BEYER, THOMAS JOHN
Family informs of remains identified - 11/19/2010
Name: Thomas John Beyer
Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force
Unit: 20th Tactical Air Support Squadron, Chu Lai AB SV
Date of Birth: 01 March 1941
Home City of Record: Fargo ND
Date of Loss: 30 July 1969
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 152800N 1075800E (ZC195125)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 June 1990 from 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.
SYNOPSIS: All tactical strike aircraft operating in Southeast Asia had to be
under the control of a Forward Air Control (FAC), who was intimately
familiar with the locale, the populous, and the tactical situation. The FAC
would find the target, order up U.S. fighter/bombers from an airborne
command and control center or ground based station, mark the target
accurately with white phosphorus (Willy Pete) rockets, and control the
operation throughout the time the planes remained on station. After the
fighters had departed, the FAC stayed over the target to make a bomb damage
The FAC also had to ensure that there were no attacks on civilians, a
complex problem in a war where there were no front lines and any hamlet
could suddenly become part of the combat zone. A FAC needed a fighter
pilot's mentality, but but was obliged to fly slow and low in such unarmed
and vulnerable aircraft as the Cessna O1 Bird Dog, and the Cessna O2.
Captain Thomas J. Beyer was an O2A pilot stationed at Chu Lai Air Base,
Republic of Vietnam with the 20th Tactical Air Support Squadron. At 1220
hours on July 30, 1968, Beyer was assigned a visual reconnaissance/forward
air controller mission over South Vietnam.
A routine radio transmission was received from Beyer at 1345 hours at which
time his position was about 40 miles WNW of Chu Lai. He gave no indication
that he was experiencing any difficulty and advised that he was proceeding
to a point 20 miles west of Kham Duc. Beyer was scheduled to return to Chu
Lai at 1500 hours. When he had not arrived by 1540 hours, and no further
calls were received from him, a communications check was initiated. This
check was to no avail, and search and rescue forces were alerted.
Search and rescue operations were continued for five days over the dense
jungle area where Beyer was to operate, as well as his intended flight path
to and from that area. No sightings were made nor signals received which
would indicate Beyer's whereabouts. Beyer was declared Missing in Action.
Nearly 2500 Americans did not return from the war in Vietnam. Thousands of
reports have been received convincing many authorities that some hundreds
remain alive in captivity. Whether Beyer is alive is not known. What is
certain, however, is that Vietnam and her communist allies can tell us what
happened to most of our men. And we have a legal and moral responsibility to
do everything possible to bring home any who are still alive.
Services will be held Dec 13 in North Dakota. Details TBA.
Pilot's memory kept
alive through jewelry
Dave Olson - 12/18/2010
It was the early 1970s. Two young women in their teens – Barb Richau in Golden
Valley, N.D., and Kim Kappes in Moorheead –
sent away for bracelets bearing the name of a U.S. serviceman missing in action
in Vietnam. When the bracelets arrived in the mail,
both carried the name of Thomas Beyer of Fargo, .....