LERNER, IRWIN STUART
Remains Returned
Burial in Arlington 01/16/2004
Name: Irwin Stuart Lerner
Rank/Branch: Major/United States Air Force, EWO
Date of Birth: 17 October 1941
Unit: 307th Strat Wing Utaeopa AB Thailand
Home City of Record: Stratford CT
Loss Date: 20 December 1972
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 210500N 1055900E
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: B52
Refno: 1955
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 2002.
Other Personnel In Incident: William U. Acuri; Terry M. Geloneck; Paul L.
Granger; Thomas J. Klomann (all returned POWs from B52, coordinates 210500N
1055900E); Roy Madden Jr.; Michael R. Martini (returned POWs from B52,
coordinates 211000N 1054500E); Craig A. Paul; Warren R. Spencer (remains
returned from B52, coordinates 210459N 1053958E); Randolph A. Perrry; Arthur
V. McLaughlin; John F. Stuart (all missing from B52, coordinates 210500N
1055900E)
Remarks: POSS KIA
SYNOPSIS: Irwin S. Lerner was aboard a B52 shot down by a Surface to Air
(SAM) missile over Hanoi on December 20, 1972.  His B52 was one of many
involved in the successful "Christmas Bombings" of Hanoi that finally
convinced the Vietnamese to sit at the peace table.
There were a total of 12 men missing in close proximity to each other from
B52 aircraft on December 20.  It is unclear which men were together on any
given plane, although it seems clear that the four missing were on the same
plane as Madden and Martini, as Defense Department notes that two men were
released from Lerner and Perry's plane.  The total number listed exceeds a
normal B52 crew capacity, which is six.  Lerner's craft was third in a
flight of three B52s over Hanoi that day.  The fate of all three planes is
uncertain.
[2002 update]
The number three aircraft in the flight, a B52D, contained the following
crew members:
Major John F. Stewart, pilot;
Major Randolph A. Perry,  R/Nav;
Capt. Thomas J. Klomann, Nav;
Capt. Irwin S. Lerner, EWO;
1Lt. Paul L. Granger, Co-Pilot; and
Chief Master Sgt. Arthur V. McLaughlin, Jr., Gunner.
One thing that amazed analysts about the B52 bombers that were shot down
over Hanoi during this period was the high survival rate of the crewmembers.
Many more were returned as POWs than was expected.  The B52s that were shot
down were downed in extremely hostile territory with little or no chance of
rescue.
Unfortunately, it does not appear that all the prisoners were returned in
1973 at the end of the war.  Since 1975, thousands of reports have been
received by the U.S. Government relating to Americans still alive in
captivity.  Experts in the U.S. Government have stated they believe they are
being held.  The question then, is no longer whether or not they are alive,
but who are they, and how can we bring them home?  And is one of them Irwin
S. Lerner?