DUGAN, JOHN FRANCIS Remains IDD 08/30/2005
Name: John Francis Dugan Rank/Branch: O3/US Army Unit: Company B, 101st Aviation Battalion, 101st Airborne Division Date of Birth: 10 November 1947 (Rahway NJ) Home City of Record: Roselle NJ Date of Loss: 20 March 1971 Country of Loss: Laos Loss Coordinates: 163544N 1962513E (XD515352) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1H Refno: 1731
Other Personnel in Incident: John J. Chubb; William E. Dillender; Jack L. Barker; (all missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 September 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. NETWORK 2005.
REMARKS: EXPLODED FIRE NO SEARCH - J
SYNOPSIS: LAM SON 719 was a large offensive operation against NVA communications lines in Laos. The operation called for ARVN troops to drive west from Khe Sanh, cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail, seize Tchpone and return to Vietnam. The ARVN would provide and command the ground forces, while U.S. Army and Air Force would furnish aviation airlift and supporting firepower. The 101st Airborne Division commanded all U.S. Army aviation units in direct support of the operation. Most of the first part of the operation, begun January 30, 1971, was called Operation DEWEY CANYON II, and was conducted by U.S. ground forces in Vietnam.
The ARVN were halfway on February 11 and positioned for the attack across the Laotian border. On 8 February, ARVN began to push into Laos. The NVA reacted fiercely, but the ARVN held its positions supported by U.S. airstrikes and resupply runs by Army helicopters.
President Nguyen Van Thieu ordered a helicopter assault on Tchepone, and the abandoned village was seized March 6. Two weeks of hard combat were necessary for the ARVN task force to fight its way back to Vietnam. Towards the end of the removal, a helicopter from Company B, 101st Aviation Battalion was lost.
Flown by Maj. Jack L. Barker, the UH1H (serial #66-16185) was attempting to land to extract ARVN troops about 20 miles west of Khe Sanh. During the attempt, the aircraft came under enemy fire and was seen to spin, explode, and catch fire, then to break up in the air. No signs of survivors were seen. The crew aboard the aircraft were PCF John J. Chubb, Sgt. William E. Dillender, and Capt. John F. Dugan. Because of the presence of enemy forces in the area, no subsequent search could be made for survivors.
Losses were heavy in Lam Son 719. The ARVN lost almost 50% of their force. U.S. aviation units lost 168 helicopters; another 618 were damaged. Fifty-five aircrewmen were killed, 178 wounded, and 34 missing in action in the entire operation, lasting until April 6, 1971.
In all, nearly 600 Americans were lost in Laos, but because we did not negotiate with the Pathet Lao, no Americans held in Laos were released. Since that time, over 10,000 reports have been received relating to Americans prisoner, missing or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia. Although many authorities are convinced that hundreds remain alive, the U.S. has not secured the release of a single man.
=================== National League. Jan 11, 2006 ARMY PERSONNEL ANNOUNCED AS ACCOUNTED FOR: The Defense POW/MIA Office announced December 19th that as a result of US-Lao cooperation, all four Americans listed as KIA/BNR March 20, 1971 are now accounted for. The four Army helicopter crew members were MAJ Jack L. Barker of GA, CAPT John F. Dugan of NJ, SP4 William E. Dillender of FL and PFC John J. Chubb of CA. Recovery date was December 5, 2002, ID date was August 30, 2005, and all four families recently accepted the results. To each family, the League expresses support, with gratitude that they have final answers. The accounting for these four Americans brings to 1,808 the number of US personnel listed by DoD as missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War - 1,382 in Vietnam, 364 in Laos, 55 in Cambodia and 7 in PRC territorial waters. Over 90% of the 1,808 were lost in Vietnam or in areas of Laos and Cambodia then under Vietnamese control.