MIA Facts Site

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

Over water Frederick L. Holmes
(1793)

On December 30, 1971, Lieutenant Commander Holmes and his co-pilot,
Lieutenant Burton, were the lead A-6 aircraft in a strike mission
over North Vietnam. Their aircraft was observed to take a direct
hit from a surface to air missile. Lieutenant Burton was wounded,
blown clear of the aircraft and his parachute deployed
successfully. Another aircraft on the scene reported seeing two
good chutes deploy, but this report was later viewed as not
confirmed. A search and rescue aircraft then reported both pilots
in sight and in the water off Hon Nieu Island. Lieutenant Burton
was rescued by U.S. forces. SAR forces located a pilot's ejection
seat and life raft possibly belonging to Lieutenant Commander
Holmes but were unable to locate either him or his chute in an area
with a large number of North Vietnamese sampans.

A Radio Hanoi broadcast referenced this incident, one of several
U.S. aircraft losses on the same date in the southern part of North
Vietnam. While some pilots were reported captured alive,
Lieutenant Commander Holmes' name was not identified among those
captured. One returning POW recognized Lieutenant Commander
Holmes' name but no returning POWs ever reported him alive in the
northern Vietnamese prison system.

In April 1975 Lieutenant Commander Holmes case was submitted for a
casualty review at the request of his next of kin. He was declared
dead/body not recovered.



South Vietnam James F. Worth
(1810)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



South Vietnam Wayne L. Bolte
Anthony R. Giannangeli
Charles A. Lewis
Henry M. Serex
Robin F. Gatwood
(1811)

On April 2, 1972, an EB-66 from Korat Air Base, Thailand, was on an
electronic countermeasure mission over North Vietnam. At
approximately 0850 hours an F-105 pilot in the area observed a
surface to air missile fired from the vicinity of the Demilitarized
Zone separating North and South Vietnam which hit the EB-66, code
name Bat 21. The EB-66 was then seen to be trailing flames from
both wings and crash into Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. No
one was seen to eject from the aircraft but a single beeper was
heard.

Later, voice contact was established with Lieutenant Colonel Iceal
E. Hambleton, the lone survivor, and he was rescued 12 days later.
He had no information that any other crewmen had survived. He
described how the surface to air missile struck below and behind
the navigator in the area of the aircraft's forward compartment.
He saw Major Bolte after the hit but did not know if he was able to
eject. All other crewmen were declared missing in action.

After the loss of the RB-66, a Vietnam People's Army unit reported
three missiles had been fired and "struck" a target. Orange
parachutes were reported. On April 2, 1972, Vietnamese radio
reported that the People's Army had fired missiles and hit a B-52
in the Vinh Linh Special Zone area and other aircraft had fled.
Another report from Hanoi in English on April 5th reported the
aircraft had burst into flames and exploded.

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



South Vietnam Ronald P. Paschall
Byron K. Kulland
John W. Frink
(1812)

On April 2, 1972, a UH-1H helicopter from the 1st Signal Brigade
with four men on-board was on a direct combat support mission near
Quang Tri City, Quang Tri Province. While searching for the crew
of a downed U.S. Air Force aircraft, the helicopter was hit by
hostile small arms fire and crashed. An airborne SAR mission
failed to locate any survivors and the crew was declared missing in
action.

In April 1972, a former People's Army of Vietnam sergeant reported
the downing of a helicopter on April 1, 1972, which crashed near an
anti-aircraft gun position in the vicinity of this loss incident.
The crew was believed to have been killed in the crash. In another
report, a former People's Army soldier reported sighting an
American POW in April 1972 who was being escorted by nurses near
the Ben Hai River in Quang Tri Province. The American was captured
from an aircraft shot down by People's Army forces.

In March 1973, surviving crewman Jose M. Astorga was repatriated
alive during Operation Homecoming. He reported that hostile fire
hit their helicopter's fuel cell which exploded, engulfing their
helicopter in flames. He believed all other crewmen died in the
ensuing fire and crash, and neither he nor any other returning POWs
had any knowledge that any other crewmen survived into captivity.
After Operation Homecoming, the other crewmen were declared killed
in action, body not recovered based on a presumptive finding of
death.



South Vietnam Douglas L. Neil
Allen D. Christiansen
Edward W. Williams
Larry A. Zich
(1814)

On April 3, 1972, CW2 Zich and three other servicemen were on board
a UH1H helicopter on an in-country flight in the area of Quang Tri
City, Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. The aircraft never
returned from its mission and there were no initial reports of the
aircraft's possible crash site. They were initially declared
missing in action.

In July 1974 U.S. intelligence received hearsay information on a
helicopter crash site and dead crew which might have correlated to
this incident;however, this incident was approximately 20
kilometers from the suspect area of loss. In January 1980 another
report was received about the explosion of a helicopter and the
location of remains associated with its crew but it could not be
specifically correlated to this loss incident.

There were no reports from returning U.S. POWs that CW2 Zich or
other crewmen had been seen alive in captivity. After the end of
hostilities all were declared dead/body not recovered.



North Vietnam Thomas E. Dunlop
(1816)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.




South Vietnam Howard B. Lull
Richard S. Schott
(1819)

On April 7, 1972, Sergeant First Class Lull was one of seven
Americans from Advisory Team 47 and one French national present at
An Loc City, Binh Long Province, when forces of the South
Vietnamese Army's 9th Regiment, 5th Infantry Division, were
attacked and overrun by tank led forces of the Vietnam People's
Army. Both Sergeant Lull and Colonel Schott were initially
reported missing in action. The French national with the Americans
was released shortly after capture. He was able to confirm
captivity of those Americans with him but was unable to establish
the fate of Sergeant Lull and Lt. Colonel Schott.

Returning U.S. POWs repatriated in February 1973 reported that
Lieutenant Colonel Schott was last seen on April 7th and in
circumstances where he appeared to be dead. Sergeant First Class
Lull was believed captured on April 8th.

In February 1973, a member of the South Vietnamese Army captured on
April 9th and repatriated in February 1973 reported that Sergeant
Lull evaded capture and reached a South Vietnamese Army post
approximately 13 kilometers to the south of where his team was
overrun. There he was reportedly killed in a Viet Cong ambush.
The former commander of the South Vietnamese Army's 9th Infantry
Regiment stated that both Colonel Schott and Sergeant Lull died in
their bunker.

In December 1988, U.S. intelligence personnel interviewed two
former South Vietnamese Army personnel who participated in the
lifting of the siege of An Loc. They described having been present
when An Loc was retaken and the bodies of those killed were
collected and buried in a mass grave. They stated that the bodies
included the partially decomposed bodies of two Americans, a
Lieutenant Colonel and a non-commissioned officer, possibly a
Sergeant First Class.

During the post hostilities review of the cases of those carried as
missing in action, Sergeant Lull and Colonel Schott were declared
dead/body not recovered. Neither individual was seen alive in
captivity by other U.S. POWs captured at An Loc.



South Vietnam Bruce C. Walker
Larry W. Potts
(1820)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



Laos Scott D. Ketchie
(1824)

On the evening of April 9, 1972, First Lieutenant Ketchie was the
Navigator in an A-6A which took off from the U.S.S. Coral Sea for
a strike mission over lines and communications and supply points in
the area of Tchepone, Savannakhet Province. After his second run
against a target of five trucks, he departed the target area and
was at an altitude of 12,000 feet when his aircraft was hit in its
aft section by hostile anti-aircraft fire. His aircraft caught on
fire and began to spin. The pilot directed Lieutenant Ketchie to
eject. The pilot ejected but neither saw nor had contact with
Lieutenant Ketchie from the time of the eject order and up to the
time the aircraft crashed. The crash site was in the Steel Tiger
east operational area east-northeast of Tchepone and near Vietnam's
Demilitarized Zone.

The pilot, Major Smith, landed approximately 40 yards from the
crash site of their aircraft and remained in place for four days
until rescued. He never was able to establish any contact with
Lieutenant Ketchie. One U.S. search aircraft overhead in contact
with the surviving pilot "thought" he saw two parachutes on the
ground but this was not confirmed by any other source. Maj. Smith
was able to hear the sound of people in the area and coordinated
air strikes on them. On one occasion, a BLU-52 canister of gas was
dropped on the area by search and rescue forces and Major Smith was
himself gassed. Search and rescue forces searched the area for
Lieutenant Ketchie but were unable to locate any evidence of him
through the time the pilot was rescued.

On April 9, 1972, a Vietnam People's Army unit reported having hit
an aircraft, the pilot had parachuted out, and search teams had
been sent to capture the pilot. On April 10, 1972, a unit reported
it had downed an aircraft and the pilot had been killed. A second
aircraft was also reported shot down and the unit said it heard an
aircraft was shot down on March 30th. Another report on April 10th
stated a pilot had been captured. These reports were believed to
possibly be associated with Lieutenant Ketchie's loss incident and
were placed in his file.

Lieutenant Ketchie was initially reported missing in action.
Returning U.S. POWs had no information on his precise fate. After
Operation Homecoming he was declared dead/body not recovered, based
on a presumptive finding of death.



South Vietnam Robert W. Brownlee, Jr.
(1834)

On April 24, 1972, Lieutenant Colonel Brownlee was with Advisory
Team 22 together with the South Vietnamese Army's 47th Regiment at
a base designated Dak To II in Kontum Province. The position came
under heavy hostile attack and Colonel Brownlee withdrew from Dak
To II together with Captain Charles W. Creen and a South Vietnamese
Army interpreter, Sergeant Cao Ky Chi. Fording the nearby Poko
River, both Captain Creen and Sergeant Chi were swept downstream
and temporarily separated from Colonel Brownlee who reached the
south bank of the Poko River and began climbing a hill.

After successfully evading, Sergeant Chi related that he had
reached the south bank of the Poko River and heard People's Army of
Vietnam troops call out in Vietnamese to halt. He observed South
Vietnamese Army soldier approximately 100 meters away raise their
hands but had no personal knowledge of the fate of Colonel
Brownlee.

South Vietnamese personnel repatriated during Operation Homecoming
provided several hearsay accounts during 1973-1974 in an effort by
the Defense Attache Office, Saigon, to learn Colonel Brownlee's
fate. These accounts, all attributed to different South Vietnamese
Army prisoner sources, stated that Colonel Brownlee had committed
suicide prior to capture. None of these accounts could be
verified.

One returning U.S. POW, Captain Reeder, knew Colonel Brownlee had
been at Dak To II and knew him to be the senior district advisor
but had no knowledge of his fate. Captain Reeder had also heard an
account traced to a 42nd Regiment doctor that Colonel Brownlee was
dead, but Captain Reeder did not find the source to be reliable.

No returning U.S. POW was able to provide any information on
Colonel Brownlee's precise fate. In November 1978 he was declared
dead/body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.

In May 1985, the Joint Casualty Resolution Center received a report
that a worker in the Dak To area had found human remains there.
This report was replaced in Colonel Brownlee's file.



North Vietnam Joseph W. McDonald
(1842)

On May 3, 1972, Lieutenant McDonald and Captain David Williams were
the crewmen in the second A-6A aircraft in a flight of two on a
mission over Dong Hoi, Quang Binh Province. Their last
transmission was that they expected to be over water in two
minutes. This was after they had already finished attacking their
target. Their IFF beacon transponder was located well out to sea
after an extensive search. The search was terminated on May 5,
1972. There was no sighting of either the aircraft or crew. Both
individuals were initially declared missing. Both were declared
dead/body not recovered, after Operation Homecoming.

In June 1989 Vietnam repatriated the remains which were approved as
those of David Williams.

A U.S. team in Vietnam located archival documents reporting the
shoot down of a U.S. aircraft on May 3, 1972 in which the "air
pirates were torn apart." This incident is the only aircraft loss
in the area on that date.


North Vietnam Dennis E. Wilkinson
Jeffrey L. Harris
(1848)

On May 10, 1972, Harris and Wilkinson were the crewmen of an F-4E
en route to Yen Bai Airfield. They were engaged by hostile MIG
aircraft. Eye witnesses reported their aircraft wing and left fuel
tank was hit by cannon fire, and they did not acknowledge radio
transmissions to them. After being hit their aircraft made no
evasive maneuver, went into a steep dive and twenty seconds later
impacted in an area of rolling hills.

They were initially reported missing in action and both were
declared dead/body not recovered, in May 1973. Neither was
reported by U.S. returning POWs to have been alive in the northern
Vietnamese prison system. Wilkinson's remains were repatriated in
August 1978.



North Vietnam William W. Bancroft, Jr.
(1675)

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. His aircraft suddenly exploded while approximately 500 feet
above the grown. His aircraft crashed tail first and then there
was an all consuming explosion. There were no chutes or beepers.

Lieutenant Bancroft was initially reported missing and his status
was changed to killed in action, body not recovered, on November
21, 1970. Returning U.S. POWs did not report him alive with other
U.S. POWs in the northern Vietnamese prison system.



South Vietnam Rodney L. Strowbridge
Robert J. Williams
(1855)

On May 11, 1972, Captains Strowbridge and Williams were the crew in
an AH-1G helicopter, one in a flight of three providing air
operations support to South Vietnamese Army forces heavily engaged
by hostile units in the siege of An Loc town, Binh Long Province,
now renamed Song Be Province. Their helicopter was hit in the tail
boom and the boom was immediately severed, possibly by a surface to
air missile. Their helicopter went into a flat spin and crashed
but no one saw the actual crash. Heavy anti-aircraft fire
precluded a search of the crash site area.

Both airmen were declared missing in action. One returnee stated
he heard the name Robert J. Williams in the POW communications
system but Captain Williams was not seen or reported alive by any
returning POW. After Operation Homecoming the two crewmen were
declared killed in action, body not recovered, based on a
presumptive finding of death.

In September 1974, the Joint Casualty Resolution Center reported a
crash site associated with a 1972 aircraft downing. The remains of
a pilot were reportedly buried nearby. In 1983 and 1984, JCRC
received further reporting about aircraft wreckage associated with
remains in the area of their crash. In July 1987, a source
reported dog-tag information associated with Robert J. Williams and
reported his remains were in Bo Trach District, Quang Binh
Province. In May 1991, another source previously incarcerated at
the Tong Le Chan reeducation camp provided dog tag information with
the name Robert Williams and asserted his remains were in Song Be
Province.



South Vietnam Larry K. Morrow
(1868)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



South Vietnam Larry J. Newman
Stanley L. Lohrke
Richard E. Nyhot
Leon A. Hunt
Jacob A. Mercer
Donald H. Klinke
Richard M. Cole
Mark A. Danielson
Gerald F. Ayers
Robert H. Harrison
Robert A. Wilson
Paul F. Gilbert
(1879)

On June 16, 1972, a C-130 escorted by three F-4 was over the A Shau
Valley, Thua Thien Province. On its second orbit over the target
it was hit by a shoulder fired SA-7 surface to air missile in the
number three engine, a small explosion occurred and the right wing
separated from the aircraft. There were another explosion and
three crewmen were blown clear of the aircraft. The aircraft, in
flames and with the right wing and probably the tail missing,
crashed, exploded and burned on impact in the A Luoi area. The
three crewmen blown from the aircraft -- Captain Gordon Bocher,
Staff Sergeant William Patterson and Second Lieutenant Robert Reid
-- were rescued. A SAR effort over the area failed to locate any
other survivors.

At the time of this loss, a Vietnam People's Army unit reported
engaging a U.S. B-52 over Quang Binh Province, the air crew
parachuted out, and all were captured. DIA believed this might
correlate to the AC-130 lost on June 18, 1972 because there were no
B-52 aircraft lost on that date.

Early in 1973, the Air Force member of the Army Attache
Exploitation Team in Laos (Project 5800-09-5) obtained information
from a People's Army soldier in Laos concerning the shoot down of
an AC-130 in the A Luoi area. The aircraft had been shot down by
the 36th Anti-Aircraft Battalion, Binh Tram 42. The burned remains
of six crewmen were reportedly found at the crash site. In June
1973 the Defense Attache Office in Saigon reported information from
a source about a C-130 crash at A Luoi in which all on board were
killed in the crash. Both reports were believed by DIA as possibly
associated with this loss incident and the reports were placed in
the files of the crewmen.

Since 1984, information has been received about a C-130 crash
believed correlated with this incident and has included assertions
that three crewmen were reportedly captured. Other reports have
referred to the recover of remains and there have been repeated
references to dog tag information associated with crewman Jacob E.
Mercer. In 1991 the Defense Intelligence Agency described such
reports as associated with Vietnamese intelligence service
operations.



North Vietnam James L. McCarty
(1882)

On June 24, 1972, First Lieutenants McCarty and Charles A. Jackson
were the crew of an F-4D which was engaged by six MIGs over Nghia
Lo Province and shot down by an air to air missile. Lieutenant
Jackson was captured on the ground. The second aircraft in their
flight with another two man crew, Grant and Beekman, was also
attacked by MIGs and shot down over Vinh Phu Province. The crews
of both aircraft were declared missing in action.

There were conflicting reports of contact with the crew of this
aircraft. It was later concluded that the reference to contact with
those in incident 1882 was incorrect and in fact referred to
contact on the ground with the aircrew of those in incident 1881.
First Lieutenant Jackson was captured, taught English to Vietnamese
prison system cadre in late 1972, and upon his release from
captivity during Operation Homecoming stated he did not believe
that Lieutenant McCarty had been able to eject from their aircraft.

Following the shoot down, a People's Army of Vietnam unit radioed
that its MIG-21 aircraft had downed two aircraft. U.S.
intelligence analysts later concluded that this report correctly
pertained to the shoot down of those involved in incident 1882 on
June 24th and the two crewmen from case 1882 also shot down on June
24th and captured on June 25th. On June 29, 1972, the Vietnam News
Agency reported First Lieutenant Jackson had been captured alive in
Nghia Lo Province.

Lt. McCarty was not confirmed alive in captivity. After Operation
Homecoming he was declared killed in action, body not recovered.


In December 1990, a joint U.S./Vietnamese team conducted a search
of the crash site and recovered a data plate confirmed to be from
one of the F-4D's jet engines associated with this loss incident.
In the spring of 1991, a U.S. resident turned over a bone fragment
and dog tag type information said to come from a resident of
Vietnam and pertaining to three purported MIAs said to be
associated with an incident on Dong Dang District, Cao Bang
Province, an area bordering the People's Republic of China. One of
the names was James L. McCarty. A July 5, 1991 DIA analysis
concluded the report was not true and "...part of a Vietnamese
government managed intelligence operation..."

In November 1991, a joint U.S./Vietnamese investigation gained
access to an apparent archival document describing the shoot down
of a U.S. aircraft by the People's Air Force on June 24, 1972 in
Phu Yen District, Nghia Lo Province. Charles Allen Jackson was
identified by name as captured and partial body parts were also
found. Material evidence of the air loss was recovered and turned
over to Nghia Lo Province military. Lieutenant Jackson escaped
from custody that night but was recaptured in the morning.



North Vietnam Frank C. Green, Jr.
(1895)

On July 10, 1972, an A-4F piloted by Commander Green was the lead
aircraft in a flight of two on an armed reconnaissance mission over
Thanh Hoa Province. Commander Green "rolled in on his assigned
target and his wingman saw his aircraft crash into the ground and
erupt into a large fire. Diving under overhead flare illumination,
the wingman located the crash site with a large sustained fire on
the ground. There was no evidence that anyone had survived the
crash. Commander Green was declared missing in action.

During Operation Homecoming, a returning U.S. POW stated he was
told by a guard that the guard had Commander Green. However,
Commander Green was not observed in captivity by any U.S. POWs.
In October 1978, Commander Green was declared killed in action,
body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.

In November 1985, Vietnam provided the U.S. side with information
on Commander Green but did not provide any remains.



South Vietnam Francis W. Townsend
(1908)

On August 13, 1972, First Lieutenant Townsend and Captain William
A. Gauntt were the crewmen on an RF-4C aircraft which crashed
northwest of the city of Dong Ha, Quang Tri Province, South
Vietnam. Captain Gauntt was captured by People's Army of Vietnam
forces, taken to North Vietnam and repatriated during Operation
Homecoming.

During his post-release debriefing, Captain Gauntt reported hearing
an indication that Lieutenant Townsend ejected from the aircraft.
SAR forces also reported an electronic beacon signal for fifteen
minutes from an area where Lieutenant Townsend is believed to have
probably landed. North Vietnam three times reported shoot downs in
this area, on one occasion identifying the aircraft as an RF-4C and
stating that one pilot was captured at a location which is within
three miles of the known crash site.

In January 1975 a former People's Army of Vietnam soldier reported
seeing a wounded American in captivity circa July 1972 and
suffering from head and thigh wounds, eight kilometers east of the
aircraft crash site. Because Captain Gauntt was not wounded, this
was tentatively correlated to Lieutenant Townsend.

Lieutenant Townsend was not reported by repatriated Americans as
alive in the North Vietnamese prison system. He was initially
declared mission in action and was declared dead/body not
recovered, in August 1979.



North Vietnam John R. Pitzen
Orland J. Pender
(1910)

On August 17, 1972, Commander Pitzen and Lieutenant Pender were the
crew in an F-4J from the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk providing protection
against MIG aircraft for a flight of A-6 aircraft over Kep Air
Field. During their mission and while last known in the area of
the town of Uong Bi, Quang Ninh Province, the A-6 reported that
four surface to air missile had been fired. Commander Pitzen's
aircraft disappeared from radar at 1910 hours at about the time of
an explosion at an altitude of 11,000 feet. There was no further
trace of either crewman or their aircraft.

Returning U.S. POWs had no information on their precise fate.
After Operation Homecoming they were declared killed in action,
body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.

During 1983 the Joint Casualty Resolution Center received reports
about the wartime crash of an aircraft in the area where Captain
Pitzen and Lieutenant Pender were lost. In December 1991, a joint
U.S./Vietnamese team in Vietnam visited the crash site area.
Witnesses stated that the site was associated with a 1972 shoot
down of a U.S. aircraft by a surface to air missile. Human remains
and one skeleton were found after the crash. The remains were
turned over to a local team but were later stolen.



North Vietnam Harry S. Mossman
Roderick B. Lester
(1912)

On August 20, 1972, Lieutenant Mossman and Lieutenant Lester were
the crew on board an A-6A on a night low level armed reconnaissance
mission in the area of Route 183 and near the coastal town of Cam
Pha, east-northeast of the major port of Hai Phong. Their last
radio transmission was "Let's get the hell out of here." This
message was believed to refer to the crew aborting its flight plan
because of heavy hostile fire and did not indicate they were
ejecting from their aircraft at that time. Another aircrew in the
vicinity later reported observing a flash under the thunderstorms
and overcast in the vicinity of the A-6A's flight path. The
aircrew was soon determined to be missing, and a search mission
discovered an oil slick approximately 12 miles from the last plot
and below ceiling flash. The crew's last radar fix was over the
Gulf of Tonkin after exiting over the North Vietnam coast and in an
area east of Hai Phong. Electronic search failed to locate any
evidence of the missing crew.

During Operation Homecoming, a returning POW reporting observing a
heavily bandaged and seriously injured person brought into Hoa Lo
prison after the loss incident of this aircrew. There was evidence
of the individual at Hoa Lo from September 1972 onward and it was
speculated that the wounded individual might be one of the missing
airmen from this incident. Available records fail to disclose the
identity of the wounded person.

In the late 1970s the two missing airmen were declared dead/body
not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death. Other U.S.
POWs who returned from North Vietnam were unable to provide any
information on the precise fate of the two airmen.

In late 1989, a photograph was provided the Defense Intelligence
Agency by the parents of Lieutenant Lester who were told the
wounded individual in the photograph was a possible candidate for
Lieutenant Lester. DIA confirmed the individual in the photograph
was Major Lawrence R. Bailey, lost in Laos in 1961 and repatriated
alive in August 1962.



South Vietnam William J. Crockett
Lee M. Tigner
(1913)

On August 22, 1972, Major Tigner and First Lieutenant Crockett were
the crew in an F-4H, one in a flight of four on a combat mission
over Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. Their aircraft was hit by
hostile ground fire in the right wing and the wing separated from
the aircraft. It rolled and within two to five seconds after being
hit had crashed into the ground at a speed of 450 knots, skipped,
and came to rest in the river at Quang Tri City, Quang Tri
Province. No one was seen to eject from the aircraft before it
crashed and there were no electronic beepers heard. Both crewmen
were declared killed in action, body not recovered.

Returning U.S. POWs had no information on their precise fate.
After Operation Homecoming they were declared dead/body not
recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.

In July 1974 the U.S. Army's 500th Military Intelligence Group
forwarded information from the South Vietnamese Army reporting
information that a U.S. jet aircraft had crashed during the war
approximately two kilometers west of Quang Tri City. Remains of an
American, clothing and boots were observed in the wreckage. This
report was believed to possibly correlate to this loss incident.
The site was searched on July 26, 1974, and human remains were
recovered. The area was revisited on November 6, 1974, and more
artifacts, human teeth, and aircraft parts were recovered.



Laos Richard W. Herold
(1917)
William C. Wood, Jr.
Robert R. Greenwood
(1918)

On September 2, 1972, Captain Herold and a Lao forward observer
departed Vientiane, Laos, in an O-1F to conduct visual
reconnaissance and provide forward air control in support of two F-
4E aircraft striking hostile artillery positions in Xieng Khouang
Province. In one of the F-4 aircraft was Captain Wood and Major
Greenwood.
While in the target area, an F-4 crew lost sight of Captain
Herold's aircraft but later observed a large fireball in the area
where Captain Wood's aircraft was last seen and aircraft wreckage
appeared to be falling to the ground in pieces. One fully deployed
parachute was also seen and a second unidentified object was also
observed falling at the same rate of speed. The parachute and
second object were not observed all the way to the ground. Other
debris was seen in the air and possibly two ejection seats
associated with the F-4 crew. After the incident, there was no
contact with Captain Herold. His aircraft's wreckage was located
on the ground but there was no evidence of any survivors but two
parachutes were located approximately one mile apart.

Those on the scene concluded that Captain Herold's aircraft had
collided with the F-4. The F-4's wreckage was located
approximately four kilometers from the O-1 wreckage and there were
fresh trails leading to a nearby parachute. Both F-4 crewmen were
declared missing. One initial report of one blond haired American
alive on the ground was found to be incorrect when the "blond
haired" individual turned out to be an Lao wearing a light colored
hat.

On September 26, 1972, the Pathet Lao's news service reported than
an F-4 had been shot down on September 1st over the Plain of Jars
and it was believed by U.S. intelligence analysts that this
referred to the loss of Captain Wood's aircraft.

Captain Herold was declared missing in action. Returning U.S. POWs
had no information on the three airmen involved in these two
related incidents. In January 1973 Captain Herold was declared
killed in action, body not recovered, based on a presumptive
finding of death. Captain Wood was also declared killed in action,
body not recovered, in August 1979.

In 1987 U.S. investigators located wreckage of the crash sites and
a propeller possibly associated with Captain Herold's aircraft.
Other wreckage appeared correlated to an F-4.



Over water Donald L. Gerstel
(1920)

On September 8, 1972, Lieutenant Commander Gerstel was the pilot of
an A-7B and flight leader of a flight of two aircraft from the
U.S.S. Midway on a night surveillance mission against merchant
shipping in the area of the island of Hon Nieu of the coast of
central Vietnam. Commander Gerstel's IFF identification equipment
was not functioning and his wingman's IFF marker was being used to
monitor the flight as it was being vectored toward a North
Vietnamese boat anchorage at Hon Hieu.

Commander Gerstel descended into the target area through severe
turbulence and lighting in order to determine the cloud base.
During this maneuver his aircraft was struck by lighting and he
radioed that he was "Ok" and there was "just a lot of sparks."
This was the last contact with him in an area between the islands
of Hon Nieu and Hon Mat, approximately ten kilometers of the coast
of Vietnam along the boundary of Nghe An and Ha Tinh Provinces.

Commander Gerstel was declared missing. An extensive search of the
ocean and island failed to disclose any sign of either him or his
aircraft. Returning U.S. POWs had no information on his precise
fate. In November 1978 he was declared killed in action, body not
recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.



Over water Verne G. Donelly
Kenneth R. Buell
(1924)

On September 17, 1972, Commander Donelly and Lieutenant Commander
Buell were the crew in an A-6A on a planned air strike in northern
North Vietnam. The last contact with them was at 0150 hours local
time. Seven minutes later, other airmen in the area observed an
explosion along Commander Donelly's aircraft's flight path in Hai
Hung Province, south of the port city of Hai Phong, Hai Phong
Province. The two crewmen were declared missing in action.

On September 17, 1972, Radio Hanoi reported that its forces in Hai
Hung downed an A-6 aircraft. In a separate report, a North
Vietnamese unit radioed to Hai Phong that it had captured one pilot
on the morning of September 17, 1972. In a third report, North
Vietnam reported its forces in Hai Phong and other areas had shot
down hostile aircraft during the period 15-17 September. Due to
the similarity in date of loss and loss location, these reports
were believed to possibly correlate to those involved in this loss
incident.

Returning U.S. POWs had no information on the precise fate of this
aircrew. After Operation Homecoming they were declared dead/body
not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.



Laos Roger W. Carroll
Dwight D. Cook
(1926)

On September 21, 1972, Carroll and Cook were the crew on-board an
F-4D on a combat operation over the Plain of Jars area of Xieng
Khouang Province, Laos. A forward air controller operating with
them observed them crash, apparently after being hit by hostile
antiaircraft fire. He saw no parachutes prior to or after their
aircraft impacted and heard no beepers. Both airmen were declared
missing in action.

First Lieutenant Cook's blood chit was reportedly recovered from
the crash site and sent to the Joint Personnel Recovery Center on
November 11, 1972 and there were human remains reportedly seen at
the crash site at the time the blood chit was recovered.

American POWs returning during Operation Homecoming were unable to
provide information on their precise fate. They were later
declared killed in action, body not recovered, based on a
presumptive finding of death.

In 1983, the Joint Casualty Resolution Center (JCRC) received
hearsay information of a crash site in the area of this loss
incident. In 1986 JCRC interviewed another source in Thailand who
reported having been at a crash site in Laos at the location of
this loss incident. The aircraft was scattered over a wide area.
The source reported seeing bones at the site and these were left in
place. JCRC received more reports in 1987 and 1988 describing a
crash site with human remains and artifacts. All these reports
were believed to correlate to this loss incident.



South Vietnam Daniel Borah
(1927)

See Vessey 135 Discrepancy Cases for case summary.



North Vietnam Robert D. Anderson
(1934)

On October 6, 1972, Lieutenant Colonel Anderson, pilot, and his
weapons systems officer, First Lieutenant Latella, were the crew of
an F-4E, one in a flight of four aircraft on a mission over North
Vietnam. A surface-to-air missile explosion in their area led to
a decision to depart the area. Contact with the aircraft was lost
and later reestablished with both crew members who were descending
in their parachutes. Lieutenant Latella was injured but Colonel
Anderson was not and reported no hostile ground forces below him.

On October 6, 1972, a Hanoi news release claimed six aircraft were
shot down on October 6th and a number of airmen were captured.
There were no names given but one of the areas mentioned correlated
to this aircraft downing, in fact, the only aircraft lost over
North Vietnam on October 6th.

Lieutenant Latella was captured and repatriated during Operation
Homecoming. He reported being captured immediately after landing
and had no contact with Colonel Anderson after the pilot began the
ejection sequence to bail out of their crippled aircraft.

Colonel Anderson was initially declared missing in action and was
not accounted for during Operation Homecoming. Returning POWs were
unable to confirm him alive in the northern Vietnamese prison
system. He was later declared dead/body not recovered.

A U.S. field team in Vietnam on December 10, 1990, investigated
this loss incident in Van Luong Village, Tam Thanh District.
Witnesses reported an aircraft shoot down in the area in late 1972,
the capture of one of the crew, and the sighting of human remains
in wreckage at the crash site. The U.S. team recovered artifacts
reportedly recovered from the crash site which, if valid, would
indicate that at least one person was in the aircraft when it
crashed. The case remains under investigation.



Laos John L. Carroll
(1944)

On November 7, 1972, Major Carroll was a member of Detachment 1,
56th Special Operations Wing, Udorn Air Base, Thailand, flying over
Laos in an 0-1 using the call sign Raven 20. His aircraft was hit
by hostile ground fire and crashed on a grass covered ridge in
Xieng Khouang Province. He radioed he survived the landing, was
receiving hostile small arms fire, and would stay by the aircraft.
This was the last transmission from him.

An aircraft searching for him received intense hostile small arms
fire from the area of his crash site. The pilot saw 6-7 enemy
soldiers within 100 feet of Major Carroll. Later, a SAR aircrew
came within twenty feet of the crash site and found a body under
the aircraft's wing and with a massive head wound. From all
appearances he was dead and the body appeared to be that of Major
Carroll. Hostile forces within fifty feet of the downed O-1 opened
up on the SAR aircraft and it was forced to withdraw. Based on
this evidence, in November 1972, Major Carroll was declared killed
in action, body not recovered.



North Vietnam Robert D. Morrissey
Robert M. Brown
(1945)

In the early morning hours of November 7, 1972, Majors Morrissey
and Brown took off in a camouflaged F-111 from Takhli Air Base,
Thailand, for a mission against the Luat Son highway ferry in North
Vietnam. The last contact with the aircraft was at 0306 hours and
an attempt to establish contact with them at 0400 hours was
unsuccessful. A search effort was launched and continued until
November 20th without locating any evidence of the crew or the
aircraft.

On November 8, 1972, the Vietnam News Agency reported that
according to the Reuters News Service, an F-111 was downed in Nghe
An Province and two airmen were missing. Another report on that
date stated this was the third F-111 lost over North Vietnam and
the F-111 was downed over Nghe An at 0400 hours.

On November 9, 1972, a People's Army of Vietnam unit reported the
shoot down of an F-111 which was said to have been downed in Nghe
An Province but actually had crashed in Quang Binh Province.
Another report transmitting information about the reported downing
of an F-4 on November 7th stated the pilot had been captured and
they were to "conceal the accomplishment." This F-4 related report
was placed in the files of these two missing airmen. A further
report on November 14th stated a special team was being sent to
recover the F-111A in Quang Binh and oversee movement of its hulk.


Both airmen were initially reported missing. Returning U.S. POWs
had no information on their precise fate. After Operation
Homecoming they were declared dead/body not recovered, based on a
presumptive finding of death. Major Brown's name was recently the
subject of a dog tag type report which reached DIA.

In January 1992 U.S. investigators in Vietnam reviewed a People's
Army report of air defense operations in Military Region 4. One
item dated November 7, 1972, listed the shoot down of a low flying
F-111 downed by the 359th Company, Quang Binh forces, with two
(crewmen) killed. In July 1992 U.S. investigators in Le Thuy
District, Quang Binh located an F-111 strut used as a fence post,
part of one ton of aircraft wreckage in the possession of a local
resident near the crash site associated with this incident. The
suspected crash site was near a mountain peak on a 45 degree slope.

A photo of Major Brown's identity card was located in the Quang
Binh Provincial museum together with an F-111A data plate. The
material referred to a "Major Robert" as "dead" in an F-111A shoot
down over Quang Binh Province.

In October 1992 Major Brown's son visited Moscow and was told by
Russian officials of KGB officials who apparently had knowledge of
an F-111 transfer to the USSR in November 1972.



Laos Donald C. Breuer
(1947)

On November 20, 1972, Captain Breuer and Captain Anderson were the
crew on-board an F-4J, one in a flight of two aircraft on a combat
operation over Savannakhet Province, Laos. Their aircraft was hit
by anti-aircraft fire and crashed 35 kilometers southeast of
Tchepone and 300 meters from Route 90. This is in an area
southwest of the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South
Vietnam. Captain Anderson parachuted safely from the aircraft, was
located by search and rescue forces, and was recovered. He stated
he didn't see Captain Breuer parachute from their damaged aircraft
and did not hear a beeper from him. Captain Breuer was declared
missing in action.

After the crash, a North Vietnamese Army unit reported on November
20th that a pilot had landed but there was no mention of the
specific type of aircraft involved and the pilot's nationality was
not given. The report was associated with an incident occurring in
the general area of the Demilitarized Zone separating North and
South Vietnam. An intelligence comment on this report indicated a
tentative correlation of the report to this loss incident based on
it being the only reported aircraft loss at this point in time.

On April 28, 1972, Pathet Lao radio news service reported three
U.S. aircraft were hit in Saravane Province on November 18th and
19th. Pilots were killed in two F-4 and one T-28 air incident.
This report was placed in the files of these individuals because of
the country of loss and date of incident.

Returning U.S. POWs during Operation Homecoming early in 1973 had
no information on Captain Breuer's fate. After Operation
Homecoming Captain Breuer was declared killed in action, body not
recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.

In April 1973, a North Vietnamese soldier from Binh Tram 41, 473rd
Transportation Division, Group 559, reported having seen an
American F-4 hit by antiaircraft fire and crash near the village of
Ban Dong, Savannakhet Province, east of the border with Thua Thien
Province, South Vietnam and in the area in which his division was
operating. This is in an area west of the DMZ and in the general
area of Highway 9. He reported seeing two parachutes. One airman
landed and was rescued. Later, he observed a body of an American
airman which had been stripped nude and was told the other airman
had died. The area of the sighting was correlated to this loss
incident.

This loss incident crash site was visited by a joint U.S./Lao team
in Muong Nong District, Savannakhet Province, during 28 October-1
November 1992. The team recovered artifacts said to have belonged
to the pilot who was rescued. There was no specific information on
the fate of the second crewman.
 

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