KOONS, DALE FRANCIS
Remains Returned 06 April 1988 - ID Announced 03 January 1990

Name: Dale Francis Koons
Rank/Branch: O2/US Air Force
Unit: 433rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, Ubon Airfield, Thailand
Date of Birth: 13 December 1946
Home City of Record: Eaton OH
Date of Loss: 26 December 1971
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 184459N 1055159E (WG875925)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 1
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F4D
Refno: 1789
Other Personnel in Incident: Lawrence G. Stolz (remains returned)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 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 1998.

REMARKS: DEAD-FBIS PHOTO OF ID

SYNOPSIS: Capt. Larry G. Stolz was a pilot and 1Lt. Dale F. Koons his rear
seater aboard an F4D Phantom fighter/bomber assigned to the 433rd Tactical
Fighter Squadron at Ubon Airfield, Thailand.

Stolz was serving his second tour in Vietnam. On his first tour, he had flown
as "back-seater" on the F4 as Koons was on his second. Stolz had been awarded
the Distinguished Flying Cross and other honors for combat missions flown
during his first tour of Vietnam.

On December 26, 1971, Stolz and Koons were sent on a bombing mission over North
Vietnam as number three in a flight of four aircraft. During the mission,
Stolz' aircraft was hit, and he took the plant up into the low cloud cover
either as escape procedure or in order to eject. Stolz and Koons were not seen
again.

FBI later uncovered a photo made by the North Vietnamese which showed Larry's
and Dale's identification, pistol, flight plans and dollar bills from their
pockets. The Vietnamese added a note on the back of the photo which stated that
both were "destroyed" with their aircraft when it crashed into Ham Rong Bridge
in the Ham Rong area of Thanh Hoa Province. The photo had originally been
printed in a Dutch newspaper, and again shown on CBS on January 6, 1972.

Larry's mother, Lorene Stolz says, "Of course, we would like to have Larry back
alive. We think often of the awful treatment he may be receiving...  So many
years...so many tears...and it's not over."

Families of men whose fates are uncertain find it impossible to ignore the
mounting evidence that Americans are still held captive in Southeast Asia.
Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports relating to missing Americans have
been received by the U.S. government. Many authorities believe the numbers of
those still alive to be in the hundreds.

Whether Stolz and Koons were "destroyed" when their aircraft went down is
unknown. The U.S. Government is certain that the Vietnamese know the fate of
the two men, but as yet have been unable to learn for certain that they are
dead - or alive.

In early January, 1990, it was announced that remains returned by the
Vietnamese to U.S. control had been positively identified as those of Larry
Stolz and Dale Koonz. After eighteen years, Stolz and Koonz are home. Their
loved ones no longer have to endure the frightening thought that they are alive
somewhere needing them. They now know they are dead, but they may never know
how -- or when -- they died.

Dale F. Koons was promoted to the rank of Captain and Larry G. Stolz to the
rank of Major during the period they were missing.

----------------------

                                                [ssrep7.txt 02/09/93]

                   SMITH 324 COMPELLING CASES


North Vietnam           Lawrence G. Stolz
                          Dale F. Koons
                             (1789)

On December 26, 1971, Captain Stolz and First Lieutenant Koons
departed Ubon Air Base, Thailand, the number three F-4D in a flight
of four on a strike mission against the Thanh Hoa storage complex
in the area of Thanh Hoa City, Thanh Hoa Province.  The flight
became separated in the target area and Captain Stolz aircraft was
last seen pulling up into the overcast approximately 1-2 miles from
their target.  They did not rejoin the flight.  An aerial search
for the aircraft and its crew failed to locate them and the crew
was declared missing.  

On December 27, 1971, the Vietnam News Agency reported that an F-4
had been shot down over Thanh Hoa on December 27th.  The article
implied that both crewmen had become casualties and both their
names and pictures of their burned identity cards.  In November
1972, photographs of their identity cards appeared in the North
Vietnamese published English language "Vietnam" magazine.

During the Operation Homecoming debriefing of repatriated POWs, two
returnees described having seen their burned identity cards in a
North Vietnamese magazine and read that Captain Stolz was dead. 
Several returnees also reported hearing the name "Koons" and saw
the name "Koons, Dale" scratched into the wall at their POW camp. 
DIA investigation determined the source of this was an American
civilian, Bobby Joe Keese, for reasons which were unclear.

After Operation Homecoming they were declared killed in action,
body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.

In March 1973, a former member of the People's Army of Vietnam
described two graves he'd seen in February 1972 in Thanh Hoa
Province.  The pilots were reportedly shot down and died in
December 1971.  The graves were in the general area of this loss
incident.

The remains of Dale F. Koons were repatriated by Vietnam in April
1988.