was launched and exploded approximately 20 feet from his aircraft.
His aircraft burst into flames, pitched nose up, and began shedding
pieces. The canopy was observed to separate before the aircraft
disappeared into overcast tail first but his wingman couldn't
determine if he was able to eject from the aircraft. No search and
rescue mission was possible due to the extremely hostile ground
environment and Colonel McCleary was declared missing in action.

In 1968 a People's Army of Vietnam soldier provided information on
U.S. POWs at a Hanoi prison correlating to Hoa Lo Prison, also
called the Hanoi Hilton. He identified a photograph of Colonel
McCleary as similar to that of an American at Hoa Lo Prison. In
1977 the Defense Intelligence Agency reversed its previous
correlation and concluded the soldier's report was erroneous.

In August 1972, DIA received a report about an F-105 shot down by
a MIG-17 circa October 1966. One good parachute was seen. This
report was placed in Colonel McCleary's file.

Two returnees identified LTC McCleary as one of the men in a
photograph of U.S. POWs at the 1969 Christmas event staged for U.S.
POWs. DIA later positively identified everyone at the event and
concluded the returnee's initial conclusions were a case of
misidentification.

In November 1973, Colonel McCleary was declared dead/body not
recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death. In July 1988,
Vietnam turned over remains at Hanoi which it stated were those of
Colonel McCleary. In May 1991 they were identified as his.



North Vietnam George I. Mims, Jr.
(0213)

See Vessey Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



Laos Don C. Wood
(0233)

On January 16, 1966, Captain Wood was one of a flight of five F-105
aircraft on a mission over Xieng Khouang Province, Laos. Captain
wood was the pilot of an F-105D on a photo reconnaissance mission.
While over the target and with flight members receiving 37mm
antiaircraft fire on their passes over the target, Captain Wood's
flight leader determined Captain Wood was not present with the
remainder of the flight. The flight members searched a thirty mile
radius from their target and were unable to locate either him or
his crash site. Searches for him continued for the next three
months and were unsuccessful. He was initially declared missing in
action.

On January 18, 1966, Radio Beijing announced that a U.S. aircraft
was shot down over Laos on January 16, 1966. A Pathet Lao radio
broadcast also mentioned the shoot down of an aircraft and reported
an airmen was seen parachuting down.

A Pathet Lao source interrogated in Laos in 1974 described the
recovery of a U.S. airman who fell from an aircraft hit by
antiaircraft fire from the area from the area of the Pathet Lao
Regional Headquarters at Phou Kout. The airman reportedly died
shortly after capture. This incident was placed in Captain Wood's
file as possibly correlating to him due to the loss location. A
Lao propaganda film obtained in January 1977 showed the identity
card of Captain Wood together with blood chits, revolvers, helmets
and other items which appeared undamaged.

In March 1980, Captain Wood was declared dead/body not recovered.
His remains have not been repatriated. He was never reported by
returning U.S. POWs to be alive in the Lao or Vietnamese prison
system.


South Vietnam James T. Egan
(0235)

See Vessey Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



Vietnam Cecil J. Hodgson
Frank N. Badolati
Ronald T. Terry
(0242)

See Vessey Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



South Vietnam James L. Carter
Wilbur R. Brown
Edward M. Parsley
Therman M. Waller
(0248)

On February 3, 1966, a C-123 with a four man crew departed the Khe
Sanh Special Forces camp on a twenty five minute supply shuttle
flight to Dong Ha, Quang Tri Province. Four local nationals may
also have been on the aircraft. The aircraft never reached its
destination and there was no radio contact with either it or its
crew. A search of the area failed to result in any evidence of
either the crew or the aircraft. Local intelligence assets were
used in an attempt to obtain information but nothing was learned.
A total of 25 sorties lasting 74 hours over mountainous jungle,
including the use of photo missions, failed to locate any evidence
of the aircraft.

The four airmen were declared missing. Returning U.S. POWs had no
information on their precise fate. The crewmen were declared
dead/body not recovered, on different dates between June 1974 and
January 1978, and based on a presumptive finding of death.



Laos Russell P. Hunter, Jr.
Ernest Kiefel, Jr.
(0250)

On February 10, 1966, Captains Hunter and Kiefel were the crew of
a B-57B escorting a C-130 flareship on a night strike mission over
Laos. While in the target area eight miles east southeast of
Tchepone, Captain Hunter radioed he was hit and would eject after
his canopy went. No ejection was seen. Three minutes later the C-
130 pilot reported a white glare on the ground and later a ten
second beeper in the area of the aircraft impact point. Another
beeper was heard later but it could not be correlated to a member
of this downed crew. Search and rescue aircraft located the
aircraft wreckage but found no sign of the crew.

Both initially were reported missing and declared killed in action,
body not recovered, in January 1979. Neither individual was ever
seen in the northern Vietnamese prison system and their remains
have not been repatriated.



Laos Oscar Mauterer
(0253)

On February 15, 1966, Major Mauterer was the pilot of an A1E in a
flight of aircraft providing cover for an 01E aircraft operating
south of the Mu Gia Pass over Khammouane Province, Laos. During
strikes on the target, Major Mauterer radioed he was on fire and
bailing out. A good chute was seen and there was voice contact
with him on the ground. Forward air controllers drew heavy ground
fire while flying over his position. Search and rescue aircraft
were unable to see him an hour later when they arrived to effect
his rescue and there were signals other than his beeper on the
emergency communications channel.

A U.S. controlled ground team inserted into the area reported on
February 20th having heard from villagers that an American,
correlated to Major Mauterer, was captured by elements of the
People's Army of Vietnam. Another wartime report indicated Lao
villagers had carried him from the area on orders of the Vietnam
People's Army.

Major Mauterer was not seen alive in the northern Vietnamese prison
system and his remains have not been repatriated. He was initially
declared missing and was declared killed in action, body not
recovered in December 1977.



South Vietnam Donald S. Newton
(0258)

See Vessey Discrepancy Cases for case summary.


South Vietnam William M. Collins
Delbert R. Peterson
Robert E. Foster
(0267)

See Vessey Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



North Vietnam Peter J. Stewart
Martin R. Scott
(0274)

On March 15, 1966, Lieutenant Colonel Stewart and Captain Scott
were the crew in an F-4C, one in a flight of two over Lai Chau
Province. Approaching the target area, their flight leader spotted
two trucks. Fifteen seconds later there was a large orange
explosion on the ground and their was no response from Colonel
Stewart's aircraft. An aerial search of the area failed to locate
any survivors and there were no parachute or beepers. However, a
red double star flare was seen approximately two minutes after the
crash but the wingman was unable to investigate it thoroughly due
to extremely hostile ground fire. No SAR mission was possible due
to the extremely hostile conditions in the crash site area. Both
airmen were declared missing in action.

Returning U.S. POWs had no information on the precise fate of the
two airmen. Colonel Stewart and Captain Scott were declared killed
in action, body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of
death in January 1980 and January 1979, respectively.



Laos David H. Holmes
(0275)

On March 15, 1966, Captain Holmes was the pilot of an 01E flying
from Khe Sanh, South Vietnam on a forward air control mission over
Highway 9 in Savannakhet Province, Laos. He radioed he was hit by
hostile ground fire and made what appeared to be a controlled
landing not far from Tchepone and within one mile of a hostile
antiaircraft battery. Another forward air controller flying
overhead reported seeing Captain Holmes' body motionless in the
cockpit for 30 minutes after the crash and reported the aircraft
completely intact. Search and rescue arriving on the scene after
the departure of the FAC reported finding an aircraft which had
been totally destroyed to the extent that it could not be
identified as to aircraft type. U.S. air strikes later destroyed
the antiaircraft battery near Captain Holmes crash site.

A ground search of the crash site on March 16 located his aircraft
but no evidence of Captain Holmes. Emergency radio signals were
heard on March 20-21 coming from the type of radio used by Captain
Holmes but the absence of proper radio procedures suggested his
radio had been captured and was being used by his captors. One
hearsay report received in 1974 and indicating a pilot was captured
during the war might have referred to Captain Holmes.

Captain Holmes was not seen alive in the northern Vietnamese prison
system and his remains have not been repatriated. He was initially
declared missing and was declared killed in action, body not
recovered in November 1978.



North Vietnam Everett A. McPherson
Brent E. Davis
(0279)

On March 18, 1966, First Lieutenants McPherson and Davis were the
crew on board an EF-10B, one in a flight of two aircraft on an
electronic counter-measures mission in support of an air strike
approximately 10 miles west of Thanh Hoa City, Thanh Hoa Province.
Their flight received 85mm anti-aircraft fire during the mission.
There was an explosion in their aircraft while at an altitude of
26,000 feet and over neighboring Nghe An Province. They were
believed to have been hit and downed by enemy surface to air
missile. A SAR mission over the area produced negative results.

Both airmen were initially declared missing in action. Returning
U.S. POWs had no information on their fate. Both airmen were
initially declared dead/body not recovered, based on a presumptive
finding of death.

In December 1988, Vietnamese officials acknowledge having knowledge
of their loss incident.



Laos James W. Gates
John W. Lafayette
(0297)

On April 6, 1966, Captains Gates and Lafayette departed Phu Bai,
South Vietnam in an OV1 in a flight of two aircraft for a
reconnaissance mission over Laos. A "Mayday" was heard from both
OV1 aircraft, and wreckage was found 30 kilometers inside Laos near
Route 922 in Saravan Province. A forward air controller reported
seeing all four alive on the ground and both aircrews reported they
were all right. The FAC described the area of their shoot down as
containing track vehicle marks, trucks and engineer equipment.

Radio contact was lost with Captains Gates and Lafayette after they
reported Vietnamese communist forces closing in on them. The other
crew was rescued.

Captains Gates and Lafayette were not seen alive in the northern
Vietnamese prison system and their remains have not been
repatriated. They were initially declared missing and declared
killed in action, body not recovered in October 1977.



China William A. Glasson, Jr.
Larry M. Jordan
Reuben B. Harris
(0299)

On April 12, 1966, there were four crewmen on board a KA-38 on a
700 mile over water flight from Cubi Point, Republic of the
Philippines to the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk in the Gulf of Tonkin. The
flight duration was to be one hour and fifty minutes. The aircraft
never reached its destination and the crew were declared missing.
A search and rescue mission failed to locate any evidence of either
the aircraft or its crew. Returning U.S. military detainees
captured during the war and held by China had no information that
any of the crew survived into captivity.

The 7th Air Force received an intelligence report that People's
Republic of China forces had shot down an aircraft at 1345 hours on
the day the four KA-38 crewmen were lost. U.S. Naval intelligence
obtained a copy of a television film broadcast by Beijing
Television which showed the wreckage of a U.S. aircraft and the
helmet of the bombardier/navigator. Lieutenant JG Jordan was the
bombardier/navigator. The aircraft reportedly crashed on the
Leichow Peninsula in Guangdong Province.

On April 12, 1975, the People's Republic of China acknowledged it
had the remains of one of the crewmen, PR2 Kenneth W. Pugh but no
information about the other crewmen. China returned two sets of
remains to American Red Cross representatives in Hong Kong on April
15, 1975. One set of remains was identified as Kenneth W. Pugh.
In March 1976, the Joint Casualty Resolution Center took action
leading to a change in loss location from over water to lost over
China.

In a June 1980 letter to Congressman Ben Gillman, the People's
Republic of China stated that Harris and Jordan had died but
Harris' remains were lost at sea and Chinese officials were unable
to locate Jordan's remains. The Chinese had no information on
Glasson's fate.
 

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