LUNDY, ALBRO LYNN, JR
Remains Returned 10/27/92, ID 03/26/2002
Independent DNA analysis accepted. Burial in Arlington April 7, 2004.
|Name: Albro Lynn Lundy Jr
Rank/Branch: 04/US Air Force
Unit: 1st SPOPSSQ 56th Special Ops Wing (formerly Air Commandos)
Nakohon Phanom RTAFB Thailand
Date of Birth: 17 November 32
Home of Record: Sherman Oaks, CA
Date of Loss: 24 December 1970
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 193726 N1034227E
Status (in 1973): Killed in Action/Body not Recovered
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A1E # 139598/ Call Sign - Sandy 03
Other Personnel in Incident: none
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project and the P.O.W. NETWORK
November 1991 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.
SYNOPSIS: In March of 1970, at the age of 37 Major Albro Lundy Junior
left home, his wife, Joanna, 37, and his 6 children to continue his
military career in Vietnam. Prior to his assignment in Southeast Asia,
he had taught German Luftwaffe pilots how to fly America's best planes.
Upon his return from his tour of Duty in Vietnam he was to be assigned
as the military attache to an Eastern European embassy. (He was lost
twelve days before his rotation home.) Major Lundy had also served at
Space and Missile Systems Organization (SAMSO) where he had designed
weapons systems and operations after completing his masters degree in
Human Factor's. During his first six month's of duty in Southeast Asia,
Major Lundy was awarded the Silver Star, two distinguished Flying
Crosses, the Air Force Medal and six Air Force Commendation Medals,
(Fourth through Ninth Oak Leaf Cluster.)
On December 24 1970, Major Albro Lundy, Junior volunteered for a
medical evacuation escort Mission in Laos in the Northeast corner of
the extremely heavily defended Ban Ban Valley, one of the most
important supply/storage areas supporting heavy enemy truck traffic. It
was accordingly defended by AAA up to and including 37MM. In addition
it is estimated there were hundreds of enemy troops in the area and the
danger of small arms and automatic weapons fire was definitely present.
The purpose of the med evac mission was to remove friendly troops who
had been wounded in the action in the immediate area. Although two
other A1E flights had refused to work in this area on December 24,
Major Lundy volunteered his flight to fly CAP for the Air America
helicopters making the pickup of the casualties. Three Air America
Helicopters, two Raven forward air controllers, an Air America C-7A,
and another A1E were flying on the mission.
During the flight, Major Lundy reported there were mechanical problems
with his aircraft. He radioed "I've got a rough engine... it's
backfiring." He radioed to the other members of the flight "I've got
to get out now." Immediately thereafter, the other members of the
flight saw the seat rocket fire followed by a normal chute deployment.
One pilot followed the descending chute, noticing that there was at
least part of a harness, and that the leg straps were dangling, but
there was no one in the chute although an Air America crew member
reported that Major Lundy was in the chute when it first opened. The
chute was watched until it impacted the ground in the area of
approximately 4.5 kilometers east of Ban Hai, Xiangkhoang Province,
Laos. The air crews heard no radio calls or beacon signals, and the
aircraft impacted and burned just seconds after the seat rocket fired.
Aircraft circled the impact area for 30 minutes following the crash,
and found no sign of a survivor. Ground teams attempted to enter the
crash site area later that day, but were driven away by hostile fire.
Casualities were taken.
According to the Air Force, Major Lundy was "probably out of the
aircraft at the time", and resolution of this incident was "probable"
because the incident occurred within five kilometers of a settlement
and the terrain allowed reasonable access and enemy personnel were
known to be close.
Major Lundy was declared category 1 MIA originally, and then two days
later Major Lundy was declared "dead- body not recovered" on December
26, 1970. The Lundy family was told, in both the telegram and official
condolence letter, that Major Lundy did not leave the aircraft and
that he "died instantly as a result of the aircraft crash."
Following the declaration of death, Joanna Lundy pursued a law degree,
in night school and raised 6 children. She never re-married. One son,
Albro Lundy III, 32, is also a lawyer. He was ten when his father left
In July of 1991, a photo surfaced showing three men believed to be
American Prisoners of War in captivity. The Lundy family positively
identified one of the men in the photo as Albro Lundy Junior. The other
two men, Navy Lt. Larry Stevens and Air Force Col. John Leighton
Robertson, were also identified by their family members. The photo,
accompanied by three sets of fingerprints and palm prints said to be
those of the three men was inscribed with a date (May 25 1990), and a
cryptic set of initials. Families found it incredible that no
fingerprint records could be found to check against those sent back
with the photo. In Major Lundy's case, this required the loss or
destruction of multiple sets of fingerprints known to once have been on
file with the Air Force, the FBI, the State Department, and his college
Further investigation by the Lundy family shows that over the years at
least 20 live sighting reports (the family has only seen 2 of these
reports) had been received on Albro Lundy Jr., and little if any
investigation was done on any of them. Fingerprints were not verified,
and the family was not told of the existence of such evidence. The
Pentagon has yet to prove the photo a "fake" even though all interviews
with the press imply that it is. Photo analysis has confirmed the
identity of the man in the photo, and shows an unmistakable correlation
of Major Lundy's features in his young photos to his aged image in the
Albro Lundy III has made four trips from California to the Pentagon to
see his father's file and has been denied access each time. On July 15,
1991, the photo was given to the Vietnamese Government along with the
classified information that Albro III was denied access to.
Meanwhile the Lundy family waits for Freedom of Information Act requests to
be processed requesting all copies of the government photo analysis, and
for the FBI analysis on the photo to be completed almost two years after the
United States Government had possession of the photo. They have asked the
newly formed Senate Select Committee to help them obtain all the information
on Albro Lundy Junior that they have been denied access to.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LUNDY FAMILY RESPONDS TO REMAINS SENT FROM LAOS
October 30, 1997
CONTACT: ALBRO LUNDY III
Albro Lynn Lundy, III, son of Major Albro Lynn Lundy Jr,,
USAF POW/MIA shot down over Laos, confirms that the Laotian
government has returned remains labeled as his father to the
U.S. Ambassador in Laos. On Wednesday, October 29, 1997,
the Air Force also told Lundy that the dog tag, military ID
card and "blood chit" are being returned with the box of
purported remains. The Lundy family stresses that those
remains have been LABELED as that of his father, but none of
the articles or the remains have been verified.
Lundy said, 'We are truly grateful for the cooperation of
the Lao government and people for trying to resolve my
fathers case because we have been seeking the truth of what
actually happened to him for so long. Unfortunately, we
must be circumspect and verify evrything that is sent to us
before we can confirm that this is my father. Several other
MIA/POW families have been sent remains that turned out to
be nothing more then rocks and animal bones. Lundy added
that them are a number of important questions that either
government has yet to answer.
How did the Lao government obtain the ID Information
What is the chain of custody with these items?
How were the items obtained from Major Albro Lundy, and
what were the exact circumstances of his death?
Lundy said he hopes this leads to finding the truth not only
on his father's case but the many other POW/MIA cases that
are unresolved as well.
Los Angeles Daily News
Sunday, January 4, 1998
BONES FAIL TO END '70 MYSTERY; VALLEY FAMILY DOUBTS REMAINS FROM
LAOS ARE MISSING FATHER'S
Deborah Sullivan Daily News Staff Writer
The bones lying in a military lab in Hawaii were supposed to provide
answers about a San Fernando Valley football star and airman shot down
over Laos in 1970. But now brothers William and Albro Lundy III suspect
that the remains identified as their father's might not be his at all.....
From - Mon Apr 24 2000 14:59:01
This is Cathi and Albro Lundy and it has been a while since we were in touch, thank you so much for the work you continue to do. Albro's brother has been traveling to Se Asia and wanted us to put out a renewed call to prayer for the people working on the issue over there. If you could post this in some way, we would be very grateful:
"Please pray for the POWs, their health, safety and release, and for God's protection and guidance for the people working to bring them home."
Thank you very much,
Keep the Faith!
Cathi and Albro Lundy
Sent: Mon, Jun 6, 2016 4:18 pm
Muhammad Ali and Me – Traveling to Vietnam to Fight for POWs
By Albro L. Lundy III
Larger than Life
I always thought that Ali was larger than life until I was sitting across from him on a chance limousine ride we shared to the airport in Philadelphia. This was long before Parkinson’s disease has quieted the voice of this great orator. And my conversation with him was nothing less than ethereal. At that point, he became simply a man with a great heart. I was a young attorney and suddenly working on the biggest case of my life – trying to discover the truth about what happened to my father, USAF Major Albro L. Lundy Jr., when his Skyraider plane was shot down December 24, 1970.
Looking for my Father
In my mind, I had lost my father when I was 10 years old while he was flying a search and rescue mission. I later found out it was a secret mission to save the lives of Laotian allies and CIA operatives. One day, one Saturday the day before Easter in 1991, I received a letter from a judge in Kentucky who said my father, who had been declared dead but his body had never been recovered, might still be alive and held prisoner as a Prisoner of War in Vietnam. I wept when I read this letter for I had done nothing to save my father those 20 years.
So I set off on a quest to bring my father home should he still be alive and held in captivity in the communist recesses of Laos or Vietnam. I didn’t meet many people who knew where Laos was much less how it was involved in the Vietnam War.
I traveled all over America and even to Southeast Asia in my quest.
Meeting the Champ
On one of these journeys, on that chance ride I shared with the Champ, I shared with him the story of my lost father. The Champ asked me, “Do you believe he is still alive?” I answered, “The only spiritual, the only logical, and the only moral thing I can do is to believe he is alive until I can prove otherwise.” Ali looked at me, his dark eyes searching my soul and connecting with my heart. He said to me, pounding his right fist into his left palm repeatedly, “You and me, let’s bring him home. Let’s go get him.”
I had no experience with Muhammad Ali until this point and my doubting Thomas mind was amazed yet wondered if what Ali had declared, that we would find my father together, was nothing more than an empty promise. Ali was a man of his word. In the months that followed an expedition to communist Vietnam was arranged by Let Freedom Ring Inc., a nonprofit organization.
Muhammad Ali Finally Travels to Vietnam
Ali and I, with a cadre of POW family members and advocates, took off to North Vietnam, a country that by refusing to fight, Ali had risked his freedom and had been stripped of his World Champion Belt. He would not to go Vietnam to fight then but now was willing to go there to save. I can recall like it was yesterday, Ali sitting next to me as we were landing on a dilapidated airstrip in North Vietnam saying, “I can’t believe I am here. I spent so much of my life fighting not to come. But now I am here to bring your dad home.” I had no response. The magnitude of his statement and the reality that I was living took my words away. I just reached over and grabbed his hand and said “Thank you.”
Meeting with the North Vietnamese
I thought that if anyone could bring my dad home if he was still alive it was Muhammad Ali. When we met with the Premier of North Vietnam and later the Politbureau, which really controlled the decision making of North Vietnam, Ali was brilliant in negotiations. I will always remember him describing to the Premier how the world was his home and each county was a room within it; and we as family living in that home should work together for peace.
Then, he brought up my father and asked - if he was held by the Vietnamese (who ruled Laos), would they release him? And I can remember so clearly, the Premier saying, “Champ, if this was between our peoples, we would have resolution. But this is between our governments. And out of my and your hands.” Later when we met with the Politbureau, they so much as admitted that they still held prisoners of war, but under their interpretation of the Geneva Convention did not consider them prisoners of war but air pirates and merely criminals deserving of Vietnamese punishment.
Grace in Defeat
It was tragically devastating when we realized that our hopes of Ali bringing a man, a POW, home were not going to happen. At that point, we then needed to be as cordial as we could to the North Vietnamese yet not allow them to use us as propaganda. This was not an easy task. In 1994, Ali was one of the most recognizable men in the world.
Crowds followed him wherever we went. He would always entertain the children who flocked around him with magic tricks and give them simple hugs of love. Ali was not interested in tourist attractions and government appointments. He came to bring the POWs home, and if he couldn’t do that, he had little patience for the rest of what the Vietnamese had planned for him. But he ultimately made a decision for equanimity. If he couldn’t bring the POWs home, he could at least be the ambassador for the US and the World. And he was.