DONOVAN, MICHAEL LEO

Name: Michael Leo Donovan
Rank/Branch: O2/US Air Force
Unit: 421st Tactical Fighter Squadron, Da Nang, South Vietnam
Date of Birth: 09 November 1944
Home City of Record: Norton KS
Date of Loss: 30 September 1971
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 160500N 1063300E (XD619099)
Status (In 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 4
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F4E
Refno: 1772
Other Personnel in Incident: Ronald L. Bond (missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 31 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 1998.

REMARKS:

SYNOPSIS: Michael L. Donovan was born November 9, 1944 in Huntington Park,
California. His family later moved to Norton, Kansas, where he graduated
from Norton Community High School in 1962. He was married before entering
Fort Hays State College where he graduated in 1966 with a degree in
Agriculture.

In the summer of 1966, Mike entered the Air Force and was commissioned as a
Second Lieutenant. He received training in Texas and Florida and in 1968
became a pilot of the F-4 Phantom jet. Mike was promoted to Captain while
serving an overseas tour in Japan.

In January, 1971, Mike left for his last assignment in South Vietnam, and
was stationed at Da Nang Airfield with the 421st Tactical Fighter Squadron.

Ronald L. Bond was born in Camden, New Jersey on December 14, 1947. He grew
up in Haddonfield, New Jersey. At the age of 12, Ron was on the Haddonfield
Little League team that went to the New Jersey finals. In that same year he
was Middle Atlantic AAU, 12 and under Diving Champion and a tri-county
swimming and diving champion. In his high school years at Haddonfield
Memorial High School, he was wrestling champion in his weight class. When
Ron graduated from high school in 1965, he was accepted at the University of
Delaware, but was also granted an appointment to the Air Force Academy,
which he accepted.

His first assignment after graduating from the Academy in 1969 was navigator
school, then training to be "Guy in Back" in the F4 fighter bomber, then an
unexpected (and unwanted) assignment to South Korea. Ron did everything he
could think of to get a Vietnam assignment, and the orders to go to Vietnam
came while he was home just prior to leaving for Korea. With his heavy
clothes on their way to Korea and his lighter clothes shipped home to
Haddonfield, he left for Da Nang, South Vietnam, arriving there February 6,
1971.

Ron was home again in July, 1971. He was on R & R, but had come home to be
fitted with contact lenses so that he could become a pilot. Shortly after
his return to Da Nang, Ron began flying Forward Air Controller
reconnaissance missions. He was attached to the 390th Tactical Fighter
Squadron.

On September 30, 1971, Donovan and Bond teamed up on an operational mission
over Laos. On the mission, Donovan was the pilot and Bond the "Guy in Back"
(navigator). The pair were on the last leg of their mission having mated up
twice with a KC135 (for fuel). The aircraft failed to return on schedule to
Da Nang, and after an extensive search, the two men were declared Missing In
Action.

Bond and Donovan are two of the nearly 600 men missing in action over Laos.
The poorly-negotiated Paris Peace Agreement ending American involvement in
Southeast Asia did not address the prisoners of war and missing held in
Laos, and no subsequent negotiations ever held to secure their freedom. As a
result, even though the Pathet Lao stated publicly that they held "tens of
tens" of American prisoners, not one man held in Laos was released.

Ronald Bond's parents moved to California about a year after his
disappearance and remain active in their search for information about their
son. They feel there is a possibility their son could be alive and a
prisoner. They believe some, perhaps many, Americans are still alive and
held prisoner in Southeast Asia. They will not rest until these men are
returned and they know the fate of their son.