MIA Facts Site

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

South Vietnam Ronald L. Holtzman
Kenneth Goff
Richard Schell
Richard M. Allard
(0811)

On August 24, 1967, a helicopter from the 119th Assault Helicopter
Company, 52nd Combat Aviation Battalion, 4th Infantry Division,
with nine men on board was returning on low level flight to the
Division's base. While flying down the Dak Bla River at an
altitude of thirty feet, the helicopter began to turn around to
check out a sighting of unidentified persons along the river bank
but was apparently caught in a downdraft and crashed into the
river. Four on board were rescued and the body of another solider
was recovered later.

Specialist Fourth Class Holtzman was in contact with the pilot
after the crash but was swept away in the swift moving ten foot
deep river and was later declared dead/body not recovered. The
remaining three were declared missing. The area the men were
declared missing was searched by Special Forces personnel from
Forward Operating Base 2 but without success. A later search of
the area on December 26, 1969, found the river ten feet higher than
when the aircraft first crashed into the river.

In 1970 Sergeant Allard's next of kin advised the U.S. Army that a
CBS film showing U.S. POWs included one individual she believed to
be her son. Still photographs from the film were of poor quality
and could neither prove nor disprove her statements.

Early in 1972 Sergeant Allard's next of kin advised the U.S. Army
she had received a telephone call shortly after her son's
disappearance and only one word was spoken but the next of kin
believed it was Sergeant Allard calling from Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
She visited Phnom Penh and Vientiane, Laos in late January-early
February 1972 and upon her return to the U.S. stated she had seen
her son at a Viet Cong prison in Phnom Penh, insisting her son's
status be changed to POW.

The U.S. Army's investigation of the next of kin's allegations led
to a determination that the underground prison at the pagoda which
was the site of the alleged sighting was at the historical center
of Phnom Penh, open to the public and tourists, and the site of
various cultural and religious events. Based on this and other
inconsistencies and implausibilities, the U.S. Army concluded the
sighting had not taken case as alleged by the next of kin. The
next of kin's allegations, sparked by assistance from Rev.
Lindstrom of the Save The Pueblo Committee, received national news
in the New Hampshire Sunday News, New York Times, the NBC Today
Show, Reader's Digest, and other media. An individual that the
next-of-kin asserted could verify her story was located in Costa
Rica and that individual denied having seen any POWs.

In March 1974, Sergeant Allard was declared dead/body not recovered
based on a presumptive finding of death.


North Vietnam William G. Bennett
(0825)

On September 2, 1967, Major Bennett was the pilot of an F-105D
aircraft in a flight of four F-105 aircraft on a combat mission
over Quang Binh Province. He crashed while pulling up from a
strafing run and his aircraft exploded upon impact. The crash site
is in a remote area approximately 40 kilometers west of Dong Hoi in
Bo Trach District. His aircraft was seen to impact onto the
eastern slope of a steep karst in a pocket between two such
formations. Other flight members observing the crash made several
passes over the crash site without seeing any survivor. There was
no chute seen and an extensive electronic search failed to detect
any electronic beeper.

Major Bennett was initially declared missing in action. He was
declared dead/body not recovered, in May 1973. Returning U.S. POWs
did not report observing him alive in the Vietnamese prison system
and had no information on his fate.



North Vietnam Donald W. Downing
Paul D. Raymond
(0829)

On September 5, 1967, Captain Downing and First Lieutenant Raymond
were the crew in an F-4C, one of a flight of two aircraft on a
night armed reconnaissance mission. The other aircraft observed a
fireball descending toward the ground into an area 45 kilometers
south-southeast of Dong Hoi, Quang Binh Province. There was no
response to radio calls. An orbit of the area failed to disclose
any parachutes or beepers. The crew was declared missing in
action.

U.S. intelligence received a report from an ethnic Khmer in
December 1971 of the sighting of a U.S. POW in November 1970 at a
prison on the northern edge of Ha Dong City, Ha Dong Province, also
described as near Ba Vi Mountain. He identified one of the POWs as
similar to Captain Downing.

Captain Downing was declared dead/body not recovered, in November
1973. Neither airman was reported alive by returning U.S. POWs.



Laos John W. Armstrong
(0833)

On November 9, 1967, Lieutenant Colonel Armstrong and Lieutenant
Lance P. Sijan were the crew on board a camouflaged F-4C, one in a
flight of two aircraft on a combat operation over Khammouane
Province. On their second pass over the target area, a ford in the
area of Ban Laboy, their aircraft went through an estimated 60
rounds of 37mm antiaircraft barrage fire. Their aircraft burst
into flames, climbed to approximately 9000 feet and then began to
descend on a 15-20 second controlled flight before it crashed
approximately one kilometer from Route 912. There was burning
throughout the night from the wreckage which landed in a sparsely
populated karst area. There were no chute or beepers seen but
something appeared to fall from the aircraft.
On November 11, 1967, SAR forces established contact with
Lieutenant Sijan who was alive on the ground, had a broken leg, and
had not had any contact with Colonel Armstrong. Lieutenant Sijan
was never rescued but successfully evaded for 46 days before being
captured by People's Army of Vietnam forces. He was taken to Hanoi
where he died in captivity on January 22, 1968. While in captivity
he related his belief that one of their bombs and exploded
immediately upon release and this was the reason for their crash.
Also, he believed Colonel Armstrong was killed prior to ejection
from the explosion of his aircraft's bomb. Lieutenant Sijan was
listed as having died in captivity and his remains were repatriated
in March 1974.

Colonel Armstrong was not accounted for during Operation Homecoming
and returning U.S. POWs had no information on his precise fate. In
June 1974 he was declared dead/body not recovered, based on a
presumptive finding of death.

In February 1978, the Joint Casualty Resolution Center in Thailand
received a report from a refugee in Thailand about four U.S. POWs
captured in Sam Neua, Laos, and last seen alive in 1977. The
source supplied Colonel Armstrong's name and stated he was one of
the POWs. The individual was removed from the refugee camp by Thai
authorities and JCRC was unable to reestablish contact with the
source.

In October 1983, a U.S. citizen reported he had obtained personal
effects of Lieutenant Sijan from a former Lao Army colonel
operating with a self-claimed Lao resistance force from the area of
Nakhon Phanom, Thailand. In November 1984 another U.S. citizen and
POW/MIA hunter provided the U.S. government with information about
case 0833 and the recovery of a personal ring which was allegedly
passed to the National Security Council officer responsible for the
POW/MIA issue. In November 1991, U.S. investigators in Vietnam
obtained access to an 84 page listing of U.S. aircraft losses in
People's Army Military Region 4. Page 48 contained an aircraft
shoot down correlating to this incident.


South Vietnam Kenneth L. Plumadore
(0839)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



Laos Richard D. Applehans
George W. Clarke, Jr.
(0862)

Clarke and Applehans were reported lost in an RF4C while on a
reconnaissance mission which was planned for the area of the
Demilitarized Zone separating Vinh Linh Special Zone, North Vietnam
and Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. They checked in prior to
receiving clearance to attack their assigned target. This was the
last contact with the crew which never returned from its mission
and was reported lost over Quang Binh Province, North Vietnam. The
aircraft's wreckage was not located and there was no beeper. In
May 1975 it was determined that the aircraft had crashed in Laos.

In 1968 Clarke's status was changed to POW based on information
from a U.S. POW repatriated on February 16, 1968 which indicated
Clarke was alive and in captivity. During Operation Homecoming it
was determined that this report was erroneous and hearsay
information which was a misidentification. Clarke was declared
killed in action, body not recovered, in November 1973. Applehans
was declared killed in action, body not recovered, in April 1978.

Other than the one misidentification, there is no evidence that
either individual was seen alive in the northern Vietnamese prison
system and their remains have not yet been repatriated.



South Vietnam Paul L. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Olin Hargrove
(0867)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



North Vietnam James E. Dooley
(0872)

On October 22, 1967, Dooley was the pilot of an A-4E on a combat
mission over Hai Phong. He was hit by hostile fire while pulling
off from an attack on the Hai Phong railroad yard. Witnesses
observed the aircraft begin a gradual descent and crash into the
water about a mile offshore. Search and rescue aircraft could not
locate any sign of a survivor. He was initially reported missing
in action. After Operation Homecoming he was declared dead,
remains not recoverable.

Returning U.S. POWs reported either seeing Dooley's name on a wall
or heard he was a prisoner. Returning U.S. POWs were unable to
report having seen him alive in prison.



North Vietnam Richard C. Clark
(0873)

On October 24, 1967, Lieutenant JG Clark, radar intercept operator,
and the pilot, Commander Charles R. Gillespie, were the crew in an
F-4B from the U.S.S. Coral Sea on a MIGCAP mission over North
Vietnam. Their aircraft was hit by an SA-2 surface to air missile
while approximately 15 miles west of Hanoi, both aircraft engines
were set on fire and there was a fire below the radar interceptor
operator's cockpit. Commander Gillespie ejected and was captured.
He was repatriated during Operation Homecoming and stated that he
never saw Lieutenant Clark eject and had no knowledge that Clark
survived their shoot down.

One beeper was heard and one individual was seen on the ground by
SAR aircraft in the area. However, two Americans reached the
ground alive, Commander Gillespie and Lieutenant Frishman, a crew
member of another aircraft downed and whom Commander Gillespie
believed he saw coming down in a parachute at the same time he was
landing.

On October 24, 1967, the Vietnam News Agency reported that eight
U.S. aircraft were shot down that day in the Hanoi, Hai Phong, Vinh
Phuc area. The report did not say which specific aircraft were
shot down and whether anyone had been captured.

Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information about
Lieutenant Clark's precise fate. In November 1973 he was declared
killed in action, body not recovered based on a presumptive finding
of death.

In September 1988, a U.S. team in Vietnam traveled to Tam Dao
mountain and interviewed witnesses concerning this loss incident
and the capture of an unidentified pilot. Information provided to
the team, including the presence of People's Republic of China
troops in the area, correlated to the capture of Major Gillespie.
In December 1990 another team visited the area and located an F-4
crash site probably associated with this incident. In January 1991
Vietnam repatriated remains it identified as those of Lieutenant
Clark, together with fragments of parachute rigging and aircraft
parts. The bone fragment could not be correlated to him.




North Vietnam James S, Morgan
(0903)
Kelly F. Cook
James A. Crew
(0904)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.




North Vietnam Herbert O. Brennan
Douglas C. Condit
(0928)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



South Vietnam Michael Millner
(0930)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



Laos Gary H. Fors
(0947)

On December 22, 1967, Captain Fors and First Lieutenant Guy K.
Lashlee were the crewmen on an F-4B in a flight of two aircraft
over Laos. Just having released their bombs during a second pass
over the target, their aircraft was hit by hostile 37mm
antiaircraft fire and crashed east of Route 99, eight miles inside
Saravan Province. The crew of the second aircraft reported Captain
Fors and Lieutenant Lashlee had ejected safely but no one had any
radio contact with him. Lieutenant Lashlee was rescued but Captain
Fors could not be located by search and rescue aircraft driven off
by extremely heavy ground fire. Lieutenant Lashlee reported he did
not see Captain Fors chute deploy and had no contact with him. He
landed fifty meters from his aircraft's point of impact. He
believed Captain Fors had died in the aircraft's fireball.

During the war the next of kin of Captain Fors identified him in a
North Vietnamese photograph. After Operation Homecoming it was
determined this had been a misidentification.

Captain Fors was not seen alive in the northern Vietnamese prison
system and his remains have not been repatriated. He was declared
missing at the time of his loss and in August 1980 was declared
killed in action, body not recovered.



North Vietnam Roger B. Innes
Leonard M Lee
(0952)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.




North Vietnam Edwin N. Osborne
Charles P. Claxton
Gerald G. VanBuren
Donald E. Fisher
Gordon J. Wenaas
Frank C. Parker, III
Jack McCrary
Wayne A. Eckley
Edward J. Darcy
James R. Williams
Gean P. Clapper
(0954)

In the early morning hours of December 29, 1967, a camouflaged C-
130E departed on a single aircraft flight for a classified
operational mission over North Vietnam. The last contact with the
aircraft was at 0430 hours when the aircraft was in extreme
northwestern North Vietnam over a mountainous an densely forested
area 13 miles northwest of the town of Lai Chau. The aircraft did
not return from its mission and bad weather in the area hampered
search efforts. A two week search over the aircraft's flight path
failed to disclose any evidence of the crew of the aircraft and the
crew was declared missing.

In November 1970, the co-chair of a private group, Cora Weiss,
passed a letter to State Department officials from Vietnam which
stated that Osborne, McCrary and Darcy had never been detained in
the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

Returning U.S. POWs had no information on the precise fate of any
of the 11 crewmen missing from the C-130E. After Operation
Homecoming they were declared killed in action, body not recovered,
based on a presumptive finding of death.




Laos Dennis C. Hamilton
Sheldon D. Schultz
Ernest F. Briggs, Jr.
John T. Gallagher
James D. Williamson
(0967)

On January 5, 1968, a UH-1D with a four man crew from the 176th
Aviation Co., 14th Aviation Bn., Americal Division, and one member
of the 5th Special Forces Command and Control Detachment was west
of Khe Sanh, South Vietnam, providing support to the insertion of
U.S. led cross-border forces into the Prairie Fire operational area
of Laos. While approaching a landing zone in Savannakhet Province,
the helicopter was hit by 37mm anti-aircraft fire. It began a nose
low vertical dive from an altitude of 4000 feet and no one was seen
to eject before it impacted on the ground and burst into fire with
flames reaching a height of 20 feet. There were no radio
transmissions or beepers from the crew or passenger after impact
and the five men on board the helicopter were declared missing in
action. Intense groundfire precluded any entry into the crash site
until four days when a ground team was successfully inserted. The
team was unable to locate any evidence of the crew and no evidence
anyone had survived.

In December 1971 the CIA forwarded a report to DIA about the
sighting of American POWs in Laos. One report described four
Americans said to have been captured in South Vietnam as passing
through a way-station on the Ho Chi Minh Trail in mid-1970, Commo-
Liaison Station 12, approximately 25 kilometers southwest of
Tchepone, Savannakhet Province. The source pointed out a
photograph of Williamson as resembling one of the four Americans.
Another report described two captured pilots at Commo-Liaison
Station 12 early in 1969 approximately 15 kilometers northwest of
Muong Phine. These reports were placed in the file of those
associated with this loss incident.

Williamson was considered by other returnees as a "no show" in the
northern Vietnamese prison system and U.S. POWs returned during
Operation Homecoming had no information that anyone had survived
into captivity. However, one returnee reported having seen a
statement with the name Williamson on it. After Operation
Homecoming the five men in this incident were declared dead/body
not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.

In 1974, a report was received about the sighting of aircraft
wreckage in Laos. The report was placed in the files of this and
one other incident in the same general area. In another report, a
Vietnamese refugee stated that two bodies were burned up in the
crash of a Cobra helicopter and that report was also placed in the
files of those associated with the two loss incidents in this
general area.



North Vietnam Ralph E. Foulks, Jr.
(0968)

On January 5, 1968, Lieutenant Foulks was in one of two aircraft in
a flight on a night strike mission over Ninh Binh Province, North
Vietnam. His aircraft disappeared while on this mission and there
was no known crash site, no radio transmission, no beeper and no
parachute. He was initially reported missing in action and in
November 1973 was declared dead/body not recovered.

During the war there were various reports of U.S. aircraft downed
in this area, often with reports of multiple crews or reports of
sightings correlated to other known incidents.
Lieutenant Foulks remains were repatriated by Vietnam on December
15, 1988. According to Vietnam, Lieutenant Foulks died on January
5, 1968 when his aircraft was hit over Ninh Binh Province. The
pilot disintegrated with his aircraft. His Geneva Convention card
was recovered but it was later lost.



South Vietnam Derri Sykes
Richard R. Rehe
(0976)

On January 9, 1968, Privates First Class Rehe and Sykes were
members of the 3rd Battalion, 196th Light Infantry Brigade,
Americal Division, searching for missing unit personnel in Quang
Tin Province. Their unit was ambushed by People's Army of Vietnam
forces and they became separated from their unit. Both soldiers
were reportedly wounded at the time, each hit up to four times in
the chest and shoulder by hostile fire. Both servicemen were
declared missing in action.

The majority of missing Division servicemen captured on January 8th
and 9th were evacuated to a People's Army Military Region 5 POW
camp. However, PFC Rehe, completely debilitated, was left behind
in a village on the night of January 9th and was never seen again
by surviving POWs. PFC Sykes was left behind in a bunker on
January 9th and was believed by returning POWs to have died there
of severe blood loss.

Both servicemen were categorized as missing in action until
released U.S. POWs captured at the time confirmed that although
seriously wounded, they had in fact survived into captivity but
never reached the Military Region 5 POW camp. One returnee stated
he was told by one of his captors that PFC Rehe and Sykes had both
died on January 9, 1968. After Operation Homecoming they were
declared dead/body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of
death.

Joint U.S./Vietnamese investigations in Vietnam located and
interviewed individuals with knowledge of the fate of members of
the Americal Division captured on January 8-9, 1968. Interviews
during September 1992 of former Military Region 5 prison camp
officials provided information on the fate of those who survived to
reach the prison. Witnesses testified that the precise location of
all graves was recorded after January 1973 and that 21 sets of
remains of those who died at the prison were recovered washed, and
bagged at the end of 1978 or early 1979 and then sent to "higher
headquarters." Included in these remains were those of a West
German man and woman who died in captivity. Remains of those
captured at the same time as PFC's Rehe and Sykes who reached the
prison camp alive, were repatriated in August 1985.


South Vietnam Richard W. Fischer
(0977)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



Laos James D. Cohron
(0984)

On January 12, 1968, Staff Sergeant Cohron was a member of Team
Indiana, a U.S. led covert cross border reconnaissance team on a
mission inside Laos at a point along the border between Savannakhet
and Saravan Provinces. The team was ambushed. After the
engagement SSG Cohron and two Vietnamese team members could not be
located and were declared missing. One of the two Vietnamese was
later located and rescued alive but he could not shed any light on
the fate of SSG Cohron. A ground search of the area by Team Santa
Fe on January 15, 1968, located the area where SSG Cohron was last
seen but there was no sign of him.

SSG Cohron was initially reported missing at a classified location,
later acknowledged as Laos. He was not reported alive in the
northern Vietnamese prison system and his remains have not yet been
repatriated. SSG Cohron was declared dead/body not recovered, in
July 1978.

The Defense Intelligence Agency has determined that the ambush of
Team Indiana appears to correlate to a combat action of the
People's Army of Viet Nam Dong Nai Regiment. The Regiment captured
an American who was interrogated by an interpreter from the
People's Army of Vietnam 304th Infantry Division. DIA has
concluded that this information indicates SSG Cohron was probably
captured alive. No further information has been obtained
concerning SSG Cohron's fate.



South Vietnam William D. Johnson
(0997)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



North Vietnam James A. Ketterer
Tilden S. Holley
(0998)

On January 20, 1968, Captain Holley and First Lieutenant Ketterer
were the crew in an F-4C, one of a flight of two aircraft over
Quang Khe, Quang Binh Province. Their aircraft was hit by hostile
antiaircraft fire and crashed. The crew was not seen to eject but
a weak electronic beacon was heard for several seconds after the
crash. Both crewmen were initially declared missing in action.

One returning U.S. POW reported hearing the name "Holley" on Hanoi
Radio while at the Hanoi Hilton. Another returning U.S. POW stated
he saw the name "Holley" or "Holly" on a list of people confined at
the prison in late 1972 or early 1973. There was no reference to
the name Ketterer. No returning U.S. POW reported seeing either
alive in the Vietnamese prison system.

Captain Holley was declared dead/body not recovered in June 1978.



North Vietnam Michael Dunn
Norman E. Eidsmoe
(1004)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



Cambodia Charles E. White
(1006)

On January 29, 1968, Sergeant First Class White was a member of a
covert cross border operations reconnaissance team from Forward
Base 2 (FOB 2) in South Vietnam. His team was inserted into
Ratanakiri Province in extreme northeastern Cambodia and three
kilometers inside Cambodia from Attopeu Province, Laos. His team
engaged hostile forces. While being extracted by helicopter,
Sergeant White fell from a rope harness approximately 200 feet into
a tall bamboo thicket. A ground team searching the area on January
31, 1968, found what appeared to be evidence of where he landed and
the area appeared to have been searched by hostile forces. There
was no sign of Sergeant White and no grave. He was initially
declared missing in action in the Republic of Vietnam. On February
23, 1968, his commanding officer wrote to his mother that Sergeant
White became missing while under heavy hostile fire near Khe Sanh
in South Vietnam although his circumstances of loss were falsified
until they were declassified in 1973.

Returning U.S. POWs were not able to provide any information
concerning his fate and he was not reported alive in the Vietnamese
or Cambodian prison system. His case was among others passed to
Khmer representatives at the United Nations in December 1975. The
representative stated there were no American prisoners in Cambodia
and the Cambodian government had no information about any missing
Americans. On April 6, 1978, Sergeant White was declared dead/body
not recovered.


South Vietnam Vernon Z. Johns
(1028)

On February 3, 1968, Private First Class Johns was an armored
personnel carrier commander with the 25th Infantry Division's 4th
Mechanized Battalion, 23rd Infantry, when his unit was engaged by
hostile forces in Binh Duong Province. He was last seen manning a
.50 calibre heavy machine gun while under attack from small arms
and rocket propelled grenade fire. He was last seen jumping from
his vehicle while wounded. His unit broke contact with the hostile
force and PFC Johns was declared missing. There was an initial
report that he was evacuated but this was later found to be
erroneous.

In 1969, U.S. intelligence received a report of the sighting of a
U.S. POW who appeared to resemble PFC Johns. Other reports
received about two Americans killed and buried in the area where
PFC Johns was last known when his unit was in combat.

Returning U.S. POWs had no information regarding PFC John's precise
fate. In July 1978 he was declared killed in action, body not
recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.

In 1988, U.S. investigators in Vietnam interviewed witnesses who
stated that PFC Johns was killed in battle and buried the next day.

One witness stated his remains had been recovered in 1987 and the
Vietnamese Office for Seeing Missing Americans had taken custody of
his remains. On April 27, 1989, Vietnam repatriated remains
identified as those of PFC Johns and they were subsequently
identified as his.



South Vietnam Harvey G. Brande
Kenneth Hanna
James W. Holt
Charles W. Lindewald, Jr.
James L. Moreland
William G. McMurray, Jr.
Daniel R. Phillips
(1040)

On February 7, 1968, eight U.S. Army Special Forces NCOs from
Detachment A-1, Company C, 5th Special Forces Group, were declared
missing when their Lang Vei base in Thua Thien Province was overrun
by Vietnam People's Army forces. Sergeant Moreland had a head
wound and was in a state of shock when last seen.

One of eight missing men, Dennis R. Thompson, was captured and
survived to be released from North Vietnam in March 1973. During
his debriefing he related that Thompson, Holt, and Phillips were
last known alive at Lang Vei before he lost contact with them.
Neither he nor any other returnee was able to provide information
on the eventual fate of the seven missing servicemen and they were
not known to have survived into captivity.

The seven missing Special Forces men were initially declared
missing. After Operation Homecoming they were all declared
dead/body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.



South Vietnam Alan W. Gunn
Wade L. Groth
Harry W. Brown
Jerry L Roe
(1046)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



North Vietnam Robert M. Elliott
(1049)

On February 14, 1968, Captain Elliott's aircraft was hit by an
enemy surface to surface missile while conducting a bombing mission
against a railroad bridge in the area of Hanoi Municipality. There
was no beeper and there was the sighting of a possible parachute.
However, there was haze in the target area and visibility was poor.

During the war a People's Army of Vietnam soldier described the
shoot down of an American aircraft over Ha Tay, a suburb of Hanoi.
The shoot down location compared favorably to the loss incident of
Captain Elliott. One airman was reportedly captured. Captain
Elliott was initially reported as missing in action. In June 1979
he was declared dead/body not recovered.

Captain Elliott's identity card was turned over to U.S. officials
on April 6, 1988 together with a small quantity of skeletal
remains, also reportedly belonging to Captain Elliott. The remains
were insufficient for positive identification and correlation to
Captain Elliott.



Laos John F. Hartzheim
Paul Lloyd Milius
(1062)

On February 27, 1968, Commander Milius was the pilot of an OP-2E
aircraft on an armed reconnaissance flight over the Steel Tiger
operational area in the vicinity of the Ban Karai Pass leading from
North Vietnam into Khammouane Province, Laos. The aircraft was hit
by an exploding projectile. Five crewmen exited the rear of the
aircraft. Surviving crew members reported Commander Milius,
although wounded, was last seen flying the aircraft and with the
nose section in flames, but they believe he was able to bail out.
Another crew member, Petty Officer John F. Hartzheim, was reported
by survivors as either dying or dead at the time the aircraft
crashed in Khammouane Province. A search effort on February 29th,
Operation Texas Crest, failed to locate Commander Milius.

In August 1968 a People's Army of Vietnam defector in South Vietnam
reported that during infiltration his unit captured a U.S. colonel
with a survival radio. The approximately time of the capture was
March 1968 but the precise location was not pinpointed. This
report exists in Commander Milius' file as possibly correlating to
him.

Neither individual was ever reported alive in the northern
Vietnamese prison system and neither of their remains has been
repatriated. Both have been declared dead/body not recovered.

In January 1985 a Lao refugee turned over a human bone and other
material from an aircraft crash site in Laos which may have related
to the crash site of Commander Milius' aircraft. The remains were
determined to be human but no further identification was possible.
In December 1986 another lao refugee offered remains and a dog tag
allegedly belonging to Petty Officer Hartzheim.



North Vietnam Gilbert S. Palmer, Jr.
Thomas T. Wright
(1063)

On February 27, 1968, Major Palmer and Captain Wright were the crew
in an RF-4C launched from Udorn Air Base, Thailand, on a single
aircraft photo mission over Quang Binh Province, North Vietnam.
There were routine communications in route and the last contact
with them was when they were given target clearance. There was no
further contact with the two crewmen and they were declared missing
in action.

In 1970, DIA received a report about the sighting of an American in
a jeep at the Hanoi Public Security Office. This report was placed
in Captain Wright's file. In July 1971, a report was received from
a People's Army of Vietnam defector describing the sighting of an
American POW. The report pertained to four U.S. POWs in Nghe An
Province in July 1970 reportedly shot down during 1965-1967. The
individual was given a polygraph test, and the examiner offered his
view that he believed the story. DIA felt at the time that the
report might correlate to Captain Wright. DIA reevaluated the
report in 1978 and based on information then available concluded
the report did not pertain to Captain Wright. One returnee
reported seeing a black American in jungle fatigues at a temporary
prison camp in Quang Binh Province in late May or early June 1968.
His sighting of the individual was for approximately 30 seconds.
The returnee selected a photograph of Captain Wright as one of
several possible correlations.

Returning U.S. POWs were unable to describe the final fate of the
two missing crewmen and after Operation Homecoming they were
declared killed in action, body not recovered, based on a
presumptive finding of death.



South Vietnam Robert W. Hunt
(1065)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



South Vietnam James E. Hamm
(1086)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



Laos Peter D. Hesford
Aubrey E. Stowers, Jr.
(1100)

On March 21, 1968, First Lieutenant Hesford and First Lieutenant
Stowers were the crewmen in an F-4D, one of a flight of two
aircraft on a night strike mission over Laos. A forward air
controller illuminated three trucks on a road and a second forward
air controller made passes in the target area, drawing heavy
automatic weapons fire.

The crew radioed they were "rolling in" and that was their last
transmission. Other aircraft observed 37mm anti-aircraft fire and
then a large explosion and fireball. A search of the area failed
to locate any survivors. There were no chutes and no beepers.
Both airmen were initially declared missing.

On September 17, 1968, the Pathet Lao spokesman in Vientiane, Laos,
Soth Phetrasy, stated that Lieutenant Hesford had been captured.

Lieutenant Hesford was declared dead/body not recovered, in June
1978. Lieutenant Stowers was declared dead/body not recovered, in
October 1979. Neither individual was identified alive in the Lao
or Vietnamese prison system.

In April 1989, U.S. intelligence received a report of the recovery
of remains with dog tag information associated with Lieutenant
Stowers. No remains were actually provided.



Laos Charles G. Huston
George R. Brown
Alan L. Boyer
(1108)

On March 28, 1968, Sergeants Huston, Brown and Boyer were leading
Team Asp, a covert cross border reconnaissance patrol operating
from Forward Base (FOB) 4, an element of the 5th Special Forces
Group Command and Control Detachment based in South Vietnam. They
were on a mission in an area twenty kilometers northeast of the
town of Tchepone, Savannakhet Province, Laos, when they came under
heavy enemy fire and called for an extraction. The helicopter
withdrew under heavy fire and was unable to recover Sergeants Brown
and Huston. Sergeant Boyer was the last recovered and while
holding onto a rope ladder and it together with its mount broke
away from the recovery helicopter and he fell to the ground.

A ground search of the area on April 1, 1968, failed to show any
sign of the three missing patrol members. They were declared
missing at a classified location which was later acknowledged to be
Laos. None of these individuals was reported alive in the northern
Vietnamese prison system and none of their remains has been
repatriated. All three were initially reported missing and later
declared dead/body not recovered.

In August 1984 a Lao refugee reported three Americans were killed
in a People's Army of Vietnam ambush in the area of Team Asp's
engagement. The bodies were reportedly buried in the area.


South Vietnam Walter A. Cichon
(1112)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



South Vietnam John W. Held
(1131)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



South Vietnam Philip R. Shafer
Arthur J. Lord
Charles W. Willard
Michael R. Werdehoff
(1132)

On April 19, 1968, Specialist 4th Class Shafer was crew chief on a
CH-54 helicopter carrying a bulldozer to Landing Zone Tiger located
in the A Shau Valley, Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam. Other
crew members included Captain Lord (aircraft commander), CW3
Willard (pilot), and Specialist 6th Class Werdehoff (flight
engineer). Approximately 1.5 kilometers from the landing zone
eyewitnesses reported an explosion in the cockpit of the helicopter
which caught fire and crashed at the base of a cliff, exploding.
There were no signs of survivors.

The crew was initially reported missing in action and after the war
was declared dead/body not recovered. Returning U.S. POWs were
unable to provide any information on their fate.



North Vietnam Jeffrey L. Harris
Bobby G. Vinson
Woodrow W. Parker, II
(1141)

On April 24, 1968, Lieutenant Colonel Vinson and First Lieutenant
Parker were the crewmen in an F-4D, one of two F-4 on a combat
mission over Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province. They were
preparing to drop flares while the other aircraft remained above
them. They were last known descending to a lower altitude when a
large fireball was observed on the ground. There were no
parachutes seen and neither beepers or other communications from
the crew. Both crewmen were initially reported as missing in
action.

In December 1972 a former member of the Vietnam People's Army
reported an American F-4, one of two dropping flares over Quang
Binh Province, was hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed. Both
crewmen were reportedly killed in their aircraft. Their bodies
were recovered from the crash site and buried nearby.

A JCRC field investigation in Vietnam during April 1990 located
witnesses who described the crash of a U.S. jet aircraft and the
recovery of human remains from the crash site which appeared to
correlate to this case. A document provided by Vietnamese
officials to the Joint Casualty Resolution Center during a field
investigation in Vietnam during January-February 1991 described the
shoot down of an aircraft and death of the crewmen which appeared
to correlate to this loss incident.


North Vietnam Robert D. Avery
Thomas D. Clem
(1156)

On May 3, 1968, Avery and Clem were the crew in an A-6A on an armed
reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam providing support to U.S.
Air Force operations along Route Package 1. Radar contact was lost
with the aircraft when it was approximately 10 kilometers northwest
of the coastal town of Dong Hoi and six kilometers southeast of the
district seat of Bo Trach in Quang Binh Province. SAR forces were
unable to locate any sign of the crew which was declared missing.

Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information on the
eventual fate of the crew. After Operation Homecoming they were
declared killed in action, body not recovered, based on a
presumptive finding of death.

In January 1991, a U.S. team in Vietnam visited Bo Trach District
and reviewed archival documents. One document listed the downing
of an A-6A on May 3, 1968 in which both crewmen died. In July
1991, U.S. researchers at the Military Region IV museum in Vinh
City obtained access to an archival list of gravesites of Americans
who died there during the war. One entry listed Robert D. Avery as
buried in Quang Ninh District from an F-105 downed on April 15,
1968. In January 1992, a Region IV air defense record listed an A-
6A downed on May 3, 1968 with both crewmen dead. In December 1992,
a copy of the list of burial sites was turned over by Vietnam to
Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on
POW/MIA Affairs.



South Vietnam Frederick J. Ransbottom
(1171)

On May 12, 1968, Lieutenant Ransbottom was a member of the Americal
Division and was last seen at an observation post at the Kham Duc
Special Forces camp and engaging hostile forces. He last reported
shooting at hostile forces as they were entering his bunker. The
Kham Duc post was eventually overrun and eight individuals at
Observation Post 2 could not be located following the withdrawal.
The remains of six others were located later. Ransbottom and
others at Observation Post 2 were declared missing.

Ransbottom was not accounted for during Operation Homecoming and
returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information about
his fate. In May 1979, Ransbottom was declared dead/body not
recovered.



North Vietnam Joseph E. Davies
Glen D. McCubbin
(1182)

On May 19, 1968, Captain Davies and First Lieutenant McCubbin were
the crew in an F-4B from Ubon Air Base, Thailand and leader of a
flight of two aircraft on a night armed reconnaissance mission over
Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province. The number two aircraft in
the flight expended its ordnance and departed to return to Ubon.
The number two aircraft's crew reported seeing three explosions on
the ground and believed Captain Davies' aircraft had dropped its
ordnance and would be joining them on the return flight to Ubon.
Captain Davies' aircraft never returned from the mission and the
crew was declared missing in action. A beeper and voice
transmission from the general area of a search for them was later
determine not to be either Captain Davies or Lieutenant McCubbin
but someone else.

Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information
concerning the specific fate of Captain Davies and Lieutenant
McCubbin. After Operation Homecoming both crewmen were declared
dead/body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.

In December 1988, a joint U.S./Vietnamese team visited Bo Trach
District and interviewed witnesses concerning this incident.
Witnesses described the crash of an aircraft correlating to this
incident which included the wartime recovery of human remains from
the crash site. One witness described the recovery of two dog tags
of Davies.

In August 1991 the crash site was excavated and biologic evidence
was recovered and returned to the U.S. for Analysis. In October
1991, U.S. investigators forwarded information from Bo Trach
District combat records recording the downing of an F-4C on May 18,
1968, and the death of two crewmen. This record was believed
associated with this loss incident.



Laos John Q. Adam
Jerry L. Chambers
Calvin C. Glover
Thomas E. Knebel
William H. Mason
William T. McPhail
Thomas B. Mitchell
Gary Pate
Melvin D. Rash
(1187)

On May 22, 1968, a camouflaged C-130 departed Ubon with a crew of
eight and one passenger from Nakhon Phanom Air Base on a routine
night flare mission over Saravan Province. The last contact with
the aircraft was a 2055. Fifteen minutes later another aircraft's
crew observed a large fire on the ground in a mountainous area with
heavy jungle foliage but were driven off by hostile anti-aircraft
fire. Airborne search aircraft and night photography could not
confirm the fire to be associated with an aircraft crash site but
were of the view the circular fire resembled that of a crashed
aircraft. The crew was declared missing. There was no evidence of
any parachutes or beepers and no mayday calls.

Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information about
the eventual fate of the crew. After Operation Homecoming they
were declared killed in action, body not recovered, based on a
presumptive finding of death.

In June 1989, a source turned in the drawing of an identity card
and restricted area access card with the name of Gary Pate.
In August 1989, a Vietnamese source provided dog tag information
from a member of an ethnic minority residing in South Laos together
with a photograph reportedly showing human remains at an unknown
location. In May 1991 a source in Thailand reported dog tag
information associated with Pate. The source stated he had
received the information from a central Vietnamese who located the
dog tag while looking for incense wood near Hue City, South
Vietnam, and had instructed the source to provide the information
to the U.S. government upon his arrival in Bangkok. In October
1991, U.S. investigators in Vietnam were provided dog tag
information and a bone fragment reportedly of Gary Pate. The
Vietnam resident turning over the material to U.S. investigators
stated he was an intermediary acting for others.



South Vietnam Walter R. Schmidt, Jr.
(1205)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



North Vietnam Edward R. Silver
Bruce E. Lawrence
(1222)

On July 5, 1968, Major Silver and First Lieutenant Lawrence were
the crew of an F-4C on a night armed reconnaissance mission over
North Vietnam. Their aircraft was hit by hostile anti-aircraft
fire. Their wingman observed their aircraft turn into a large
fireball with streaks of fire trailing out of the bottom, followed
by a second smaller explosion. There were no parachutes observed
and no beepers heard. Intense hostile fire prevented a daylight
search of the area. Both airmen were declared missing in action.
During Operation Homecoming, a returning POW reported seeing a
propaganda film which included the showing of a body in a flight
suit. The returnee was "almost positive" the name strip on the
suit was "Silver."

No returning U.S. POW was able to report either of the missing
crewmen in captivity. Both were later declared killed in action,
body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.



North Vietnam David S. Greiling
(1234)

On July 24, 1968, Lieutenant Commander Greiling was the pilot of an
A-7A on a night combat mission over North Vietnam. His wingman
observed him fly into a mountain and saw his aircraft explode on
impact. There was no parachute seen. Other aircraft in the
mission bombed the site of the crash, thinking it was the target.
Villagers reported finding disintegrated remains several days
later.

During the war, a photograph of Commander Greiling's identity card
was located in the Seaman's Club in Hai Phong in July 1969. This
led to his eventual reclassification from missing to POW.

Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information on
Commander Greiling's eventual fate. In September 1973 he was
declared killed in action, body not recovered, based on a
presumptive finding of death.

A recent joint U.S/Vietnamese investigation of Major Greiling's
crash site led to the recovery of evidence of an A-7A crash. The
recovered material, including parts of the ejection seat, indicated
the pilot did not eject prior to the crash.



North Vietnam William J. Thompson
Joseph S. Ross
(1243)

On August 1, 1968, Major Thompson and First Lieutenant Ross were
the crew of an F-4D, one in a flight of two aircraft from Da Nang
Air Base, South Vietnam. Their wingman observed the flight leader
drop flares which illuminated a group of trucks on the ground and
Major Thompson rolled in on the target. The wingman next observed
an explosion on the ground within 100 feet of the target and it was
evident that Major Thompson's aircraft had impacted and exploded in
an area approximately 47 kilometers southwest of the coastal city
of Dong Hoi and 1500 meters northeast of the village of Ban Katoi.
There were no chutes or beepers noted in the ten minutes the
wingman orbited the burning wreckage. Both crewmen were declared
missing in action.

On March 30, 1973, a returning U.S. POW reported he saw the name
"Ross" written on a wall at the "Heartbreak" POW camp in Hanoi. In
1978, a U.S. Air Force compendium of names providing by returning
U.S. POWs correlated the name "Ross" to First Lieutenant Joseph S.
Ross. However, the source of the names and its meaning was never
determined, no returning U.S. POWs had any knowledge of the fate of
the two crewmen, and they were never reported alive in the northern
Vietnamese prison system. After Operation Homecoming, both airmen
were declared dead/body not recovered, based on a presumptive
finding of death.

In January 1992, the Defense Department provided a preliminary
analysis of Vietnamese list of combat air defense operations in
Quang Binh Province. Included in the list was a reference to the
shoot down on August 1, 1968, of an F-4 aircraft.


South Vietnam Donald R. Fowler
Steven M. Hastings
Peter J. Russell
William Fernan
(1244)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



North Vietnam Terrin D. Hicks
(1248)

On August 15, 1968, Captains Terrin D. Hicks and Joseph F. Shanahan
departed Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base in an RF-4C on a solo
photo reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. About 0805 hours,
the last radar contact was made with Capt Hicks' aircraft. The
plane was hit by enemy ground fire and lost in an area
approximately 12 kilometers southwest of Quang Khe, Quang Binh
Province. Captains Hicks and Shanahan ejected successfully and
descended by parachute but were not recovered. Both airmen were
declared missing in action.

Captain Shanahan was captured and incarcerated in North Vietnam.
During his Homecoming debriefing, he related he saw Captain Hicks'
parachute on the ground and heard Captain Hicks make a "Mayday"
call on his survival radio. Captain Hicks was alive on the ground
at this time. Captain Shanahan landed in the backyard of a village
hut and was immediately captured. As Captain Shanahan was led
away, he heard continuous small arms fire from the direction where
Captain Hicks had landed. Approximately 10 minutes later, Captain
Shanahan was given Captain Hicks' boots to wears as his boots had
been taken from him after his capture. Later, an interrogator told
Captain Shanahan that Captain Hicks was alive and being treated in
the Dong Hoi hospital for a broken leg. Captain Shanahan said he
had personal reservations about the truthfulness of this statement.


During the November 1985 JCRC technical meeting in Hanoi,
Vietnamese officials passed Captain Hicks military identification
card and Geneva Convention card to U.S. officials. The Vietnamese
stated that Captain Hicks' remains were no longer recoverable.

On December 4, 1985, Vietnam released seven sets of remains to US
custody. Vietnamese officials associated one set of remains with
Captain Hicks but none of the seven sets of remains could be
identified as his.

On June 17 and 21, 1989, a joint U.S./Vietnamese investigation team
conducted an investigation of the reported crash of an American
aircraft in Cu Nam village, Bo Trach District, Binh Tri Thien
(formerly Quang Binh) Province. According to the witness
interviewed, an RF-4C aircraft was shot down over the village in
the fifth Lunar month of 1968. Both pilots ejected; one was
captured immediately, the other was shot to death when he resisted
capture, and he was buried near where he fell. The team surveyed
the burial location and used a metal detector to attempt to locate
the specific burial site, but was not successful. On 5 May 1990 a
second Joint team travelled to Cu Nam village to discuss
excavation of Capt Hicks burial site. The village officials
claimed not to know if the repatriated remains which could not be
identified as those of Captain Hicks had been taken from the
reported burial site and they were unable to locate the site.
Three other possible burial locations were suggested from Quang
Binh Province records.



South Vietnam Humberto Acosta-Rosario
(1258)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



South Vietnam Dallas R. Pridemore
(1274)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.
 

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