RemainsID announced 04/11/2007
Name: Michael Thomas Newell
Rank/Branch: O3/US Navy
Date of Birth: 13 June 1940
Home City of Record: Ellenville NY
Date of Loss: 14 December 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 194258N 1051300E (WG227799)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 3
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F8E
Refno: 0550
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 April 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: The Vought F8 "Crusader" saw action early in U.S. involvement in
Southeast Asia. Its fighter models participated both in the first Gulf of
Tonkin reprisal in August 1964 and in the myriad attacks against North
Vietnam during Operation Rolling Thunder. The Crusader was used exclusively
by the Navy and Marine air wings (although there is one U.S. Air Force pilot
reported shot down on an F8) and represented half or more of the carrier
fighters in the Gulf of Tonkin during the first four years of the war. The
aircraft was credited with nearly 53% of MiG kills in Vietnam.
The most frequently used fighter versions of the Crusader in Vietnam were
the C, D, and E models although the H and J were also used. The Charlie
carried only Sidewinders on fuselage racks, and were assigned such missions
as CAP (Combat Air Patrol), flying at higher altitudes. The Echo model had a
heavier reinforced wing able to carry extra Sidewinders or bombs, and were
used to attack ground targets, giving it increased vulnerability. The Echo
version launched with less fuel, to accommodate the larger bomb store, and
frequently arrived back at ship low on fuel. The RF models were equipped for
photo reconnaissance.
The combat attrition rate of the Crusader was comparable to similar
fighters. Between 1964 to 1972, eighty-three Crusaders were either lost or
destroyed by enemy fire. Another 109 required major rebuilding. 145 Crusader
pilots were recovered; 57 were not. Twenty of these pilots were captured and
released. The other 43 remained missing at the end of the war.
Lt. Michael T. Newell was the pilot of an F8E conducting a combat flight
over North Vietnam on December 14, 1966. At a point about 10 miles north of
the city of Qui Chau in Nghe An Province, Newell's aircraft was shot down.
There was little hope for his survival and he was declared Killed/Body Not
Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing,
prisoner or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S.
Government. Many authorities who have examined this largely classified
information are convinced that hundreds of Americans are still held captive
today. Fighter pilots in Vietnam were called upon to fly in many dangerous
circumstances, and were prepared to be wounded, killed, or captured. It
probably never occurred to them that they could be abandoned by the country
they proudly served.
National League of Families
POW/MIA Update:  April 13, 2007
personnel listed as missing and unaccounted for by the Department of
Defense.  The identification of the remains of one American previously
KIA/BNR from the Vietnam War was released on April 11th.  LT Michael R.
Newell, USN, from Ellenville, NY, was reported killed in action on December
14, 1966, in an F8E on a mission over North Vietnam.  His remains were
repatriated August 15, 2005, identified November 27, 2006, and his name was
released April 11th.  The accounting for LT Newell brings to 797 the number
of US personnel accounted for since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.
Over 90% of the 1,787 still listed as missing were lost in Vietnam or in
areas of Laos and Cambodia under Vietnam's wartime control.
Navy Pilot Missing From Vietnam War Is Identified
Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 11:00 AM Updated: 11:24 AM
The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced
today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the
Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for
burial with full military honors.
He is Lt. Michael T. Newell, U.S. Navy, of Ellenville, N.Y. He will be
buried today in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.
On Dec. 14, 1966, Newell was flying an F-8E Crusader aircraft as wingman in
a flight of two on a combat air patrol over North Vietnam. During the
mission, the flight leader saw a surface-to-air missile explode between the
two aircraft. Although Newell initially reported that he had survived the
blast, his aircraft gradually lost power and crashed near the border between
Nghe An and Thanh Hoa provinces in south central North Vietnam. The flight
leader did not see a parachute nor did he hear an emergency beacon signal.
He stayed in the area and determined that Newell did not escape from the
aircraft prior to the crash.
Between 1993 and 2002, joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.)
teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), visited the area
of the incident five times to conduct investigations and survey the crash
site. They found pilot-related artifacts and aircraft wreckage consistent to
an F-8 Crusader.
In 2004, a joint U.S./S.R.V. team began excavating the crash site. The team
was unable to complete the recovery and subsequent teams re-visited the site
two more times before the recovery was completed in 2006. As a result, the
teams found human remains and additional pilot-related items.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence,
scientists from JPAC also used dental comparisons in the identification of
the remains.
For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account
for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at
or call (703) 699-1169.