Remains ID'd 02/05/2010

Name: John Michel Nash
Rank/Branch: O3/US Army
Unit: 20th Aviation Detachment - HQ MACV SD5891 (see note in text)
Date of Birth: 21 March 1937
Home City of Record: Tipton IN
Loss Date: 15 March 1966
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 164501N 1060522E (XD184546)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: OV1A
Refno: 0276

Source: Compiled 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 in 2011.

Others In Incident: Glenn McElroy (pilot of OV-1); David Holmes (pilot of an
O1E). (both missing)


SYNOPSIS: On March 15, 1966, Capt. Mike Nash was flying co-pilot with pilot
Maj. Glenn McElroy on an OV1A Mohawk (serial #6313124) on a "Tigerhound"
operation. The two (call sign "Ironspud") were conducting a photo run along
Route 91 on the west side of the Se Nam Kok River valley 11 miles northwest
of Tchepone, Laos.

There was a large number of NVA in the area maintaining a truck park along
the Ho Chi Minh Trail, as well as 6 gun emplacements (3AA + 3AW). At about
1300 hours, shortly before Nash and McElroy began their photo run on the
west side of the valley, an Air Force O1E flown by Holmes was shot down on
the valley's east side by at least one of the gun emplacements.

Another O1E, call sign "Hound Dog 50" was dispatched immediately, and
observed Holmes, apparently unconscious, sitting in the cockpit of his
plane. About 1435 hours, Hound Dog 50 also observed the OV-1 Mohawk flown by
Nash and McElroy enter the line of enemy fire on the west side of the
valley. The OV-1 was hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed. One parachute
was observed leaving the damaged plane from the right side, and from the
crew placement in the plane, it is believed that Nash ejected from the

Because of the plane losses and the discovery of the troops and gun
emplacements, F-4's (call sign Oxwood 95) and A1E Skyraiders were called in
and the ensuing battle raged for 4-5 hours that afternoon in the operational
area known as "ECHO".

On March 16, a search and rescue team flew to the crash site of David
Holmes' O1E and found that the plane was empty. Their report states that he
was either removed from the plane or left under his own power. URC-10
emergency radio signals were heard four times in the next six days, but it
was thought that the signals were initiated by the enemy as voice contact
was never made. Holmes, Nash and McElroy all had URC-10 radios. The fates of
the three are unknown.

Just over 20 years from the day Nash and McElroy's aircraft crashed, U.S.
teams had the opportunity to examine and excavate the site. There was no
shred of evidence that anyone died in the aircraft. No human remains or bone
fragments were found.

In 1973, 591 Americans were released from prisons in Vietnam. Nash, McElroy
and Holmes were not among them, nor were nearly 2500 other Americans who
went missing in Southeast Asia. Of this 2500, nearly 600 are missing in
Laos. No prisoners held in Laos were released in 1973, nor has there ever
been any agreement reached which would free them.

Were there not thousands of reports indicating hundreds of Americans are
still held captive in Southeast Asia, America might be able to close this
chapter of the Vietnam war. But if there is even ONE American prisoner, we
cannot forget. We must bring them home.

NOTE: The 20th Aviation Detachment existed until December 1966, at which
time it was reassigned as the 131st Aviation Company, 223rd Aviation
Battalion (Combat Support). The 131st Aviation Company had been assigned to
I Corps Aviation Battalion since June 1966, when it arrived in Vietnam. In
August 1967, the 131st Aviation Company was reassigned to the 212th Aviation
Battalion where it remained until July 1971, whereupon it transferred out of

There were a large number of pilots lost from this unit, including Thaddeus
E. Williams and James P. Schimberg (January 9, 1966); John M. Nash and Glenn
D. McElroy (March 15, 1966); James W. Gates and John W. Lafayette (April 6,
1966); Robert G. Nopp and Marshall Kipina (July 14, 1966); Jimmy M. Brasher
and Robert E. Pittman (September 28, 1966); James M. Johnstone and James L.
Whited (November 19, 1966); Larry F. Lucas (December 20, 1966); and Jack W.
Brunson and Clinton A. Musil (May 31, 1971). Missing OV1 aircraft crew from
the 20th/131st represent well over half of those lost on OV1 aircraft during
the war.

U.S. Army records list both Nopp and Kipina as part of the "131st Aviation
Company, 14th Aviation Battalion", yet according to "Order of Battle" by
Shelby Stanton, a widely recognized military source, this company was never
assigned to the 14th Aviation Battalion. The 131st was known as
"Nighthawks", and was a surveillance aircraft company.

National League of Families
UPDATE:  April 22, 2011



AMERICANS IDENTIFIED:  There are now 1,693 Americans listed by the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO)
 missing and unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War. DPMO just posted the news that the remains of U.S. Army Lieutenant
Colonel Glenn D. McElroy
and Captain John M. Nash, both previously missing from Laos, have been identified and will be
returned to their families for interment with the honors earned.  The remains of both officers were jointly recovered November 11,
2008 and identified February 5, 2010.  No reason was given for the extended delay in posting the accounting for these two
US army officers.


Aircrew Missing From Vietnam War Identified

Crew Of Two Lost When OV-1A Mohawk Went Down During Recon Mission

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) says that the remains of two U.S. servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

Army Lt. Col. Glenn McElroy, 35, of Sidney, IL, and Capt. John M. Nash, 28, of Tipton, IN, were buried as a group, in a single casket representing the crew, on November 30, in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C........