MATTHES, PETER RICHARD
REMAINS RETURNED 11/93 IDENTIFIED 10/95
BROTHER DOES NOT ACCEPT I.D. -- see notes attached
Name: Peter Richard Matthes
Rank/Branch: O2/US Air Force
Unit: 44th Tactical Airlift Squadron, Ubon Airfield, Thailand
Date of Birth: 14 March 1943
Home City of Record: Toledo OH
Date of Loss: 24 November 1969
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 154900N 1064600E (YC902495)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Other Personnel in Incident: Michael D. Balamonti; Earl C. Brown; Rexford J.
Dewispelaere; Charles R. Fellenz; Richard O. Ganley; Larry I. Grewell; Donald
L. Wright (all missing)
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.
SYNOPSIS: On November 24, 1969, a C130A departed Ubon Airfield, Thailand on an
operational mission over Laos. The crew aboard the aircraft included Maj.
Michael D. Balamonti (the navigator); Capt. Earl C. Brown; Capt. Richard O.
Ganley; 1Lt. Peter R. Matthes (the copilot); and Sgts. Donald L. Wright; Larry
I. Grewell; Charles R. Fellenz; and Rexford J. DeWispelaere.
While on the mission, near Ban Bac, Savannakhet Province, Laos, the C130 was
observed to be struck by several rounds of 37mm anti-aircraft fire, burst into
flames, crash to the ground, and explode on impact. All the crew was declared
Missing in Action, but due to enemy presence in the area, it was strongly felt
that the enemy could account for them. It was not determined whether the crew
died or survived the crash of the aircraft.
The crew of the C130 are among nearly 600 Americans who were lost in Laos. When
Dr. Henry Kissinger negotiated President Nixon's Peace Agreements in Paris in
1973, ending American involvement in the Vietnam War, the Americans lost in
Laos were forgotten. Kissinger did not negotiate for them, even though several
were known to be Prisoners of War, and some 125 of them were known to have
survived their loss incidents. Furthermore, the Pathet Lao stated on several
occasions that they held "tens of tens" of American prisoners.
The nearly 600 Americans lost in Laos have never been negotiated for, and not
one American held in Laos was released at the end of the war.
Since the end of the war, nearly 10,000 reports have been received by the U.S.
relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia. Many authorities believe that
hundreds remain alive today, held captive. Whether the crew of the C130 could
be among them is not known, but it seems certain that there are compelling
questions that need answers. Among them - why did we abandon the men who served
our country? What are we doing to bring them home?
Sun Feb 15 1998
Subject: Peter R. Matthes
Although the military says they have identified my brother, its a bunch of
crap. If he died in that crash, why was his GX2527 outside Dong Vai Prison
in 1992? I've seen all the remains and there is not one piece of evidence
that he died in the crash. There is evidence that he may have survived. I
did in fact write to the Secretary of the Air Force that I did not accept
the finding of their review board. I based this conclusion almost
exclusively on their own evidence. I am making a web page to present all
the information that CILHI used to reach their conclusions.
William Matthes PNOK
May 28 1998
Although the USAF claims they have identified the members of the C130A
aircraft lost on 11/24/69, their records show that no bones or teeth could
be identified. Their ID is flawed. Pete's E&E code (GX2527) was found from
satellite imagery in 1992 outside Dong Vai prison, North Vietnam. Enemy
records of the shoot-down show only five pilots killed.