NEWBERRY, WAYNE ELLSWORTH II
Name: Wayne Ellsworth Newberry II Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force Unit: Date of Birth: 16 December 1938 Home City of Record: East St. Louis IL Date of Loss: 29 September 1968 Country of Loss: Laos Loss Coordinates: 152257N 1072658E (YC611023) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A1H Refno: 1293 Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 June 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 1998.
SYNOPSIS: The Douglas A1 Skyraider ("Spad") is a highly maneuverable, propeller driven aircraft designed as a multipurpose attack bomber or utility aircraft. The Spad was first used by the Air Force in its Tactical Air Command (TAC) to equip the first Air Commando Group engaged in counterinsurgency operations in South Vietnam, and later used in a variety of roles, ranging from electronic intelligence gathering to antisubmarine warfare and rescue missions. The venerable fighter aircraft was retired in 1968 and had flown in more than twenty model variations, probably more than any other U.S. combat aircraft.
The general procedure for a rescue escort entailed two A1 aircraft flying directly to the search area to look for sign of the downed crewmen while two other A1s escorted the rescue helicopter to the area. If it was necessary, the A1s would attack enemy in the area with bombs, rockets and cannon fire so that the helicopter could land.
Capt. Wayne E. Newberry was a Spad pilot. Newberry was on an unspecified mission over Saravane Province, Laos when his A1H was struck by enemy fire and crashed. At the time, it was felt that Newberry had died in the crash of his aircraft, and he was listed as Killed, Body Not Recovered.
(NOTE: Newberry was trained in TAC duties, and it might be assumed that he was on a TAC assignment; however, the location of loss favors that of a rescue escort or recce mission.)
Wayne Newberry is among nearly 600 Americans who disappeared in Laos. Unlike in Vietnam, no American held in Laos was released at the end of the war, even though the Pathet Lao stated publicly that they held "tens of tens" of American prisoners.
Since the war ended, over 10,000 reports relating to Americans prisoner, missing or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S. Government. Many authorities, having reviewed this largely-classified information, have concluded that there are still hundreds alive in captivity today.
Wayne Newberry, according to witnesses, did not survive the crash of his aircraft. But the U.S. believes that he can be accounted for, alive or dead. It's time we got answers, and time our men were brought home.