CAMPBELL, CLYDE WILLIAM Remains ID'd 2012. See below. Name: Clyde William Campbell Rank/Branch: O2/US Air Force Unit: Date of Birth: 26 July 1944 Home City of Record: Longview TX Date of Loss: 01 March 1969 Country of Loss: Laos Loss Coordinates: 195841N 1932838E (UH404095) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A1J Refno: 1395 Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 March 1990 with the assistance of one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 2012. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: The Douglas A1 Skyraider ("Spad") is a highly maneuverable, propeller-driven aircraft designed as a multipurpose attack bomber or utility aircraft. The H and J models were single seat aircraft, whereas the E model generally carried two crewmen. The A1 was first used by the Air Force in its Tactical Air Command to equip the first Air Commando Group engaged in counterinsurgency operations in South Vietnam, and later used the aircraft as escort for rescue units. The general procedure for a rescue escort entailed two A1 aircraft flying directly to the search area to look for sign of the downed cewmen while two other A1s escorted the rescue helicopter to the area. If it was necessary, the A1s would attack enemy in the area with bombs, rockets and cannon fire so that the helicopter could land. 1Lt. Clyde W. Campbell was the pilot of a J-model Spad on an operational mission over Laos on March 1, 1969. His precise role on that day is unclear. The mission took him in northern Xiangkhoang Province near the city of Na Khang. This area was in Military Region II and on the northern edge of the Plain of Jars region. FAC (Forward Air Control) in Laos was conducted by RAVENS, who were volunteers clandestinely stationed in Laos to support anti-communist efforts in that country. These unconventional pilots were among the best the Air Force had to offer, and saw more combat flying during a tour than any other single group. FACs had to be intimately familiar with the terrain and populous of their regions, and have an excellent handle on enemy activity as well. Na Khang was the location of Lima Site 36. North Vietnamese forces had been building towards an attack on Lima Site 85 (some 150 miles to the north) for several weeks. Lima 85 was the northernmost site and was the base for radar and radio equipment used to direct air traffic over North Vietnam. Lima 36, the next base south, was used at this time for a staging area. Indigenous troops were flown out of this site and aircraft could refuel here. Lima 85 was overrun and taken later on March 18, 1969. Following the fall of "the Rock", Lima Site 36 was taken. Enemy activity in Military Region II was greatly increased during this time period, and U.S. aircraft were brought in from neighboring Thailand in great numbers. At a point about 10 miles west of Na Khang, Campbell's aircraft was shot down. Others in the area reported that Campbell was dead, and the Air Force listed him Killed in Action, Body Not Recovered. Campbell is one of nearly 600 Americans who were lost in Laos. Campbell's case seems clear--he was killed, and his body may never be recovered for burial in his homeland. Others, however, have more complex cases. Because the war in Laos was secret, the fates of Americans lost there are difficult to determine. Many who were known to have been alive when last seen simply disappeared. A handful who were confirmed prisoners were never returned, although reports continue to be received on some of them to this day. The Pathet Lao stated publicly during the war that they held "tens of tens" of American prisoners, yet the U.S. did not negotiate for their freedom in the peace agreements that ended U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia. There has been no treaty to date that would bring these men to freedom. Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S. Government. Many authorities have reluctantly concluded that there are hundreds of them who remain alive today, held captive by a long-ago enemy. While Clyde W. Campbell may not be among those thought to be still alive, it is clear that we owe these men our very best efforts to bring them home. What must they be thinking of the country they proudly served?
Air Force sergeant helps dig for remains of American pilot who crashed in Laos in 1969
By Schuyler Kropf
The Post and Courier
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Department of Defense/Provided
Master Sgt. Wesley Housel sifts through dirt while conducting a recovery mission in Houaphan Province in what is today the Lao People's Democratic Republic. Housel was a digger assigned to a 10-member recovery team on a 36-day deployment in an attempt to recover the remains of an American pilot lost during the Vietnam War......
Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551, email@example.com.
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 519-12
East Texas MIA remains returned to family
"Anytime you seen that POW-MIA flag, that means that we've still got ... Smith will be at the service to give something
back to his friend: an MIA bracelet....