CARR, DONALD GENE
09/2015 - Reports ID has been made, with remains found in Vietnam - SEE BELOW.
Name: Donald Gene Carr
Rank/Branch: O3/US Army Special Forces
Unit: Mobile Launch Team 3, Task Force 1 Advisory Group, assigned to USARV
TAG TF1AEN TSH
Date of Birth: 10 December 1938 (East Chicago IN)
Home City of Record: East Chicago IN
Date of Loss: 06 July 1971
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 144700N 1071700E (YB460352)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel In Incident: Daniel W. Thomas (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 2017.
SYNOPSIS: In 1971, MACV-SOG's Command and Control North, Central and South were
re-designated as Task Force Advisory Elements 1, 2 and 3, respectively. These
titular changes had little initial impact on actual activities. Their missions
were still quite sensitive and highly classified. Each task force was composed
of 244 Special Forces and 780 indigenous commandos, and their reconnaissance
teams remained actively engaged in cross-border intelligence collection and
interdiction operations. The USARV TAG (Training Advisory Group) supported the
USARV Special Missions Advisory Group and was composed of U.S. Army Special
Forces and MACV advisors. SMAG formed at Nha Trang from former personnel from
B-53, the MACV Rcondo School cadre, CCN and CCS to train the South Vietnamese
Special Missions Force teams drawn from LLDB and Ranger units.
On July 6, 1971, U.S. Army Capt. Donald G. "Butch" Carr was aboard an Air Force
OV10A Bronco aircraft flown by U.S. Air Force Lt. Daniel W. Thomas when the
aircraft disappeared 15 miles inside Laos west of Ben Het.
The aircraft had been on a visual reconnaissance mission over central Laos when
it was lost. Thomas' plane was detailed out of the 23rd Tactical Aerial
Surveillance Squadron and bore the tail number of 67-14634.
The Bronco was among the aircraft most feared by the Viet Cong and NVA forces,
because whenever the Bronco appeared overhead, an air strike seemed certain to
follow. Although the glassed-in cabin could become uncomfortably warm, it
provided splendid visibility. The two-man crew had armor protection and could
use machine guns and bombs to attack, as well as rockets to mark targets for
fighter bombers. This versatility enabled the plane to fly armed reconnaissance
missions, in addition to serving as vehicle for forward air controllers.
At 1530 hours, Thomas radioed to the Army support facility that he was in his
target area, but that he was unable to observe because of weather conditions.
This was his last known radio contact. Thomas and Carr were due to depart the
area at 1700 hours, and should have radioed then. Search efforts were conducted
through July 10, with no results.
A ground reconnaissance team later reported hearing an impact or explosion at
1600 hours on July 6 in their vicinity, but they did not report seeing the
A source reported that in early July 1971, he had seen an American POW in that
area. The source learned from a guard that the POW was a pilot of an OV10 that
had been downed a week prior. This information was thought to possibly
correlate to either Carr or Thomas.
Carr and Thomas became two of nearly 600 Americans who disappeared in Laos
during the Vietnam War. Although Pathet Lao leaders stressed that they held
"tens of tens" of American prisoners, no American held in Laos was ever
released. In America's haste to leave Southeast Asia, it abandoned some of its
finest men. Since the end of the war, thousands of reports have been received
indicating that hundreds of Americans are still held captive.
In seeming disregard for the Americans either held or having been murdered by
the Pathet Lao, by 1989, the U.S. and the Lao have devised a working plan for
the U.S. to provide Laos with humanitarian and economic aid leading toward
ultimate full diplomatic and trade relations while Laos allows the excavation
of military crash sites at sporadic intervals. In America's haste to return to
Southeast Asia, we are again abandoning our men. What must Carr and Thomas,
should they be among those said to be still alive, be thinking of us?
|NATIONAL LEAGUE OF FAMILIES OF AMERICAN PRISONERS AND
MISSING IN SOUTHEAST ASIA
UPDATE: April 1, 2017
AMERICANS RECENTLY ACCOUNTED FOR:On March 28th, DPAA Statistics listed three USMC personnel as recently accounted for: Captain John A. House of NY, Cpl Glyn L. Runnels, Jr., of AL, and LCpl John D. Killen, II, of IA. All were listed as KIABNR on June 30, 1967, in South Vietnam. Their remains were recovered in June, 2012, and identification was authorized on December 22, 2015. DPAA has not yet published the formal announcement with interment plans. On March 7th, DPAA released an announcement that Captain Daniel W. Thomas, USAFR, listed as MIA on July 6, 1971 in South Vietnam, had been accounted for. Remains were recovered by a Vietnamese Unilateral Recovery Team (URT) in August, 2014, and identified in August, 2015, as those of Major Donald G. Carr, USA, the other person in the OV-10A piloted by Capt Thomas. Subsequent recovery efforts by the URT and repatriation of additional remains and material in April, 2016, brought the more recent ID of Capt Thomas. DPAA also listed on its website, under Statistics, the accounting for Colonel William E. Campbell, USAF, listed as MIA in Laos January 29, 1969. His remains were recovered April 17, 2014, identified August 29, 2016, and his name was placed on the DPAA website as accounted for on March 3rd. On February 22nd, DPAA announced the ID of Capt Robert R. Barnett, USAF, listed as KIA/BNR on April 7, 1966 while piloting a B-57B over Laos. His remains were recovered June 18, 2015 and identified August 16, 2016. Earlier this year, a Marine Corps Reserve officer, 1st Lt William C. Ryan, was the first person since June of 2016 announced as accounted for from the Vietnam War. 1st Lt Ryan was listed KIA/BNR in Laos on May 11, 1969. His remains were recovered January 27, 2016, and identified December 7, 2016.