NASH, JOHN MICHEL Remains ID'd 02/05/2010 Name: John Michel Nash Rank/Branch: O3/US Army Unit: 20th Aviation Detachment - HQ MACV SD5891 (see note in text) Date of Birth: 21 March 1937 Home City of Record: Tipton IN Loss Date: 15 March 1966 Country of Loss: Laos Loss Coordinates: 164501N 1060522E (XD184546) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 2 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: OV1A Refno: 0276 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 in 2011. Others In Incident: Glenn McElroy (pilot of OV-1); David Holmes (pilot of an O1E). (both missing) REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: On March 15, 1966, Capt. Mike Nash was flying co-pilot with pilot Maj. Glenn McElroy on an OV1A Mohawk (serial #6313124) on a "Tigerhound" operation. The two (call sign "Ironspud") were conducting a photo run along Route 91 on the west side of the Se Nam Kok River valley 11 miles northwest of Tchepone, Laos. There was a large number of NVA in the area maintaining a truck park along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, as well as 6 gun emplacements (3AA + 3AW). At about 1300 hours, shortly before Nash and McElroy began their photo run on the west side of the valley, an Air Force O1E flown by Holmes was shot down on the valley's east side by at least one of the gun emplacements. Another O1E, call sign "Hound Dog 50" was dispatched immediately, and observed Holmes, apparently unconscious, sitting in the cockpit of his plane. About 1435 hours, Hound Dog 50 also observed the OV-1 Mohawk flown by Nash and McElroy enter the line of enemy fire on the west side of the valley. The OV-1 was hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed. One parachute was observed leaving the damaged plane from the right side, and from the crew placement in the plane, it is believed that Nash ejected from the aircraft. Because of the plane losses and the discovery of the troops and gun emplacements, F-4's (call sign Oxwood 95) and A1E Skyraiders were called in and the ensuing battle raged for 4-5 hours that afternoon in the operational area known as "ECHO". On March 16, a search and rescue team flew to the crash site of David Holmes' O1E and found that the plane was empty. Their report states that he was either removed from the plane or left under his own power. URC-10 emergency radio signals were heard four times in the next six days, but it was thought that the signals were initiated by the enemy as voice contact was never made. Holmes, Nash and McElroy all had URC-10 radios. The fates of the three are unknown. Just over 20 years from the day Nash and McElroy's aircraft crashed, U.S. teams had the opportunity to examine and excavate the site. There was no shred of evidence that anyone died in the aircraft. No human remains or bone fragments were found. In 1973, 591 Americans were released from prisons in Vietnam. Nash, McElroy and Holmes were not among them, nor were nearly 2500 other Americans who went missing in Southeast Asia. Of this 2500, nearly 600 are missing in Laos. No prisoners held in Laos were released in 1973, nor has there ever been any agreement reached which would free them. Were there not thousands of reports indicating hundreds of Americans are still held captive in Southeast Asia, America might be able to close this chapter of the Vietnam war. But if there is even ONE American prisoner, we cannot forget. We must bring them home. NOTE: The 20th Aviation Detachment existed until December 1966, at which time it was reassigned as the 131st Aviation Company, 223rd Aviation Battalion (Combat Support). The 131st Aviation Company had been assigned to I Corps Aviation Battalion since June 1966, when it arrived in Vietnam. In August 1967, the 131st Aviation Company was reassigned to the 212th Aviation Battalion where it remained until July 1971, whereupon it transferred out of Vietnam. There were a large number of pilots lost from this unit, including Thaddeus E. Williams and James P. Schimberg (January 9, 1966); John M. Nash and Glenn D. McElroy (March 15, 1966); James W. Gates and John W. Lafayette (April 6, 1966); Robert G. Nopp and Marshall Kipina (July 14, 1966); Jimmy M. Brasher and Robert E. Pittman (September 28, 1966); James M. Johnstone and James L. Whited (November 19, 1966); Larry F. Lucas (December 20, 1966); and Jack W. Brunson and Clinton A. Musil (May 31, 1971). Missing OV1 aircraft crew from the 20th/131st represent well over half of those lost on OV1 aircraft during the war. U.S. Army records list both Nopp and Kipina as part of the "131st Aviation Company, 14th Aviation Battalion", yet according to "Order of Battle" by Shelby Stanton, a widely recognized military source, this company was never assigned to the 14th Aviation Battalion. The 131st was known as "Nighthawks", and was a surveillance aircraft company.
UPDATE: April 22, 2011
AMERICANS IDENTIFIED: There are now 1,693 Americans listed by the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO)