Report of the
Senate Select Committee
Joseph L. Chestnut
On October 13, 1970, Major Chestnut was the pilot of a T-28
propeller aircraft on an orientation flight which originated from
Luang Prabang, the royal capital of Laos. The flight leader saw
smoking coming from Major Chestnut's T-28 wings but there were no
flames. His T-28 began a shallow straight ahead climb and then
went over the crest of a hill and exploded on the other side of the
crest. Major Chestnut was not seen to parachute from the aircraft
and there was no beeper. He was declared missing.
On October 14, 1970, a ground search team entered the area of Major
Chestnut's crash. They located the aircraft's wreckage and Major
Chestnut's seat but there was no evidence of Major Chestnut. They
searched the area again on October 23rd and located more wreckage,
but there was still no evidence of Major Chestnut.
Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information
concerning Major Chestnut. In July 1978 he was declared dead/body
not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.
In July 1990, a source provided information on a T-28 crash near
Luang Prabang in 1971. The aircraft was said to have been shot
down and the pilot buried. Another initially claimed he had
witnessed the incident, later acknowledged his information came
from what he'd learned as a member of the ground search party, and
later introduced a source with hearsay information about the crash.
South Vietnam Douglas F. Strait
See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.
North Vietnam David I. Wright
William W. Bancroft, Jr.
On November 13, 1970, Lieutenant Bancroft and his pilot, Major
David I. Wright, were on an aerial reconnaissance mission over Ha
Tinh Province, North Vietnam. Their wingman reported antiaircraft
fire in the area as Lieutenant Bancroft's aircraft made a low level
pass. Their aircraft suddenly exploded while approximately 500
feet above the ground, crashing tail first into the ground,
followed by an all consuming explosion. There were no chutes or
Lieutenant Bancroft and Major Wright were initially reported
missing and their status changed to killed in action, body not
recovered, prior to Operation Homecoming. Returning U.S. POWs did
not report them alive with other U.S. POWs in the northern
Vietnamese prison system.
Laos Owen G. Skinner
Thomas Allen Duckett
On December 12, 1970, Skinner and Duckett departed Thailand in an
0-2 to provide forward air control support to a B-57 aircraft
engaged in an air strike on trucks in an area nine kilometers
southeast of Tchepone in Savannakhet Province, Laos. The aircraft
did not return from its mission and its wreckage was located in the
target area and approximately 500 meters south of Route 9. Both
airmen were declared missing.
The crew of the B-57G was also downed during this mission but the
crewmen were rescued. The crew of the B-57G reported it had
sustained a mid-air collision with an 0-2. An Air Force inquiry
found case 1683 to have been a hostile loss due to it being a high
threat area and nothing substantive in the B-57G crew statements to
confirm that a mid-air collision had occurred even though the B-57G
crash side was near the O-2 crash site.
A search and rescue aircraft located the O-2 wreckage on December
13 and observed a parachute hanging from a tree near the crash
site. An emergency beeper was also heard in the area on December
14. The area was characterized as full of hostile ground forces.
The rescue aircraft made radio contact with someone but was unable
to determine who or where.
Returning U.S. POWs were unable to confirm the crew survived into
captivity. After Operation Homecoming, they were declared
dead/body not recovered.
In September 1989 the area of the 0-2 crash site was surveyed by
the Joint Casualty Resolution Center and there was no evidence of
the wreckage of the aircraft. The area was described as a well
established farming community.
Laos Albro L. Lundy, Jr.
On December 24, 1970, Major Lundy was the lead A-1E aircraft in a
flight of two escorting a flight of three medical evacuation
helicopters. The medevac Air America helicopters had made a pick
up from the Ban Ban Valley in eastern Xieng Khouang Province.
During the flight over Xieng Khouang Province, Major Lundy reported
his engine was running rough, then reported his engine backfiring
and he was ejecting. His seat rocket was seen to fire and there
was an apparently normal parachute deployment. One Air America
pilot reported someone was in the parachute when it first opened
but that could not be confirmed by others. However, at an altitude
of 1000 feet the parachute harness was found to be empty and the
leg straps dangling with no one in the harness. A helicopter
followed the parachute to the ground and confirmed it to be empty.
Major Lundy's aircraft exploded on impact and burned with its
ordnance detonating. There was no radio, beeper, or beacon from
him. Ground forces attempted to enter the crash site that day but
were driven off by hostile fire in the area. Major Lundy was
declared killed in action, body not recovered, in December 1970.
Over the past two years there have been over 20 reports asserting
Major Lundy was alive and held at various locations in different
countries to include Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and with no location
specified. No hard evidence has surfaced that Major Lundy survived
his downing and was alive after that point. A photograph allegedly
depicting Major Lundy with two other purported POWs alive in
Cambodia in 1990 was determined by DIA to be a hoax.
Laos Park G. Bunker
On December 30, 1970, Captain Bunker was the pilot of an O-1
aircraft on a visual reconnaissance mission over Xieng Khouang
Province. His aircraft was hit by hostile ground fire and crashed.
Captain Bunker contacted his forward air controller and advised he
was on the ground approximately five kilometers west of a lake and
did not know the location of his observer. His last radio
transmission was "I'm hit at least five times, for all practical
purposes I am dead." Beeper signals continued for approximately
three minutes after his last transmission before going silent.
Airborne search and rescue forces arrived and located a body face
down approximately 10 meters from Captain Bunker's aircraft. It
appeared to be the body of Captain Bunker and had suffered a head
wound with the body riddled with wounds from the waist up. Heavy
hostile ground fire drove off the SAR force. In December 1970
Captain Bunker was declared killed in action, body not recovered.
In 1972, the Army Attache Office's Exploitation Team (Project 5310-
03-E) reported information from a source about a December 1971
crash site in Xieng Khouang Province. The source reported a
charred body and arm were at the crash site. This report was
placed in Captain Bunker's file due to the proximity of his crash
site to the crash site reported by the source. In 1975, the
Exploitation Team forwarded information from a source describing
wreckage and two skeletons in this same area. Another source
described having been told by the Pathet Lao that one American and
one Thai were killed. The remains were still lying on the ground
in July 1974.
In 1982, the Joint Casualty Resolution Center forward information
from sources about the crash of U.S. aircraft in Xieng Khouang
Province during either 1968 or 1969. These reports were also
placed in Captain Bunker's file due to the coincidence in crash
site. The last report received in 1988 offered hearsay information
about a shoot down in 1968 or 1969 in which an American and a Hmong
had died and were buried nearby.
Over water Donald M. Cramer
On January 5, 1971, Chief Warrant Officer Cramer and Specialist
Fourth Class Ronnie V. Rogers departed from the Hue/Phu Bai Air
Field to conduct a test of CWO Cramer's AH-1G Cobra helicopter
aircraft armament system. He had been cleared to test his weapons
in a free fire zone south southeast of Fire Support Base Normandy.
He was last reported in a coastal area of Thua Thien Province
approximately 20 kilometers east of the air field. Flying weather
at the time was judged to be poor and there was no radio
communications with him after takeoff. He did not return from the
weapon's system test and both crewmen were declared missing.
On January 8, 1971, the body of Specialist Rogers were located on
the beach in the general area where the AH-1G was last known to be
operating. An autopsy determined the cause of his death was due to
Returning U.S. POWs had no information about the fate of CW2
Cramer. In June 1973 he was declared dead/body not recovered,
based on a presumptive finding of death.
South Vietnam John T. Strawn
Rodney D. Osborne
Harold L. Algaard
Richard J. Hentz
Michael W. Marker
On March 4, 1971, a JU-21A with a crew of five departed South
Vietnam on an intelligence gathering mission in the area of the
Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Vietnam. Contact was
lost with the aircraft, it did not return from its mission, and the
crew was initially declared missing. A search effort to locate the
missing aircraft and crew failed to locate them along its known
flight path and the aircrew was declared missing.
On March 4, 1971, a People's Army of Vietnam unit in the area of
the Demilitarized Zone radioed it had launched one of its surface
to air missiles and had shot down an unidentified aircraft it had
been tracking. It also reported that the aircraft had crashed and
the five crewmen on board were dead. U.S. intelligence analysis of
the North Vietnamese reports about the aircraft's flight path and
crash location indicated the aircraft crashed approximately two
miles inside the DMZ in Quang Tri Province. Further analysis
indicated the aircraft was shot down after the JU-21A's last radio
transmission. Based on the flight path and circumstances of the
North Vietnamese report, it was correlated to the loss of this air
crew and its aircraft.
Following the loss, the Vietnam News Agency reported that a U.S.
aircraft had been downed in Quang Binh Province killing many of the
men on board. This report was believed also associated with this
air loss. In addition, U.S. intelligence obtained a wire photo
disseminated by the Vietnam News Agency showing aircraft wreckage
in Quang Tri Province on March 4, 1971. U.S. analysis in
conjunction with the aircraft's manufacturer determined the
wreckage was of a U-21 and probably related to the wreckage of the
missing flight. Unidentified notes in the files indicate this
photograph may not have been provided to the next of kin because it
wasn't asked for and because of indecision about how to declassify
a 21 year old wirephoto. After the Vietnamese reports of their
shoot down of an aircraft and the death of its crew, the U.S. Army
declared the crew had been killed in action, body not recovered.
In late June and early July 1992, a joint U.S./Vietnamese team
visited the area of the reported JU-21A crash site in Gio Linh
District. Witnesses were interviewed who claimed to have visited
the crash site during the war and reported seeing 4-5 remains at
the site. The remains were reportedly placed in a nearby bomb
crater and covered. Aircraft wreckage was located at the crash
site as well as items of personal equipment. There were
differences in first hand and hearsay accounts of the locations of
the bodies but the sum of the information was that the individuals
had died and their remains buried in the area. Joint Task Force
Full Accounting has recommended the site for excavation.
Laos Randolph J. Ard
Sheldon J. Burnett
On March 7, 1971, Warrant Officer Ard and Lieutenant Colonel
Burnett were with two other U.S. soldiers on an H-58 ostensively on
a transport mission over South Vietnam. The aircraft was hit by
hostile machine gun fire while at an altitude of 250-300 feet and
crashed three kilometers from Ban Houay San Airfield, Savannakhet
Province, Laos. After action reports indicate the aircraft was
attempting to recover U.S. wounded in Laos when it was hit by
The two Army crew members who escaped the crash site reported that
prior to leaving the site, Warrant Officer Ard had both legs
broken, several bullet wounds and possibly a crushed hip.
Lieutenant Colonel Burnett was bleeding from the head, neck, arms
and was speaking incoherently. The site was taking incoming 155mm
artillery fire, shrapnel from exploding rounds was hitting the
aircraft after it crash landed, there was incoming rocket fire onto
their position and People's Army of Vietnam forces were approaching
their crashed aircraft.
On March 18, 1971, South Vietnamese Army forces recaptured the area
and were unable to locate any sign of the two U.S. officers. They
reported the entire area showed clear evidence of the extremely
heavy fighting which had taken place in the area which was within
the Operation Lamson 719 area of tactical operations. North
Vietnamese prisoners later interviewed in South Vietnam reported
sightings of U.S. POWs being escorted north along the Ho Chi Minh
Trail but none could be correlated to these two missing officers.
Neither officer was ever reported alive in the northern Vietnamese
prison system. Both individuals were reported missing and in May
1979 were declared dead/body not recovered.
South Vietnam Clive G. Jeffs
See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.
Laos Barton S. Creed
On March 13, 1971, Lieutenant Creed was leading a flight of A-7E
aircraft on a strike mission in Tchepone District of southern
Savannakhet Province, Laos, along road segment 99B. Pulling out
of a strafing run on a truck his aircraft was hit in the mid-
section by hostile ground fire and Lieutenant Creed ejected. A
forward air controller saw a parachute deploy and soon established
radio contact with Lieutenant Creed on the ground from whom he
learned Creed had a broken arm, broken leg and was losing
consciousness. Creed last reported that "they are here" and his
radio beeper went silent twenty seconds later. The FAC, receiving
small arms fire from the ground, heard no further transmission from
Lieutenant Creed. Four SAR attempts were unsuccessful and SAR
personnel observed someone had moved Lieutenant Creed's parachute
to a new location. U.S. forces were aware this was a common
practice by hostile forces attempting to lure search and rescue
forces into a trap.
Lieutenant Creed was initially reported missing and later declared
dead/body not recovered. He was not seen alive in the northern
Vietnamese prison system. One returning POW reported being shown
the identity card of someone with a one syllable name which had
"EE" in the name and which may have been the ID card of Lieutenant
Laos John M. Sparks
Richard M. Garcia
Frederick L. Cristman
On March 19, 1971, Chief Warrant Officer Cristman and his crew were
in an armed helicopter on a mission to provide fire support during
the pick up of South Vietnamese airborne troops at Fire Support
Base Alpha in Savannakhet Province, Laos. Their helicopter was hit
by heavy automatic weapons fire and was forced to make an emergency
landing. One of the crewmen, Specialist 4th Class Langenour, was
pushed out of the aircraft by Sp5 Garcia and he was able to reach
a group of nearby South Vietnamese troops. He was told by one of
the troops that the other crewmen had exited the aircraft and
headed away from the front of it into the path of advancing North
Vietnamese forces. Specialist Langenour later walked out of Laos
with the South Vietnamese soldiers. U.S. aircrews flying overhead
after the crash landing did not see the three missing airmen escape
from the aircraft.
In September 1973 a People's Army of Vietnam defector reported his
battalion engaged South Vietnamese Army forces in Laos conducting
Operation Lamson 719. They captured an injured helicopter pilot
who was taken to nearby field hospital B-7 where he later died.
Other crewmen from the downed helicopter were found dead and
buried. The defector identified a photograph of CW2 Christmas as
resembling the individual captured alive by his battalion.
In March 1987 a private American POW hunter reported a live
American in Laos. The background of the purported American
correlates to a crewman from this incident.
None of the three crewmen from this incident were reported alive in
the northern Vietnamese prison system. All were initially reported
missing in action and in October 1978 were declared dead/body not
South Vietnam Manuel R. Puentes
R D McDonnell
Richard J. Rossano
On March 25, 1971, Private First Class Puentes, Staff Sergeant
McDonell, and Private First Class Rossano were members of a twelve
man patrol from the 23rd Infantry Division operating in Quang Tri
Province. They had gone to check an area of hostile bunkers when
they were ambushed. PFC Rossano was reportedly the first hit by an
exploding grenade and he fell to the ground covered with blood.
PFC Puentes was also wounded and when last seen was attempting to
seek cover. Sergeant McDonell was apparently killed instantly when
a grenade exploded in his hand.
Following the ambush the three men were not located and they were
initially declared missing in action. In June 1971, Sergeant
McDonell and PFC Rossano were declared killed in action, body not
recovered. In August 1978, PFC Puentes was declared killed in
action, body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of
death. Returning U.S. POWs had no information on their precise
South Vietnam Isaako F. Malo
James A. Champion
On April 23, 1971, a six man radio relay team was inserted into a
landing zone in the area of the village of A Luoi in western Thua
Thien Province. The team came under intense hostile ground fire
and efforts were made to extract the team. Two helicopters were
shot down by hostile ground fire during the extraction attempt.
The helicopter crewmen and radio relay team members all came under
extremely heavy hostile ground fire and became widely dispersed.
On board one of the helicopters were members of L Company, 75th
Ranger Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, including PFC Malo and
PFC Malo was last seen by survivors on April 24th and was wounded
that day after a close-in air strike by a U.S. Cobra helicopter
which apparently wounded two of the survivors. PFC Champion was
last seen on the morning of April 25th when he left to look for
water. One of the survivors later heard small arms fire from the
area where PFC Champion had first gone. A ground search of the
area during April 25-30, 1971, failed to locate either of the
missing soldiers. This included a psychological warfare operations
aircraft which conducted broadcasts over the early during April 25-
28, calling on PFC's Malo and Champion to go to the landing zone
for pick-up. Neither soldier came to the landing zone.
PFC Malo was captured by Vietnam People's Army forces and taken to
North Vietnam. He was repatriated during Operation Homecoming in
March 1973. During his debriefing he stated he never saw PFC
Champion in captivity.
PFC Champion was declared missing in action at the time of his loss
incident. In 1978 he was declared killed in action, body not
recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.
Laos Walter H. Sigafoos, III
Jeffrey C. Lemon
On April 25, 1971, Captain Lemon and First Lieutenant Sigafoos were
the crew in an F-4D on an operational mission over Saravan
Province, Laos. Their escort marked a truck target for them and
their aircraft went in to attack the target. Crew in another
aircraft on the scene observed a large explosion of their apparent
crash but due to darkness were unable to observe any parachutes.
They flew over the area of the crash which was a large fire and
several smaller ones with flames shooting several hundred feet into
the sky and smoking reaching 8500 feet. A search of a 15 mile
radius of their crash site failed to disclose any evidence of
either beepers or survivors. Both airmen were declared missing in
After this loss incident, a North Vietnamese unit reported two
aircraft may have been shot down, an OV-10 and an F-4. These shoot
downs were believed to pertain to the Ban Karai Pass area in
Khammouane Province which is well to the north of this loss
incident. A pilot was reportedly captured. A report from an North
Vietnamese Army unit on May 8, 1972, reported that 37mm anti-
aircraft guns had fired on an F-4, the pilot had been shot at while
coming down on a white parachute, and the pilot was dead. The F-4
portion of these two reports were placed in the intelligence files
of those associated with this loss incident.
Early in 1972, a North Vietnamese Army soldier assigned to a
People's Army of Vietnam logistical element in Saravan Province
reported to a U.S. Army Attache Exploitation Team in Vientiane,
Laos that a U.S. jet had been shot down near the village of Ban Bac
in 1971. Two pilots on board the aircraft had been reportedly
killed and People's Army of Vietnam soldiers said they recovered
the watches from the two bodies. This report was believed to
possibly correlate to this loss incident. U.S. POWs who returned
during Operation Homecoming were unable to provide any information
on the precise fate of this air crew. After Operation Homecoming
the two crewmen were declared dead/body not recovered, based on a
presumptive finding of death.
In December 1982, the Defense Intelligence Agency received
information from an American citizen claiming to know about live
U.S. POWs in Vietnam. The individual was interviewed by the U.S.
Air Force Office of Special Investigations. The individual stated
he knew of 19 American POWs alive in Vietnam. He provided the
names of seven of the 19, one of whom was Captain Jeffrey C. Lemon,
and described a recent visit to Vietnam. U.S. investigators noted
that the seven names provided were the last seven U.S. servicemen
declared dead in 1982 and believed the names he provided was taken
from publicly available information for reasons which were unclear.
The source provided no other POW/MIA information.
South Vietnam Lewis C. Walton
Klaus Y. Bingham
James M. Luttrell
On May 3, 1971, Team Asp, a long range reconnaissance patrol from
the 5th Special Forces Group, was landed in Quang Nam Province,
South Vietnam. The team included three American Staff Sergeants
and five Vietnamese from the U.S. Army Vietnam Training Advisory
Group. Fifteen minutes after landing the team keyed its
transmitter once but, in keeping with established procedures, did
not establish voice contact with friendly forces.
On May 5, 1971, two pilots saw mirror and panel signals and later
observed two individuals in green fatigue uniforms move the panels.
Efforts to enter the area on May 7th were met by hostile fire and
the search team found enemy bunkers just off the team's landing
zone. Another rescue team landed in the area on May 14th but was
unable to locate a members of the team.
One American POW returned alive during Operation Homecoming
reported intercepting a radio broadcast that "Walton and Entrican"
were captured. This comment was equated to a possible reference to
Sergeant Walton. No returning POWs were able to provide any
information about the presence of either individual in the northern
The three servicemen were initially declared missing and in the
late 1970s were declared dead/body not recovered.
In August 1991 Joint Task Force Full Accounting team members
interviewed witnesses in Vietnam in an attempt to learn the fate of
this team. The Team was told about a firefight in the area of the
team's last known location on approximately July 7, 1971 during
which six "enemy" were reported killed. The Task Force included
this information in the casualty files of those involved in this
South Vietnam David P. Soyland
See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.
South Vietnam Danny D. Entrican
See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.
South Vietnam Madison A. Strohlein
See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.
Laos Daniel W. Thomas
Donald G. Carr
On July 6, 1971, First Lieutenant Thomas was the pilot of an OV-10
on a forward air control mission over Attopeu Province. On board
with him was Captain Carr, deputy commander of the Military
Assistance Command Studies and Observation Group element at Nakhon
Phanom, Thailand, a passenger on the OV-10 for an orientation
flight. They did not make radio contact at 1700 hours, did not
return from their mission, and were declared missing.
Their flight coincided with an area of ground operations of Team
Hoang Loi, a Vietnamese led cross-border operations team from
MACSOG's base at Kontum, South Vietnam, which had been inserted
into the J-9 target area in Laos and in the vicinity of enemy Base
Area 613. The team was extracted from its operating area and
returned safely at approximately 1630 hours. Upon its return it
reported hearing an explosion or impact northeast of their location
at about 1600 hours. This coincided with the time and general area
where the OV-10 was last believed to be located. A search of the
area failed to disclose any evidence of the aircraft or its crew.
Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information on
either Captain Carr or Lieutenant Thomas. After Operation
Homecoming they were declared dead/body not recovered, based on a
presumptive finding of death.
During 1991, photographs of a German national were correlated by
various individuals to be Captain Donald Carr. Defense Department
analysis of the information led to a conclusion that the photograph
and report that Captain Carr was alive was a hoax.
South Vietnam John W. Kennedy
On August 16, 1971, Second Lieutenant Kennedy was the pilot of an
O-2 light observation aircraft which took off from Chu Lai Air Base
for a visual reconnaissance over Tien Phuoc District, Quang Tin
Province. He never returned from his mission and was declared
missing. A search and rescue effort failed to locate either him or
his aircraft. The area over which Lieutenant Kennedy was flying
was an area of known heavy enemy presence.
U.S. POWs who returned during Operation Homecoming had no
information on his precise fate.
In July 1974, a U.S. Army officer formerly assigned to Advisory
Team 16 in the area of Lieutenant Kennedy's disappearance wrote
after the fact to report having received an intelligence report
about the existence of a U.S. POW in Tien Phuoc District at the
time Lieutenant Kennedy disappeared. He also recalled that the
People's Army of Vietnam 31st Regiment was operating in the area
where, and at the time, Lieutenant Kennedy was lost. In July 1978,
Lieutenant Kennedy was declared dead/body not recovered, based on
a presumptive finding of death.
In December 1989, U.S. intelligence received a report about an
American POW named "Jack Kennedy" and "Bunkquee." The name
"Bunkquee" appeared to be a corruption for the name "Bunkqueer,"
the name of a non-existent individual associated with fraudulent
dog tag reporting emanating from Vietnam. This report was placed
in Lieutenant Kennedy's file due to the last name correlation to
the name "Jack Kennedy."
In April 1992, a joint U.S./Vietnamese team traveled to the area of
a reported crash site in Tien Phuoc District where a light
observation aircraft had reportedly landed in 1970 or 1971. The
pilot reportedly died in the incident and his remains were buried
nearby but had been dug up by private persons in November 1991.
The team surveyed the crash site and a purported original burial
site. The team was later told the remains had disappeared from the
individual who possessed the recovered remains.
In September 1992, another joint team revisited the area and
received hearsay information about a crash site in the area of
Lieutenant Kennedy's loss. The aircraft pilot had reportedly died
in the crash and his body had been recovered and buried.
Laos Leroy J. Cornwell
Andrew Ivan, Jr.
On September 10, 1971, Captains Cornwell and Ivan were the crew of
an F-4D which crashed in Xieng Khouang Province while on an
operational mission in the Barrel Roll operating area. One
parachute and probable F-4 aircraft wreckage was located in an area
approximately 29 kilometers northeast of Phone Savan and four
kilometers east of Route 7. Their wingman established
communications with Captain Cornwell but neither crewman was
recovered and both were declared missing in action.
Color photography of the crash site suggested the wreckage was
burning over a widely spread area. A 37mm anti-aircraft gun
position was within 300 meters of the crash site and weapons three
positions fired on SAR forces.
Returning U.S. POWs had no information on the precise fate of the
two crewmen. After Operation Homecoming both were declared killed
in action, body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of
Laos Scott W. McIntire
On December 10, 1971, Lieutenant Colonel McIntire and his aircraft
commander, Major Robert E. Belli, were in one of two F-105G
aircraft on a mission over the Mu Gia Pass in support of a B-52
strike. They expended two AGM-45 missiles against enemy Fan Song
radar which had acquired their aircraft. Their aircraft was then
hit by a surface to air missile, the explosion coming to the rear
of LTC McIntire and of sufficient force that it rendered Major
Belli, in front of LTC McIntire, initially unconscious. Major
Belli ejected both himself and LTC McIntire. Major Belli was
rescued by search and rescue aircraft but LTC McIntire could not be
located. Major Belli's rescue, because of the extreme difficulty
in rescuing someone from this high threat area, became a feature
article in the Stars & Stripes military newspaper.
On December 11, 1971, a search and rescue helicopter located LTC
McIntire handing limp in his parachute in a tall tree. A flight
surgeon on the aircraft stated LTC McIntire appeared lifeless and
stated his professional view that the conditions of weather and the
position of the body after hanging suspended for 20 hours indicated
LTC McIntire would have died of hypothermia within six hours and
was probably dead on December 11th. Heavy groundfire drove off the
SAR aircraft before LTC McIntire could be recovered.
LTC McIntire was not reported alive in the northern Vietnamese
prison system and his remains have not been recovered. He was
initially declared missing and in May 1972 was declared dead/body
North Vietnam Lawrence G. Stolz
Dale F. Koons
On December 26, 1971, Captain Stolz and First Lieutenant Koons
departed Ubon Air Base, Thailand, the number three F-4D in a flight
of four on a strike mission against the Thanh Hoa storage complex
in the area of Thanh Hoa City, Thanh Hoa Province. The flight
became separated in the target area and Captain Stolz aircraft was
last seen pulling up into the overcast approximately 1-2 miles from
their target. They did not rejoin the flight. An aerial search
for the aircraft and its crew failed to locate them and the crew
was declared missing.
On December 27, 1971, the Vietnam News Agency reported that an F-4
had been shot down over Thanh Hoa on December 27th. The article
implied that both crewmen had become casualties and both their
names and pictures of their burned identity cards. In November
1972, photographs of their identity cards appeared in the North
Vietnamese published English language "Vietnam" magazine.
During the Operation Homecoming debriefing of repatriated POWs, two
returnees described having seen their burned identity cards in a
North Vietnamese magazine and read that Captain Stolz was dead.
Several returnees also reported hearing the name "Koons" and saw
the name "Koons, Dale" scratched into the wall at their POW camp.
DIA investigation determined the source of this was an American
civilian, Bobby Joe Keese, for reasons which were unclear.
After Operation Homecoming they were declared killed in action,
body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.
In March 1973, a former member of the People's Army of Vietnam
described two graves he'd seen in February 1972 in Thanh Hoa
Province. The pilots were reportedly shot down and died in
December 1971. The graves were in the general area of this loss
The remains of Dale F. Koons were repatriated by Vietnam in April