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.
REMARKS:
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 [559] 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.
Paul