KING, CHARLES DOUGLAS "DOUG"
Name: Charles Douglas "Doug" King Rank/Branch: E4/US Air Force Unit: 40th Air Rescue & Recovery Squadron, NKP TH Date of Birth: 29 March 1946 Home City of Record: Muscatine IA Date of Loss: 25 December 1968 Country of Loss: Laos Loss Coordinates: 170600N 1055600E (WD980925) Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 2 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: HH3E Refno: 1348
Other Personnel In Incident: Charles R. Brownlee (missing from F105D)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 March 1991 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 2009.
SYNOPSIS: On Christmas Eve, 1968, Major Charles R. Brownlee's F105D aircraft was shot down over Laos between the city of Ban Phaphilang and the Ban Karai Pass. Brownlee successfully ejected from his plane and landed safely on the ground.
On Christmas Day, Doug King volunteered to be aboard an HH3E helicopter leaving Nakhon Phenom Air Base to rescue Major Brownlee. The helicopter located the pilot, believed to be dead by then, and King was lowered 100 feet into the jungle to the ground. Once on the ground, King freed Brownlee from his parachute, secured him to the rescue device and dragged him to a point near the hovering helicopter.
Suddenly enemy soldiers closed in and began firing. King radioed that he was under fire and for the helicopter to pull away. Brownlee was secured to the hoist cable, but King had not yet secured himself to the cable. When the helicopter pulled away, the hoist line snagged in a tree and broke, dropping King and Brownlee about 10 feet to the ground.
No news surfaced about King or Brownlee until February 1986, when a Lao refugee came to the United States and reported that he had witnessed King's capture, and watched as he was taken away in a truck. The refugee's story matched most details of King's loss incident. Less clear were the details of Brownlee's fate.
When the last American troops left Southeast Asia in 1975, some 2500 Americans were unaccounted for. Over 10,000 reports, such as that of the Lao refugee, received by the U.S.Government since 1975 build a strong case for belief that hundreds of these "unaccounted for" Americans are still alive and in captivity.
"Unaccounted for" is a term that should apply to numbers, not men. Nearly 600 men were left behind in Laos, and our government did not negotiate their release. We, as a nation, have a moral and legal obligation to do everything we can to find these men and bring them home. Until we do, there can be no "peace with honor" from the Vietnam war.
During the period they were maintained Missing in Action, Charles R. Brownlee was promoted to the rank of Colonel, and Charles D. King to the rank of Chief Master Sergeant.
----------------------- The Des Moines Register Saturday, December 26, 1998
Brother's final mission sparks sister's memories Clayworth Jason
Christmas was more than a holiday to Sherry King of Muscatine. It was 30 years ago on Christmas Day that her brother, Doug, was presumably killed in Laos while attempting to rescue a downed Air Force pilot.....