FER, JOHN

Name: John Fer
Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force, pilot
Unit: 41st TRS
Date of Birth: 12 September 1937
Home City of Record: Hemet CA
Date of Loss: 04 February 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 221546N 1055300E (WK910620)
Status (in 1973): Released POW
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: EB66C

Other Personnel in Incident: John O. Davies; Jack W. Bomar NAV (both
released POWs); Russell A. Poor (missing); Herb Doby; Woodrow H. Wilburn
(remains returned)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 March 1990 with the assistance of
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.

REMARKS: 730304 RELSD BY DRV

SYNOPSIS: The Douglas EB66C Skywarrior was outfitted as an electronic
warfare aircraft which carried roughly 5 tons of electronic gear in addition
to its flight crew of three and technical personnel. The EB66C featured a
pressurized capsule installed in the bomb bay, that accommodated four
technicians whose responsibility was to operate electronic reconnaissance
gear.

On February 4, 1967, an EB66C was dispatched on an operational mission over
North Vietnam. The crew and technicians that day included Maj. Jack W.
Bomar, 1Lt. John O. Davies, Capt. John Fer, Capt. Russell A. Poor, Capt.
Herb Doby, and Maj. Woodrow Hoover.

At a point about 40 miles from the China border in Bac Thai Province, North
Vietnam, the EB66C was shot down. Bomar, Fer and Davies were captured. The
fates of Doby, Poor and Wilburn were uncertain.

In the spring of 1973, 591 Americans were released from prison camps in
Vietnam, including Bomar, Davies and Fer. They had been POWs for just over
six years. Poor, Doby and Wilburn remained Missing in Action.

In 1977, the Vietnamese returned remains which were identified as being
those of Capt. Herb Doby, but denied any knowledge of the fates of Poor and
Wilburn.

In 1990, it was announced that the Vietnamese had "discovered" and returned
the remains of Maj. Woodrow Wilburn.

For 23 years, the Vietnamese have denied knowledge of the fates of the
missing from the EB66C they shot down on February 4, 1967. Among the entire
crew, only Poor remains missing.

Disturbing testimony was given to Congress in 1980 that the Vietnamese
"stockpiled" the remains of Americans to return at politically advantageous
times. Could Poor be waiting, in a casket, for just such a moment?

Even more disturbing are the nearly 10,000 reports received by the U.S.
relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia. Many authorities who have
examined this information (largely classified), have reluctantly come to the
conclusion that many Americans are still alive in Southeast Asia. Could Poor
be among these?

Perhaps the most compelling questions when remains are returned are, "Is it
really who they say it is?", and "How -- and when -- did he die?" As long as
reports continue to be received which indicate Americans are still alive in
Indochina, we can only regard the return of remains as a politically
expedient way to show "progress" on accounting for American POW/MIAs. As
long as reports continue to be received, we must wonder how many are alive.

As long as even one American remains alive, held against his will, we must
do everything possible to bring him home -- alive.

SOURCE: WE CAME HOME  copyright 1977 Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR
Ret), Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St.,
Toluca Lake, CA 91602 Text is reproduced as found in the original
publication (including date and spelling errors).
UPDATE - 09/95 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO

                        HAPPINESS IS
                            by
                         JOHN FER
                    Major - United States Air Force
                    Captured: February 4, 1967
                    Released: March 4, 1973
                             
                    
       ............that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of
       Happiness.

Happiness is: The Explosion of Sunrise, the Crashing of Ocean on some secluded
shore; the Soft Retreat of Sunset.
       
Happiness is: The Majesty of the Rocky Mountains, its valleys and swiftly
flowing streams.

Happiness is: The Broad Expanse of Prairie with its gently swaying fields of
grain; the Soft Puffs of Cloud on a Summer's Day.
       
Happiness is: The Statue of Liberty calling for the huddled masses; the Noisy
City Traffic at rush hour.

Happiness is: The Freshness of Spring. The Warmth of Summer. Falling Leaves in
multi-colored form.

Happiness is: The Cold Crispness of a Winter's Eve.

Happiness is: The Joy of Love; the Warmth of a Child's Dependence; the
Tenderness of Man and Wife.

Happiness is: The Search for Wisdom; the Courage to do what is Right; the
Satisfaction of a Job Well Done.

Happiness is: The Exhilaration of Flight far beyond the reach of Eagles; a
single Ski Trail traversing fresh laid snow; the Warmth of a Fireside when Day
is Done.
        
Happiness is: The Echo of 1776; the Roll of Drum; the Sound of Fife.

Happiness is: Happiness is: Faith in an Ideal; the Fulfillment of a Promise.

Happiness is: The Silence of a Church; the Serenity of Union with God.

Happiness is: Being with people like you; speaking as we feel.

Happiness is: Sharing the Wonders of Nature; the Challenge of the Untamed.

Happiness is: The Citizen-Soldier privileged to serve his Nation.

Happiness is: The Security of Home, safe from harm.

Happiness is: Unity before Self.

Happiness is: Peace.

Happiness is: Red, White, and Blue.

Happiness is: The United States of America.

=====================
John Fer retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel. He lives in
South Carolina.

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