MEANS, WILLIAM HARLEY JR.

Name: William Harley Means, Jr.
Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force, pilot
Unit: 41st Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Takhli AB TH
Date of Birth: 13 July 1935
Home City of Record: Topeka KS
Date of Loss: 20 July 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 215058N 1051657E (WK292160)
Status (in 1973): Released POW
Category:
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: EB66C

Other Personnel in Incident: Lawrence Barbay; Norman A. McDaniel; Edwin L.
Hubbard; Glendon W. Perkins (all released POWs); Craig R. Nobert (missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 May 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.
NETWORK.

REMARKS: 730212 RELSD BY DRV

SYNOPSIS: The Douglas EB66C Skywarrior was outfitted as an electronic warfare
aircraft which carried roughly 5 tons of electronic gear in addition to its
flight crew of three and technical personnel. The EB66C featured a pressurized
capsule installed in the bomb bay, that accommodated four technicians whose
responsibility was to operate electronic reconnaissance gear.

On July 20, 1966, an EB66C was dispatched from the 41st Tactical
Reconnaissance Squadron at Takhli Airbase in Thailand on an electronic
countermeasure mission over North Vietnam. The crew and technicians that day
included Capt. Lawrence Barbay, Capt. Glendon W. Perkins, Capt. Norman A.
McDaniel, Capt. William H. Means Jr., 1Lt. Edward L. Hubbard, and 1Lt. Craig
R. Nobert. Nobert served as the electronics warfare officer on the flight.

The flight was normal to the target area near Tuyen Quang, Quang Bac Thai
Province, North Vietnam. At this point, the aircraft was orbited east/west.
During this maneuver, the aircraft was hit by hostile fire. Two parachutes
were seen to eject the aircraft, after which the aircraft descended and
disintegrated.

In the spring of 1973, 591 Americans were released from prison camps in
Vietnam, including most of the crew of the Skywarrior lost on July 20, 1966.
They had been held in various POW camps in and around Hanoi for nearly seven
years. Only Nobert remained Missing in Action.

For 24 years, the Vietnamese have denied knowledge of the fate of Craig R.
Nobert, even though the U.S. believes there is a good possibility he was
captured and died in captivity. On January 18, 1978, the Department of the Air
Force declared Craig Nobert dead, based on no specific information he was
still alive.

Disturbing testimony was given to Congress in 1980 that the Vietnamese
"stockpiled" the remains of Americans to return at politically advantageous
times. Could Nobert be waiting, in a casket, for just such a moment?

Even more disturbing are the nearly 10,000 reports received by the U.S.
relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia. Many authorities who have
examined this information (largely classified), have reluctantly come to the
conclusion that many Americans are still alive in Southeast Asia. Could Nobert
be among these?

Perhaps the most compelling questions when remains are returned are, "Is it
really who they say it is?", and "How -- and when -- did he die?" As long as
reports continue to be received which indicate Americans are still alive in
Indochina, we can only regard the return of remains as a politically expedient
way to show "progress" on accounting for American POW/MIAs. As long as reports
continue to be received, we must wonder how many are alive.

As long as even one American remains alive, held against his will, we must do
everything possible to bring him home -- alive.

During their captivity, Perkins, Barbay and McDaniel were promoted to the rank
of Major. Hubbard was promoted to the rank of Captain. Means was promoted to
the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Craig R. Nobert was promoted to the rank of Major during the period he was
maintained missing.

Norman A. McDaniel resided in Camp Springs, Maryland in early 1990.

William H. Means, Jr. died in 1986 as a result of illness stemming from his
incarceraton in Vietnam.


SOURCE: WE CAME HOME  copyright 1977
Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR Ret), Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor
P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Text is reproduced as found in the original publication (including date and
spelling errors).
UPDATE - 09/95 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO

WILLIAM H. MEANS
Lieutenant Colonel - United States Air Force
Shot Down: July 20, 1966
Released: February 12, 1973
                                  
Springfield, Missouri, July 13, 1935 marks my place and date of birth but
Kansas City, Missouri is where I grew up. My entry into military service came
shortly after graduation from high school since the call of the "Wild Blue
Yonder" was quite a bit stronger than that of college.

I received my commission as a 2nd Lt. and my pilot wings at Williams Air Force
Base, Arizona in January of 1956 and for the next few years was assigned to
the training command, flying the T-33. I started flying the RB-66 in early
1960 and served a three year tour at Alconbury, England.

In late 1965 I received my orders to Southeast Asia and after having flown
eighty-nine missions in the B-66 I was shot down by a surface to air missile
over North Vietnam on the 20th of July 1966. My crew on that fateful day
consisted of a navigator and four electronic warfare officers, one of whom did
not return.

As for the future, my plans are to remain in the service for a few more years
during which time I will work to further my education.

During those long years in North Vietnam, my thoughts were frequently of home
- of  Genie, my wife and my sons, Rick and Tommy. At times I felt that it was
probably harder on Genie than it was on me - the mental anguish she must have
felt not knowing if I was alive and after I was listed as a prisoner of war,
whether I would survive to come home. When I was released, I returned to a
home she had made for me-a home with a wonderful wife, of whom I am very proud
and two fine sons. Genie and I met while I was in pilot training and our sons
were born in 1956 and 1961.

My faith in our great nation, a faith which told me America would never
forget, was a primary factor in seeing me through this ordeal. I feel I have a
debt to those Americans who supported our cause and worked so hard to bring us
home. It's a debt I may never be able to repay, but let me start with a simple
- thank  you!

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