MILLS, JAMES BURTON
|Name: James Burton Mills
Rank/Branch: O2/U.S. Navy
Unit: Fighter Squadron 21, USS CORAL SEA (CVA-43)
Date of Birth: 31 August 1940 (Stigler OK)
Home City of Record: Bakersfield CA
Date of Loss: 21 September 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 191858N 1054300E (WG753358)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel In Incident: James R. Bauder (missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1990 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.
SYNOPSIS: James Mills was the all-American boy. In high school, he earned
letters every year in football, basketball and track and was selected as a
class officer a number of times. While studying for his degree in Business
Administration at the University of California at Berkeley, he participated
in intramural sports and held offices in his fraternity, Sigma Alpha
Mills' naval training took him to Rhode Island, Florida, Georgia and
California. His first tour of duty was onboard the USS MIDWAY as a radar
intercept officer on an F4B Phantom, and he completed 148 missions over
North Vietnam. He began a second tour onboard the USS CORAL SEA in 1966.
Lt.Cdr. James R. Bauder was a pilot assigned to Fighter Squadron 21 onboard
the USS CORAL SEA (CVA 43). On September 21, 1966, Bauder and Lt.JG James B.
Mills, the Naval Fighter Officer, launched with another F4B fighter jet from
the USS CORAL SEA on a night armed reconnaissance mission over North
Vietnam. Bauder was the flight leader of the flight. The assigned route was
from Cua Can to Thach Luyen along a river adjacent to Highway 1A.
Bauder briefed the mission for the two aircraft to penetrate the coast. The
wingman, Lt. Hanley, was in a 4-5 mile radar trail. Capt. Bauder dropped his
six flares at 3500 feet to illuminate the river for barges. His aircraft
then executed a starboard turn to watch for flak and surface-to-air missiles
(SAMs) as the wingman bombed targets of opportunity under the illumination
of the flares. The wingman was then to proceed straight ahead off the target
for 45 seconds and drop his flares. Bauder and Mills would follow him north
in a 4-5 mile radar trail with the intention of bombing targets illuminated
by the second series of flares.
The wingman attempted to contact Bauder by radio, but was unsucessful. He
then checked with the USS CHICAGO and the E2A air control aircraft to see if
they had radar contact with the leader's aircraft, but they did not. At no
time were any flak or SAM firings observed by the crew of the wing aircraft.
Neither crew member observed any explosions in the air or on the ground. No
signals were detected from the emergency radios carried by both Bauder and
Mills. An extensive search was conducted in the area during the night and
early morning with negative results. Bauder and Mills and their aircraft
disappeared. The two were placed in a Missing In Action category.
When 591 Americans were released in 1973, Bauder and Mills were not among
them. They are two of nearly 2500 Americans who did not return from
Indochina at the end of American involvement there. Unlike MIAs from other
wars, most of the missing in Southeast Asia can be accounted for.
Tragically, over 1200 eye-witness reports have been received that indicate
that some of these "MIAs" are actually held prisoner today. Whether James
Bauder and James Mills are among them is unknown. But their families would
like to know...and have them home, one way or another.
From - Wed May 17 12:16:29 2000
You may want to add the following:
Jim's immediate family has been involved in the National League of Families
of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia since it's inception in
1970. His father, E.C. "Bus" Mills, was a board member for several years
and the League Executive Director for one year in 1974. His mother, Lois,
was Regional Coordinator for several years. His sister, Ann Mills
Griffiths, had served on the board for several years and then has been
Executive Director for over 20 years, currently serving in that capacity.
His other sister, Judie Mills Taber, served as California Coordinator and
Regional Coordinator for many years. His family remains committed to the
return of all POWs, the fullest possible accounting of the missing, and the
return of all recoverable remains. They appreciate the concern and active
involvement of so many people who have stood firm in their commitment to
this issue through the 33+ years that Jim has been MIA. There are over 150
relatives of Jim's who await word on his fate.
Judie Mills Taber
PO1 Blake Midnight
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA)
deployed an Underwater Recovery Team (URT) comprised of
Department of Defense civilians and U.S. Army, Navy and Air
Force servicemembers to northern Vietnam in search of two U.S.
Navy aviators who went missing during the Vietnam War, May
The two men were on a nighttime reconnaissance mission over
northeastern Nghe An and southeastern Thanh Hoa provinces when
their F-4B Phantom aircraft vanished from radar, Sept. 21, 1966.
To this day, the two men remain unaccounted-for.
is not DPAA’s first mission to this site; in 2008 an underwater
investigation team used remote sensing equipment to identify
possible wreckage on the bottom, and then employed divers to
verify what was detected. This technique led to the discovery of
the aircrafts’ wreckage site.....
Remains of pilot identified, but his
Bakersfield crewman still unaccounted for
... rather than drifting with currents over the many
decades, said a spokesperson with the Joint POW
Accounting Command, which conducts global ...
...Last week, the Los Angeles Times
reported that a fragment of bone — a femur — had
been found in June near the crash site. A test
matched its mitochondrial DNA to a sample submitted
years earlier by Bauder’s younger sister, Jane, the
More than a half-century after his
plane disappeared, the pilot had been found.
Understandably, it was not a discovery that set off
celebration. Such finds are mixed blessings.....