O'DONNELL, SAMUEL JR.

Name: Samuel O'Donnel, Jr.
Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force
Unit: Ubon AFB, Thailand
Date of Birth: 28 January 1943
Home City of Record: Weatherly PA
Date of Loss: 12 July 1972
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 174300N 1062900E (XE573593)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 4
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F4E
Refno: 1898

Other Personnel In Incident: James L. Huard (missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project  01 April 1991 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.


REMARKS:

SYNOPSIS: The Phantom, used by Air Force, Marine and Navy air wings, served
a multitude of functions including fighter-bomber and interceptor, photo and
electronic surveillance. The two man aircraft was extremely fast (Mach 2),
and had a long range (900 - 2300 miles, depending on stores and mission
type). The F4 was also extremely maneuverable and handled well at low and
high altitudes. Most pilots considered it one of the "hottest" planes
around.

1lT. James l. Huard was the pilot and aircraft commander of an F4 aircraft
on a solo tactical mission when it was lost on July 12, 1972. His Weapons
Systems Operator on the flight was Capt. Samuel O'Donnell, Jr.. When the
plane was about 17 miles NNW of Dong Hoi, it failed to make a progress
check. During subsequent search and rescue, two Forward Air Controllers
(FAC) reported hearing a faint but definite emergency signal, but no radio
contact could be established or ground search initiated because of heavy
enemy force concentration in the area. Search continued until July 14, 1972.

Later information showed that the plane went down in a reservoir. When it
was drained, the wreckage of the plane was found, but there was no sign of
either crewman, nor any evidence to indicate that they perished with the
plane. The two were classified missing in action.

Nearly 2500 Americans did not return from the war in Vietnam. Thousands of
reports have been received indicating that some hundreds remain alive in
captivity. Whether Huard and McDonnell are alive is not known. What is
certain, however, is that Vietnam and her communist allies can tell us what
happened to most of our men. and return those who are alive.

James L. Huard was promoted to the rank of Captain during the period he was
maintained Missing in Action.