NEWELL, MICHAEL THOMAS RemainsID announced 04/11/2007
Name: Michael Thomas Newell Rank/Branch: O3/US Navy Unit: 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. NETWORK 2007.
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 Recovered.
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
AMERICAN ANNOUNCED AS ACCOUNTED FOR THIS WEEK: There are now 1,786 US 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 http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.