CONLON, JOHN FRANCIS III Remains Id announced 06/13/2006
Name: John Francis Conlon III Rank/Branch: O2/US Air Force Unit: 21st Tactical Air Support Squadron, Pleiku AB SV Date of Birth: 18 February 1941 Home City of Record: Wilkes Barre PA Date of Loss: 04 March 1966 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 133700N 1090000E (BR836079) Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 3 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: O1E Refno: 0262 Other Personnel In Incident: Stuart Andrews (missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 May 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 2006.
SYNOPSIS: Major Stuart M. Andrews was the pilot of an O1E aircraft on which his observer-in-training was 1Lt. John F. Conlon III in March 1966. Andrews and his observer were sent on a cross-country visual reconnaissance mission in South Vietnam.
The O1E "Bird Dog" was used extensively in the early years of the war in Vietnam by forward air controllers and provided low, close visual reconnaissance and target marking which enabled armed aircraft or ground troops to close in on a target. The O1E was feared by the enemy, because he knew that opening fire would expose his location and invite attack by fighters controlled by the slowly circling Bird Dog. The Vietnamese became bold, however when they felt their position was compromised and attacked the little Bird Dog with a vengeance in order to lessen the accuracy of an impending strike by other craft.
Andrews and Conlon departed Qui Nhon Airfield on March 4, 1966 at 3:20 p.m. At 3:40 p.m. they made radio contact with a Special Forces Camp in the area and were asked to check campfires that had been spotted. That radio contact with the Special Forces camp was the last word anyone heard of Andrews and Conlon. There was at that time no indication that anything was wrong, but when the plane failed to arrive at its destination, both men were declared missing.
When 591 Americans were released from prisoner of war camps in 1973, Andrews and Conlon were not among them. Nearly five years later, in December 1977, they were presumptively declared dead, based on no information that they were alive.
Alarmingly, evidence continues to mount that Americans were left as prisoners in Southeast Asia and continue to be held today. Unlike "MIAs" from other wars, most of the nearly 2500 Americans who remain missing in Southeast Asia can be accounted for. Many U.S. Government officials have said it is their belief that Americans are being held, but have not yet found the formula that would bring them home. Detractors claim that not enough is being done to bring these men home.
Stuart M. Andrews was promoted to the rank of Colonel and John F. Conlon III was promoted to the rank of Major during the period they were maintained missing.
Posted on Tue, Jun. 13, 2006
"I can't believe after storming the heavens all these years, we finally have an answer." Long wait finally over
By TERRIE MORGAN-BESECKER firstname.lastname@example.org
DALLAS - Claire Evans heard the man's voice on the other end of the phone line and immediately knew the 40-year-long wait was over.....
ON THE WEB
To see some of the government's evidence concerning the recovery of Maj. John F. Conlon III's remains, log on to www.timesleader.com.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Terrie Morgan-Besecker, a Times Leader staff writer, may be reached at 829-7179
June 21, 2006
AIRMAN MISSING FROM VIETNAM WAR IS IDENTIFIED
The Defense POW/Missing Personnel (DPMO) announced today that a U.S. Air Force officer missing in action from the Vietnam War has been identified and is being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
He is Maj. John F. Conlon III, Wilkes-Barre Pa. His funeral is tentatively scheduled for Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C., in the fall.
On March 4, 1966 Conlon and another crewmember took off from Qui Nhon Air Field, Binh Dinh Province, South Vietnam, in their O-1E Bird Dog light observation aircraft. They were on a visual reconnaissance mission to Cheo Reo, an airstrip approximately 60 miles southwest of Qui Nhon. The last radio contact with the crew was with a U.S. Special Forces Camp about 30 minutes after take-off. The crew reported the aircraft's position but made no mention of problems. When the aircraft failed to arrive at Cheo Reo, a search and rescue effort was initiated, but failed to find the aircraft or crew after six days of searching.
Between May of 1993 and August of 2005 teams from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) conducted six investigations in the Binh Dinh Province. They developed leads which took them to a site which was later scheduled for excavation.
In February of 2006 a joint JPAC-Vietnamese team excavated that site and found aircraft debris, personal effects, human remains and a dog tag that related to Conlon's crew. JPAC scientists used Conlon's dental records to confirm his identity from those remains excavated at the site.
Of those Americans unaccounted-for from all conflicts, 1,803 are from the Vietnam War.
For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO website at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703)-699-1169.
Grave of two missing pilots found in Vietnam after 40 years ID tag, four teeth only remains THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A Montgomery woman whose husband's military ID was recovered from a grave in Vietnam after 40 years said she's relieved to know he had not been captured and tortured.....