MORGAN, GARY LEE

Name: Gary Lee Morgan
Rank/Branch: E5/US Air Force, Gunner
Unit: 307th Strat Wing
Date of Birth: 9 March 1946
Home City of Record: Abilene TX
Date of Loss: 22 December 1972
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 210125N 1055100E (WJ880210)
Status (in 1973): Released POW
Category:
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: B52
Missions: 23

Other Personnel in Incident: John H. Yuill; William T. Mayall; David I.
Drummond; William W. Conlee; Louis H. Bernasconi (all released POWs)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 July 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: RELSD 730329 BY DRV

SYNOPSIS: Frustrated by problems in negotiating a peace settlement, and
pressured by a Congress and public wanting an immediate end to American
involvement in Vietnam, President Nixon ordered the most concentrated air
offensive of the war - known as Linebacker II - in December 1972. During the
offensive, sometimes called the "Christmas bombings," 40,000 tons of bombs
were dropped, primarily over the area between Hanoi and Haiphong. White House
Press Secretary Ronald Ziegler said that the bombing would end only when all
U.S. POWs were released and an internationally recognized cease-fire was in
force.

Linebacker II flights generally arrived over Hanoi in tight cells of three
aircraft to maximize the mutual support benefits of their ECM equipment and
flew straight and level to stabilize the bombing computers and ensure that all
bombs fell on the military targets and not in civilian areas.

The pilots of the early missions reported that "wall-to-wall SAMS" surrounded
Hanoi as they neared its outskirts. The Christmas Bombings, despite press
accounts to the contrary, were of the most precise the world had seen. Pilots
involved in the immense series of strikes generally agree that the strikes
against anti-aircraft and strategic targets was so successful that the U.S.,
had it desired, "could have taken the entire country of Vietnam by inserting
an average Boy Scout troop in Hanoi and marching them southward."

To achieve this precision bombing, the Pentagon deemed it necessary to stick
to a regular flight path. For many missions, the predictable B52 strikes were
anticipated and prepared for by the North Vietnamese. Later, however, flight
paths were altered and attrition all but eliminated any hostile threat from
the ground.

Still, aircraft were shot down near the end of the campaign. On December 22,
1972, a B52 was shot down near Hanoi. Its crew included LTCOL John H. Yuill,
LTCOL Louis H. Bernasconi, LTCOL William W. Conlee, CAPT David I. Drummond,
1LT William T. Mayall, and TSGT Gary L. Morgan. This crew was exceptionally
fortunate--they were all were captured by the North Vietnamese. The captured
crew was held in Hanoi until March 29, 1973, at which time they were released
in Operation Homecoming. The U.S. did not know all of them had been captured.

Linebacker II involved 155 Boeing B52 Stratofortress bombers stationed at
Anderson AFB, Guam (72nd Strat Wing) and another 50 B52s stationed at Utapoa
Airbase, Thailand (307th Strat Wing), an enormous number of bombers with over
one thousand men flying the missions. However, the bombings were not conducted
without high loss of aircraft and personnel. During the month of December
1972, 61 crewmembers onboard ten B52 aircraft were shot down and were captured
or declared missing. (The B52 carried a crew of six men; however, one B52 lost
carried an extra crewman.) Of these 61, 33 men were released in 1973. The
others remained missing at the end of the war. Over half of these survived to
eject safely.

Since the war ended, over 10,000 reports have been received relating to
Americans missing, prisoner or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia. The crew of
the B52 shot down on December 22 was lucky to have survived and only have a
few weeks imprisonment. Many authorities are now convinced that many Americans
are still held captive in Southeast Asia. It's time we found them and brought
them home.


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

GARY L. MORGAN
Technical Sergeant - United  States Air Force
Shot Down: December 22, 1972
Released: March 29, 1973

Gary Morgan was born on March 9, 1946 in Abilene, Texas, He graduated from
Abilene High School. His present home is Fort Worth.

In 1963 Gary joined the USAF and served for four years as an administrative
clerk. In March of 1967 he followed this with an enlistment in the U.S. Navy.
Helicopter Rescue Aircrewman. He spent one tour in Southeast Asia. In July
1969 he returned to the Air Force as a maintenance scheduler but cross trained
as a tailgunner on the B-52. In November 1972 he was sent to Southeast Asia
where he took part in 23 missions. He was captured in December and spent three
months in captivity. He considers this period of time rewarding in terms of
deepening his faith in God, the United States, and his family. Most of all
Gary says," It's great to be home in the USA with my wife Penny, and Daughter,
Carri."

Gary expects to return to flying status and remain in the Air Force as a
tailgunner.
   
Gary Morgan retired from the United States Air Force as a Senior Master
Sargeant. He lives in Texas.