HENSLEY, RONNIE LEE
Remains returned and identified September 1995.

Name: Ronnie Lee Hensley
Rank/Branch: E5/US Air Force
Unit: 16th Special Operations Squadron, Ubon Airbase, Thailand
Date of Birth: 08 June 1948
Home City of Record: Richwood WV
Date of Loss: 22 April 1970
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 154400N 1065100E (XC990410)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: AC130A

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 1998.

Other Personnel in Incident: Thomas Adachi; Robert Ireland;Stephen Harris;
Donald Lint; William Brooks; Charles B.Davis; Donald G. Fisher; John C.
Towle; Charles Rowley (all missing); Eugene L. Fields (rescued).

REMARKS:

SYNOPSIS: In the early hours of April 22, 1970, an AC130 gunship flown by
veteran pilot Major William Brooks departed Ubon Airbase with a crew of ten
for a Commando Hunt mission over the Ho Chi Minh Trail in southern Laos. The
aircraft, code named "Ad Lib", was joined near its destination by two jet
escort fighter bombers, code named "Killer 1" and "Killer 2", and
immediately began air strikes against enemy traffic below. The crew of the
aircraft included Brooks, the pilot; SSgt. Thomas Y. Adachi, the aerial
gunner; LtCol. Charlie B. Davis, a navigator; Maj. Donald G. Fisher, a
navigator; SSgt. Stephen W. Harris; SSgt. Ronnie L. Hensley; Master Sgt.
Robert N. Ireland; Airman Donald M. Lint; LtCol. Charles S. Rowley; and 1Lt.
John C. Towle.

During its fourth strike, the gunship was hit by anti-aircraft fire and
began burning. Brooks radioed, "I've been hit, babe". Fisher, the navigator,
reported that his position was OK. Fields and Hensley, battling the blaze in
the rear of the aircraft, lost contact with each other in the smoke. Fields
inched his way to Adachi's position, and found Adachi gone and the left
scanner window open. Fields used an auxiliary parachute to abandon the
aircraft.

Killer 1 reported seeing no parachutes, although Killer 2 reported the crew
was bailing out. Just before Killer 1 departed the area for refueling, it
received one emergency beeper signal from the ground. Killer 2 established
voice contact with a member of the crew identifying himself as Ad-Lib 12
(Fisher), who reported that he had burns on his face and hands. Killer 2
also left for refueling, while other aircraft monitored the downed craft and
waited for morning to attempt rescue of the survivors.

The following morning, Ad-Lib 11 (Fields) was rescued, but due to hostile
ground forces, no ground search or photographs were made at the time. The
Air Force assumed at the time that Fields had incorrectly identified
himself, and announced that 6 of the crew had been killed and four were
missing.

The rest of the story is confusing. The family of one of the crew was told
that a ground crew had been inserted and that partial remains of one crew
member had been recovered. Another family was advised that photographs of
the crashsite existed. A photograph of a captive airman having burn bandages
on his hands was identified as being Fisher by his family. Rowley's family
was informed of a secret intelligence report indicating that 8 of the crew
had been captured, and that a controlled American source had witnessed them
being tortured to death for their "crimes".

A returned POW reported seeing Rowley in a propaganda film. Another returned
POW stated that Fisher had been a POW. Although the Air Force would not
allow family members to contact the only survivor, Fields, Fisher's son
located him after 18 years. Fisher denied ever being in contact with any of
the Killer jet escorts. It was not he who identified himself by radio to
rescue forces.

Apparently, at least some of the crew of Ad Lib survived to be captured in
Laos, often called the "Black Hole" of the POW issue because of nearly 600
lost there, not a SINGLE man was released that had been held in Laos. The
Pathet Lao stated on several occasions that they held prisoners, yet we
never negotiated their freedom, and reports continue to be received that
some of these men are still alive. The surviving crew members lost that day
were abandoned by the country for which they bravely fought.

                                                [bits1104.95 11/04/95]
NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF FAMILIES
FOR THE RETURN OF AMERICA'S MISSING SERVICEMEN
WORLD WAR II - KOREA - COLD WAR - VIETNAM


DOLORES ALFOND - VOICE/FAX (206) 881 1499
LYNN O'SHEA ---- VOICE/FAX (718) 846-4350

BITS 'N' PIECES           NOVEMBER 4,  1995 

###################

IN OUR BITS 'N' PIECES, DATED OCTOBER 28TH, WE LISTED THE NAMES OF
MISSING AMERICAN SERVICEMEN RECENTLY IDENTIFIED BY THE PENTAGON.  WE
ALSO DISCUSSED INTELLIGENCE REPORTS THAT PUT INTO QUESTION THOSE
IDENTIFICATIONS.   WE CLOSED BY SAYING THAT WE HOPED EACH OF THE
FAMILIES INVOLVED HAD GOTTEN THEIR TRUTH, BUT WE WONDERED.

THE FAX MACHINES HAD NOT COOLED DOWN, WHEN WE LEARNED HOW DISPLEASED THE
FAMILIES OF 5 CREWMEN LOST APRIL 22, 1970 ARE.    PATRICIA ROWLEY
HALLMAN, DAUGHTER OF COL. CHARLES ROWLEY NOTIFIED THE NATIONAL ALLIANCE
OF FAMILIES THAT THERE WERE NO INDIVIDUALLY IDENTIFIABLE REMAINS
RECOVERED DURING THE EXCAVATION.  THE FAMILIES' REQUEST FOR DNA TESTING
WAS REFUSED.  ALSO, REFUSED WAS A REQUEST FOR AN INDEPENDENT EXAMINATION
OF THE REMAINS.    

A PRESS RELEASE, ISSUED OCT. 31ST, BY THE FAMILIES OF COL. CHARLES
ROWLEY, COL. CHARLIE DAVIS, COL. WILLIAM BROOKS AND SGT. RONNIE HENSLEY
(SEE PAGE 4) CALLED FOR A HALT TO THE PLANNED "BURIAL" SCHEDULED FOR
NOVEMBER 8TH AT ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY.   A FIFTH FAMILY REFUSES TO
ALLOW THEIR LOVED ONES' NAME TO BE PLACED ON THE STONE AND WILL NOT
ATTEND THE "BURIAL."

DOCUMENTS PROVIDED TO THE ALLIANCE, BY MS. ROWLEY-HALLMAN,  PROVE BEYOND
DOUBT THAT THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT HAS NO EVIDENCE THAT TEN MEN
DIED IN THIS INCIDENT.   FORENSIC EVIDENCE PROVIDED TO THE FAMILIES
INDICATES THE POSSIBILITY THAT ONLY ONE MAN WAS ON THAT PLANE WHEN IT
CRASHED.

MESSAGE TRAFFIC,  DATED 10 NOV. 93,  REFERS TO THIS CASE AND THE A-130
CRASH INVOLVING MAJOR PETER MATTHES, (AIR FORCE AUTHENTICATOR CODE
(GX2527 - LAST SEEN IN THE EARLY 1990'S OUTSIDE A VIETNAMESE PRISON.)
THE MESSAGE STATES "WE ANTICIPATE SOME INDIVIDUAL IDENTIFICATIONS MAY BE
POSSIBLE.  HOWEVER, IT IS UNLIKELY THAT WE CAN BIOLOGICALLY ESTABLISH
THAT ALL AIRMEN FOR EACH INCIDENT ARE REPRESENTED IN THE REMAINS
RECOVERED FROM THE RESPECTIVE SITES."      OF THE 18 MEN INVOLVED IN THE
TWO INCIDENTS, ONLY ON E WAS IDENTIFIED INDIVIDUALLY.

PICKING UP ON THE STORY REUTERS REPORTED, ON OCTOBER 31ST - "A PENTAGON
OFFICIAL SAID....GROUP BURIALS WERE COMMONLY RESORTED TO WHEN
"HISTORICAL CIRCUMSTANCES AND INTELLIGENCE"  DATA SUGGESTED AN ENTIRE
CREW MAY HAVE DIED IN A CRASH, EVEN THOUGH NO ONE COULD BE IDENTIFIED."

##################

PERIODICALLY, WE PROVIDE AN UPDATE AS TO THE NUMBER OF SERVICEMEN
PRISONER, MISSING OR UNACCOUNTED FOR IN SOUTHEAST ASIA.  WE WILL NO
LONGER ISSUE ANY UPDATE OF THAT NUMBER.  THE "DEATH BY ASSOCIATION"
ACCOUNTING OF THE A-130 CREW PROVES THE  PENTAGON NUMBER IS A LIE.
CLEARLY, ALL TEN MEN ABOARD THE A-130 LOST APRIL 22, 1970 HAVE NOT
ACCOUNTED FOR.    WE WILL NO LONGER BE A PARTY TO PASSING THE PENTAGON
LIE. --- ABC   

###################

ROWLEY-HALLMAN PRESS RELEASE FOLLOWS:


PRESS RELEASE -- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OCTOBER 31, 1995
CONTACT: PATRICIA ROWLEY HALLMAN
(804) 758-2555

FAMILIES OF A-130 CREW DEMANDS HALT TO PLANNED "DEATH BY ASSOCIATION"
REMAINS BURIAL AT ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY.

THE FAMILIES OF CREWMEN LOST APRIL 22ND, 1970 OVER LAOS DEMAND A HALT TO
THE PLANNED GROUP BURIAL, SCHEDULED NOVEMBER 8TH, AT ARLINGTON NATIONAL
CEMETERY.   THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE PLANS TO BURY 1550 BONE FRAGMENTS
(THE LARGEST 1/3 OF A RIB) AND 5 TEETH AS THE MORTAL REMAINS OF TEN MEN,
OUR HUSBANDS, FATHERS, BROTHERS AND SONS. ACCORDING TO A GOVERNMENT
REPRESENTATIVE, NONE OF THE REMAINS WERE IDENTIFIABLE, INDIVIDUALLY.
WHEN THE ROWLEY FAMILY SUGGESTED THE USE OF DNA TESTING (WHICH CAN BE
DONE ON REMAIN S AS SMALL AS A TOOTH)  TO IDENTIFY THE CREW
INDIVIDUALLY, THEY WERE TOLD DNA TESTING WOULD NOT BE USED IN THIS CASE.
THE REASON, IT WOULD BE TO COSTLY.

THE FAILURE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, TO EMPLOY COMMON DNA FORENSIC
TESTING, TO IDENTIFY, INDIVIDUALLY, THE REMAINS OF OUR LOVED ONES, IS
UNCONSCIONABLE.   INSTEAD THEY CHOOSE TO DECLARE EVERY CREWMEN ON THIS
FLIGHT DEAD.  THIS DECLARATION OF DEATH IS BASED ON AN ASSOCIATION TO
UNIDENTIFIABLE REMAINS RATHER THAN ON HARD EVIDENCE.   THE GOVERNMENT
HAS NOT PROVEN THE DEATH OF TEN CREWMEN.  THEY HAVE NOT PROVEN THE DEATH
OF 1 MAN.   THEY ONLY OFFER EVIDENCE TO THE FAMILIES, THAT SOMEONE DIED
IN THAT PLANE.
   

THE INITIAL INCIDENT WAS SURVIVABLE.   ONE CREWMAN, EUGENE FIELDS,
BAILED OUT AND WAS RESCUED.   INFORMATION, DISCOUNTED BY THE DEPARTMENT
OF DEFENSE IN THEIR RUSH TO JUDGMENT,  INDICATED THAT AT LEAST COL.
CHARLES ROWLEY, THOMAS ADACHI AND DONALD FISHER EXITED THE AIRCRAFT.

EUGENE FIELDS REPORTED THAT ON EXITING THE AIRCRAFT HE PASSED THOMAS
ADACHI'S AIRCRAFT STATION.  ADACHI WAS GONE.  AIRCRAFT IN THE AREA
PICKED UP VOICE TRANSMISSION FROM A CREWMEN IDENTIFYING HIMSELF WITH THE
AIRCRAFT CALL SIGN AD-LIB AND IS CREW NUMBER 12.  AD-LIB 12 IS
IDENTIFIED IN RECORDS AS DONALD FISHER.  EUGENE FIELDS CONFIRMED THAT HE
WAS NEVER IN VOICE CONTACT WITH ANY AIRCRAFT.  ADDITIONALLY A RETURNED
POW IDENTIFIED DONALD FISHER AS POW.  HIS FAMILY ALSO IDENTIFIED A PHOTO
OF A CAPTURED AMERICAN AS DONALD FISHER.

A POW, RETURNED IN 1973, IDENTIFIED A PHOTO OF COL. ROWLEY.  THE
RETURNED POW STATED HE HAD SEEN COL. ROWLEY IN A NORTH VIETNAMESE
PROPAGANDA FILM.  THE ROWLEY FAMILY WAS TOLD THAT INTELLIGENCE INDICATED
8 CREWMEN WERE CAPTURED.  THE AIR FORCE IN 1970 CARRIED THE CREW AS 6
KILLED, 4 MISSING.

THE TEN CREWMEN, OUR LOVED ONES ARE: COL. CHARLIE B DAVIS JR., COL.
CHARLES S. ROWLEY, COL. WILLIAM BROOKS, SGT. THOMAS ADACHI, CAPT. JOHN
C. TOWEL, CHIEF MASTER SGT. ROBERT N. IRELAND, CHIEF MASTER SGT. RONNIE
L. HENSLEY, SENIOR MASTER SGT. DONALD M. LINT, MAJ. DONALD FISHER AND
TECHNICAL SGT. STEPHEN W. HARRIS. 

THESE MEN AND OUR FAMILIES DESERVE A BETTER FATE THAN A DECLARATION OF
"DEATH BY ASSOCIATION."

PATRICIA ROLLWEY HALLMAN, DAUGHTER      GINGER DAVIS, WIFE
COL. CHARLES ROWLEY                     COL. CHARLES DAVIS

KAREN BROOKS FOLGER, DAUGHTER           JOE HENSLEY, JR., FATHER
COL. WILLIAM BROOKS                     SGT. RONNIE HENSLEY


#################

Families seek to halt Pentagon group burial plan
Reuters World Report - Copyright 1995 Reuters Ltd.  All rights reserved
 
WASHINGTON, Oct 31 (Reuter) - Relatives of a group of U.S. airmen lost
over Laos in the Vietnam War on Tuesday demanded a halt to a
Pentagon-planned group burial of 1,550 bone fragments at Arlington
National Cemetery.     In a statement, relatives of four of the men said
the Defence Department had failed to use common DNA testing to link any
of the fragments, none larger than a third of a rib, to any of the 10
men lost aboard an AC-130 aircraft on April 22, 1970.

"They're trying to bury 10 men under that guise," Patricia Hallman,
daughter of the flight's chief navigator, Air Force Colonel Charles
Rowley, said in a telephone interview.   She said the group burial,
scheduled for November 8, was "an easy, quick way to get rid of the
MIA-POW issue," short for missing-in-action and prisoner-of-war.

Unanswered questions about the fate of the 2,170 Americans still listed
as unaccounted for throughout Indochina has complicated recently
normalised U.S. relations with Vietnam.    A Pentagon official said DNA
"sequencing" techniques, commonly used to establish identity, had not
been used because the remains were too charred and splintered.   "A
combination of burning and fragmentation made it impossible to get a
useable sample from which DNA could be taken for positive
identification," the official said.

He said group burials were commonly resorted to when "historical
circumstances and intelligence" data suggested an entire crew may have
died in a crash, even though no one could be identified individually.
Beverly Baker, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said the aircraft was lost near
Ban Tang Lou during an armed reconnaissance mission. The remains were
recovered during a joint U.S.-Lao excavation of the crash site and
repatriated on November 15, 1993. The Pentagon identified the remains on
September 26.

#############

Laos-Remains AP US & World - Copyright 1995 The Associated Press. All
rights reserved.
  
By JOE TAYLOR -  Associated Press Writer

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- Bone and teeth fragments unearthed two years ago at
the crash site of an Air Force gunship shot down over Laos in 1970 left
some relatives unconvinced that their loved ones died.   .....