O'NEIL, JAMES WILLIAM
RIP  07 June 2013

Name: James William O'Neil
Rank/Branch: O5/US Air Force
Unit: 17th Wild Weasels, 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, Korat RTAFB
Date of Birth:  October 20, 1930 Place of Birth: Winnipeg, Canada
Home City of Record: Los Angeles CA
Date of Loss: 29 September 1972
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 210200N 1052200E (WJ380256)
Status (in 1973): Released POW
Category:
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F105G
Refno: 1930

Other Personnel In Incident: Michael J. Bosiljevac (remains returned)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 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 2013.

REMARKS: 730329 RELSD BY DRV

SYNOPSIS: Lt.Col. James W. O'Neil was the pilot and Capt. Michael J.
Bosiljevac the EWO (Electronic Warfare Officer) of an F105G jet fighter which
was shot down by a Soviet SAM (Surface to Air Missile) on September 29, 1972.
Both Bosiljevac and O'Neil ejected successfully, and landed 23 miles southwest
of Hanoi. Radio Hanoi/Moscow/Cuba reported the capture of both "pilots" alive
(FIBIS) on 29 September 1972. O'Neil was subsequently transferred to Hoa Lo
(the "Hanoi Hilton") and repatriated March 29, 1973.

Upon his release, O'Neil stated that he had observed Bosiljevac in the
parachute, and that Bosiljevac had manually cut the parachute risers for
control and deployed his survival kit for landing. On about the fifth day of
his confinement O'Neil asked an English-speaking turnkey about Bosiljevac. The
turnkey later returned and said, "He is alive, well, uninjured, and luckier
than you."

Repeated USG, as well as family, inquiries met with little response from the
DRV/SRV. In fact, the Socialists Republic of Vietnam (SRV) wrote to the family
of Mike Bosiljevac and claimed to have "no knowledge of Mr. Michael joseph
Bosiljevac," and further stated that "they no longer hold prisoners within
Vietnam."

Yet, on September 21, 1987, the government of Vietnam provided Bosiljevac's
name and his remains were returned to USG control on September 24, 1987. The
Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii (CILHI) released the remains for a
second opinion in January of 1988, and final identification occurred in
January 1988. Bosiljevac's remains were returned to Omaha, Nebraska for burial
on February 10, 1988.

On August 1, 1989, Mike Bosiljevac's records were corrected to reflect that he
Died in Captivity. While this correction does not define the total duration of
his captivity, it stands as a matter of record.

Michael J. Bosiljevac was promoted to the rank of Major during the period he
was maintained in Missing in Action status.

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).

JAMES W. O'NEIL
Lieutenant Colonel - United States Air Force
Shot Down: September 29, 1972
Released: March 29, 1973
                       
I feel deeply honored to have served my country as a member of the Fourth
Allied Prisoner of War Wing. The caliber of leadership and organization I
encountered, upon completion of my solo tour, filled me with pride and
exhilaration. The morale and determination of the men never faltered.

In the face of adversity, it became solidified and stronger.

I am proud to be an American Military Man.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

James O'Neill retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel. He and
his wife Nancy resided in Nevada until his death in June 2013.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
June 2013
Found the obituary for him on the Los Angeles Times where it provides his DOB and other info at 
http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/latimes/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=165312807#fbLoggedOut 
which also has his photograph.  
And on military times at http://projects.militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards/recipient.php?recipientid=24608 
which has his place of birth and another photograph of him.
JJM
 
 

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