BRASHEAR, WILLIAM JAMES
Name: William James Brashear Rank/Branch: O4/US Air Force Unit: Date of Birth: 01 March 1934 Home City of Record: Chula Vista CA Date of Loss: 08 May 1969 Country of Loss: Laos Loss Coordinates: 152000N 1070500E (YB236975) Status (in 1973): Missing in Action Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4C Refno: 1437 Other Personnel in Incident: Henry G. Mundt II (missing)
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 2003- see note below.
SYNOPSIS: Maj. William J. Brashear and 1Lt. Henry G. Mundt probably thought they were fortunate to have been selected to fly the F4 Phantom fighter jet. The Phantom, used by Air Force, Marine and Navy air wings, served a multitude of functions including fighter-bomber and interceptor, photo and electronic surveillance. The two man aircraft was extremely fast (Mach 2), and had a long range (900 - 2300 miles, depending on stores and mission type). The F4 was also extremely maneuverable and handled well at low and high altitudes. The F4 was selected for a number of state-of-the-art electronics conversions, which improved radar intercept and computer bombing capabilities enormously. Most pilots considered it one of the "hottest" planes around.
On May 8, 1969 Mundt was the pilot and Brashear the bombardier/navigator on board an F4C assigned a mission over Laos. As they were over Attopeu Province, near Chavane, the aircraft was shot down.
The U.S. Air Force placed both men in the category of Missing in Action. The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) further refined that category according to enemy knowledge, concluding that there was ample reason to believe the enemy knows the fate of 1Lt. Mundt and Maj. Brashear.
The families of Brashear and Mundt understood that the two could have been captured by either Pathet Lao forces or North Vietnamese, and waited for the war to end.
When peace agreements were signed, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger informed the families of the men prisoner and missing that their men would soon come home. When asked specifically if the agreements included all countries (Vietnam, Cambodia, China and Laos), Kissinger replied, "What do you think took us so long."
When 591 American prisoners were released in the spring of 1973, it became evident that Kissinger had lied to the families. No prisoners held by the Chinese, Lao or Cambodians were released, even though the Pathet Lao had stated on a number of occasions that they held "tens of tens" of Americans. Kissinger had not negotiated for these men.
In Laos alone, nearly 600 Americans are Prisoner of War or Missing in Action. Since 1975, nearly 10,000 reports relating to Americans still missing in Southeast Asia, convincing many authorities that hundreds of Americans are still held in captivity. William Brashear and Henry Mundt could be among them. It's time we brought our men home.
Henry G. Mundt II graduated from Texas A & M in 1964.
09/12/03 "Paul Lazarski" <PPaul@zianet.com>
I did find one error in the info provided on William [Bill] Brashear and Jerry Mundt. It had Mundt listed as the pilot, and Bill as bomb/nav. Bill was in fact the aircraft commander, or pilot, and Mundt was the back seat weapons systems operator.
I was in the squadron  with them and knew them personally as we all lived together. So the info source is me, first hand knowlege. The flight that was with them actually had radio contact with one of them alive on the ground, it is my personal belief that it was Bill Brashear. If I can help further let me know. They were both outstanding individuals and I hope they can come home some day.
Mundt was a "pilot" [gib] and that may be why the confusion
Also, I can recall and maybe contact other flight members on that mission. I also heard the tape of the downed pilot that day after the flight returned and that is why I have my opinion. I have helped other families on other shoot downs that occured in my squadron at that time. If survivors of these two great hero's would like to contact me, that would be great.