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!