PATTERSON, JAMES KELLY
Name: James Kelly Patterson
Rank/Branch: O3/US Navy
Unit: VA 35, USS ENTERPRISE (CVAN-65)
Date of Birth: 14 July 1940
Home City of Record: Long Beach CA
Date of Loss: 19 May 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 204537N 1052539E (WH445955)
Status (in 1973): Prisoner of War
Other Personnel In Incident: Capt. Eugene McDaniel (released POW)
REMARKS: PROB CAPTURED WITH BROKEN LEG
Source: Compiled by HOMECOMING II 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 with
information from George "Luck" Patterson. UPDATED 2011.
SYNOPSIS: When nuclear powered USS ENTERPRISE arrived on Yankee Station on
December 2, 1965, she was the largest warship ever built. She brought with
her not only an imposing physical presence, but also an impressive component
of warplanes and the newest technology. By the end of her first week of
combat operations, the ENTERPRISE had set a record of 165 combat sorties in
a single day, surpassing the KITTY HAWK's 131. By the end of her first
combat cruise, her air wing had flown over 13,000 combat sorties. The record
had not been achieved without cost.
When the ENTERPRISE arrived in Vietnam on its second combat cruise, two of
its pilots were LtCdr. Eugene B. "Red" McDaniel and Lt. James K. Patterson,
an A6 "Intruder" team. The Intruder pilots were known to have, in the words
of Vice Admiral William F. Bringle, Commander Seventh Fleet, "an abundance
of talent, courage and aggressive leadership", and were sent on some of the
most difficult missions of the war.
On May 19, 1967 McDaniel was the pilot and Patterson the backseater aboard
an A6A with a mission to bomb a truck repair facility at Van Dien, Hai Duong
Province, North Vietnam. The aircraft was shot down, but both crew members
ejected safely from the aircraft and established voice radio contact with
other aircraft in the area.
Lt. Patterson badly broke his leg upon landing, but maintained radio contact
with rescue forces for a period of four days. On May 21, he reported that
enemy forces had taken a recovery kit which had been dropped to him and that
he had moved up a hill for safety. LtCdr. McDaniel was taken prisoner by the
North Vietnamese and taken to Hanoi.
During the nearly six years he was a prisoner of war, McDaniel never saw his
backseater. He continually asked about him, and was given conflicting
stories. In late 1967, he was told by a guard that Lt. Patterson had
recovered from his injuries. Partly because the Vietnamese seemed to be
toying with him by changing the story on Patterson, and partly because he
never saw or heard of his backseater, McDaniel finally came to the belief
that his backseater and friend had not been captured, but was dead.
McDaniel is noted for three things as a prisoner - his honor, his optimism
and faith in his country, and also for having been the prisoner who received
the most brutal torture at the hands of the Vietnamese.
"Red" McDaniel was released March 4, 1973 believing that Patterson and the
others who were not released were dead. It was not until he served the Navy
as a liason to Congress that he began to see evidence that Americans were
still alive in Southeast Asia. It was a heartbreaking realization.
When Captain McDaniel left the Navy, he formed The American Defense
Institute in order to foster patriotism in America's youth and to share with
other Americans what he learned about communism and why it must be fought at
every level. One of ADI's most important issues is that of missing Americans
in Southeast Asia.
In late 1986, a former NSA intelligence analyst stated that backseaters like
Patterson, who possessed technical knowledge surpassing that of the pilot
were singled out. The analyst stated that in the intelligence community
these men were dubbed, "MB", or "Moscow Bound". They would make valuable
trades to the Soviet Union for a heavily indebted Vietnam.
The same year, a Congressional team visiting the Central Identification
Laboratory learned that certain identification belonging to Patterson had
been given to the U.S. by the Vietnamese. This was clear evidence that the
Vietnamese knew what happened to James K. Patterson.
Today McDaniel does not know if James K. Patterson is alive or not, but he
is absolutely convinced that many Americans are alive, still held captive in
communist prisons in Southeast Asia, and has been a tireless leader in the
effort to force action leading to their honorable return.
McDaniel says, "It's a matter of our national honor to bring these men home.
We went to Vietnam prepared to be wounded or even to die. We went prepared
to be captured. But we were never prepared to be abandoned."
Biography and investigation update (Feb '99) on
James Kelly Patterson, MIA, Vietnam, 1967
As soon as James Kelly Patterson was old enough to gaze skyward, airplanes
and flying became his lifelong obsession. A talented artist, one of his
earliest grade school paintings shows a barefoot, straw-hatted Huck Finn
type walking along a country path, stringer of fish a-dragging, cane pole
a-toting, and over his head, a jet airplane. His model fighters and bombers
hung from our bedroom ceiling, frozen in combat. On weekends I was his
captive assistant at the Rose Bowl parking lot where he flew his powered
models. They all eventually crashed or flew out of sight, giving him an
excuse to start building new ones. It's not surprising that the lowest
point in his life came when he learned that Naval Academy study had ruined
his eyes for pilot training. But he shook it off and, determined to be
airborne, became, according to his commanding officers, a stand-out,
inspired combat bombardier- navigator, one of the best in the business.
Maybe we were naive, but we thought the Vietnam issue was pretty simple: the
communist North was poised to enslave the free South, our ally. America was
right to intervene. And growing up siblings in a Navy family, entranced by
every episode of "Victory at Sea", there was no question about it--Kelly and
I were duty-bound to go, and would go willingly. So he shipped out for
Southeast Asia in December of 1966 as a B-N in a carrier-borne A-6 squadron,
and, O'Sullivan Act notwithstanding, I followed in January.
After dozens of truly harrowing missions over the north, and several
citations for bravery and outstanding performance, Kelly earned a much
needed R&R in April. But he left Yankee Station, not for Bangkok or
Honolulu or Brisbane, but for Danang, South Vietnam. There he hopped a
Marine convoy and found his way to my outfit in the bush.
Not unheard of, this was at least out of the ordinary. The Navy had
invested a small fortune in his training, making him an expert in the use of
the state- of-the-art electronics that was neutralizing Hanoi's air
defenses. How he got approval for this trip, I don't know. Maybe he told
his commanding officer he just wanted to see his kid brother in Danang.
He had always been a protective big brother, and here he was again, checking
on my welfare, easing our folks' concerns. He found me as I was preparing
my Marine rifle platoon for a three day patrol, and not to be denied a
visit, asked to go along. So I issued him a helmet, flak jacket, and rifle,
and at O-dark-thirty stepped out of our perimeter into Indian country, Kelly
in tow to share my muddy war in the paddies.
Our time together was cut short when my platoon was choppered out to pursue
an NVA force which had hit the Marines in the foothills inland, but the two
days we had together were very special. When we could, we talked about home
and family, and of course the war. Kelly was living his dream, flying a
carrier based Navy warplane in combat. Saving the South Vietnamese from the
horrors of Communism was reason enough for fighting. He had no animosity
toward the common people of the north, and took extreme care (to his own
hazard, I learned later) to avoid civilian casualties on his bombing runs.
He didn't even mind that the anti-war groups at home were sending medicine
to North Vietnam. Maybe some of it found its way to the villagers, he
reasoned, and maybe they would return the favor some day.
I treasure the memory of these, as it turned out our final, hours together.
Kelly's conduct as a Naval officer, as a warrior, and as a man, and most
especially as a brother, was extraordinary. When I last saw him, through
the rotor dust of a rising "Sea Knight" helicopter, he was riding atop an
am-trac headed back to his war. On May 19, 1967, Kelly was shot down over
North Vietnam. With his pilot, Eugene "Red" McDaniel, he ejected, and with
a broken leg evaded capture for three days. Then he disappeared.
The North Vietnamese remained silent for 18 years, ignoring all inquiries.
Then, in 1985, they suddenly claimed that their militia had found Kelly in
the jungle, shot him dead when he resisted in a short gun battle, and buried
him on the spot. Their several written reports of the incident conflicted
with the accounts finally given to US investigators by two "eye witnesses" a
few years later. And when the investigators dug up the spot where Kelly was
supposedly buried, they found only undisturbed soil strata. No bones, no
teeth, not a zipper, button, or buckle. Nevertheless, the US concluded that
Kelly had died, "KIA, body not recovered".
Actually, there was persuasive evidence that he had survived his capture.
McDaniel, a prisoner, was told by his guard that Kelly had recovered from
his injury and was well. Another prisoner saw his name headlining an
interrogation questionnaire. This and other evidence could not be
corroborated or verified, any more than his death. None of it could be
proven erroneous either, any more than his death. It was persuasive, but
inconclusive. Then this:
An article in the November 4, 1991 issue of "Kommersant", a respected Moscow
weekly, claimed Kelly had been taken in the fall of 1967 through a "window"
in the China-Soviet border to Saryshagansk, on Lake Balkash, in the then
Soviet Socialist Republic of Kazakhstan. The author even suggested that
Kelly was still working in the area (he later recanted this). A February
issue further stated he was transferred soon to nearby Priozersk. These
were in a closed Russian military region dedicated to missile research and
As shocking as this was, it made some sense to me. The A-6 "Intruder"
electronic systems were cutting-edge at the time, routinely defeating the
Russian air defenses deployed around Hanoi (and incidentally, around
Moscow). Kelly was highly skilled in the use of these systems. If he could
be made to tell when he did what, and why, he might be of some use in
In the months following this revelation, a concerted effort was made to find
the source of the information, one Russian Army Major Vladeslav Timaschov.
Timaschov, we were told, was dead, no proof offered.
In 1994, George J. Veith (authored "Code Name Bright Light") reasoned that
if Kelly had been taken to Priozersk, just possibly a scientist still living
in Kazakhstan might remember him. At his suggestion, I wrote letters with
Kelly's picture, description, and possible circumstances then and now, to 62
Kazakh. physics researchers.
In Alma Ata, the capital of now independent Kazakhstan, Professor Evgeny
Kolomeets, known internationally for his work in cosmic ray physics, took a
special interest in my letter. It seems he had been assisted by total
strangers in locating his missing father's grave following World War 11, so
at his own expense he published Kelly's picture and story in two newspapers.
Soon afterward, he was telephoned by a woman who claimed she met Kelly when
she was 13 years old! She said that her stepbrother, an army officer
assigned to Priozersk, and some of his officer friends came to her house one
night accompanied by this American. She talked with this man, who told her
he was confined to the military base and unable to move about freely. As a
memento of their meeting, this American gave her a doll, which she still had
to this day. She never again saw him, but was curtly told later by her
stepbrother, angry that she had asked, to forget about the American, that he
had died in an auto accident in Moscow. She said she was 100% certain the
picture in the paper was the American she had met, and she would remember
his face as long as she lived. She asked for nothing in return for her
story, but she refused to give her name, fearing the consequences to her and
her 12 year old son.
Encouraged by this contact, Kolomeets began asking colleagues if they knew
of an American at Priozersk in the late sixties. One colleague told him not
one, but several Americans had been there. An active duty colonel said
there had been two, possibly three American "consultants" in Priozersk. A
young man who had recently worked in Priozersk was interviewing for a job
with the professor when he said that it was general knowledge that Americans
had been present there in the 1970s. Again, these and others insisted on
Kolomeets believed that if I came to Alma Ata and made personal appeals for
information through the various news media, people still wary of Soviet era
security bureaucracies might be encouraged to approach me. So, armed with a
home-stay visa based on the professor's invitation and his promise to the
state to supervise my activities, the blessing of JCSD (Joint Commission
Support Directorate, the investigative arm of our side of the US-Russian
Joint Commission on POW/MIA's), and funding by Kelly's brothers of the US
Naval Academy class of '63 and elsewhere, I flew to Kazakhstan in October of
For over a week, and almost always accompanied by the professor, I was
interviewed by a number of radio, television, and newspaper correspondents.
As with any media coverage, the resulting stories were not always accurate
in every detail, but the basic truths were communicated: an American is in
Alma Ata looking for his American brother, James Kelly Patterson, shot down
in Vietnam 30 years ago and thought to have been brought to Priozersk.
Patterson was unmistakably identified as an American, which made the story
unique and readable.
Radio Liberty broadcast the story throughout the old Soviet Union.
Soon afterward, a woman living in Lugansk, in the Ukraine, phoned the
correspondent and excitedly told him that she knew Patterson! In their
taped conversation, she said that she worked in Priozersk in the 1960s and
1970s, and Patterson was there in another directorate. She was unsure of
his first name, but thought it could have been James. She was also unsure
of the year, but believed it was around the mid 1960s (later, she revised
that to 1969). She said he died a stabbing victim. Significantly, she
never raised an eyebrow at Patterson being an American. Midway through
their conversation, the correspondent asked her "How did this American end
up there?" She replied, "I couldn't tell you that. We did not know from
where ....(tape garbled)."
This woman was unique among those claiming Kelly or other Americans had been
at Priozersk: she identified herself openly, gave her address, and didn't
object to further inquiry. She named others who knew Patterson. We were
pretty excited, Professor Kolomeets and I. Even JCSD seemed to sense a
At the airport in Moscow on my return trip from Kazakhstan, I met the JCSD
investigators in route to interview the Lugansk woman. One week after the
radio broadcast, she now told them that Patterson was a Soviet officer, and
she named a friend who could corroborate her story. The friend told the
investigators that he and Patterson had been cadets at a radiotechnical
academy in Kiev, that Patterson had graduated in 1963 and was then
transferred to Priozersk.
I was, of course, disappointed at this news. I was told that although the
name Patterson was not common in the old Soviet Union, it did occur. But I
couldn't shake a nagging skepticism about the Lugansk woman's story to our
investigators. Her telephone conversation with the radio correspondent had
seemed spontaneous and candid, totally lacking guile. She never once
expressed concern that Patterson was American, a fact made clear in the
broadcast and in their conversation. I speculated that after this phone
conversation, someone told her: "You're opening Pandora's box and making a
big mistake. If I were you, I'd tell them this story: ...."
Following its interview with her, JCSD asked that the archives of the
radiotechnical academy in Kiev be checked to confirm that a Patterson, or
Paterson, or Peterson had been a cadet there 1960 through 1964. They also
asked the Russian side of the Joint Commission to check its military
archives for a Soviet officer named Patterson assigned to Priozersk in the
1960s. The replies received in the months that followed: From the Ukraine
Ministry of Defense--no Patterson, Paterson, or Peterson was a cadet at the
radiotechnical academy. From the Russian side of the Joint Commission--no
Soviet officer named Patterson was assigned to Priozersk.
But on January 19, 1999, the Russians about-faced and told JCSD that one
Pavel Semenovich Peterson (pronounced by the Russians "Paterson" with a
long "a" as in patriot) had indeed been assigned to Priozersk, where he died
on June 6, 1965, and is now buried in the Ukraine. The information they
gave was sufficient for follow-up inquiries by the US.
For JCSD, this investigation was now complete. Nevertheless, while
conducting other inquiries in the Ukraine, they asked for a re-examination
of the archives of the radiotechnical academy in Kiev. This time the
academy found the name Pavel S. Peterson, a cadet there from 1955 to 1959.
I would like to say this is closure for me also. It almost is. I'm not
sure what to make of the date discrepancy between the academy's records and
the memory of one of its cadets. I'm trying to make contact with another
witness in Priozersk, and I'd really like to talk to Pavel Semenovich
Peterson's relatives in the Ukraine. Maybe one day some of Professor
Kolomeets's sources will brave going public, or we'll find Vladeslav
Timaschov very much alive and willing to tell all. Anything can happen, and
if anything does, I'll update Kelly's story.
George "Luck" Patterson
squadron mates, of Kelly Patterson
Last January 26 I e-mailed
you a copy of a letter I sent to DPMO following their
Scottsdale regional family briefing. The
attachment is their (Lt Mariam's) answer, and the
following is my response, just sent.
This responds to your
letter of 08 April 2011 to Navy Casualty reference case
0691, that of my brother LtCdr James Kelly Patterson.
The analysis summarized in your letter is itself an
answer to my e-mail of 25 Jan 2011 to Cmdr Franco Neto,
c.c. to Mr Claude McCain, relayed through Navy Casualty
27 Jan 2011, following the DPMO/family update in
I believe that you are not
the researcher/analyst whose views and opinions are
expressed in your letter. In my response that follows I
may refer to DPMO as "they"¯ or "he,"¯ or even "you"¯
for simplicity, but be assured that I am directing my
comments at the researcher/analyst, not the messenger,
and I entrust you with delivering my return message up
the chain to those deserving the credit for their work.
I expected much of the
response that I received--that hasn't changed for some
very long time. I, as always, disagree with much of it,
and I will list my objections soon enough. What really
disappoints me, however, is the apparent sloppiness and
disregard for detail that went into the research and
analysis, biased, it could be argued, toward closing
the books rather than discovering the truth. DPMO's
motto, as it is billed to the families of the lost (some
spell this: a-b-a-n-d-o-n-e-d), is "The
Fullest Possible Accounting,"¯ so surely this cannot be
an example of its finest efforts. Let me explain.
To begin with, my letter,
and your answer to it, addressed two completely separate
issues. Issue one deals with a crash site I led DPMO to
in 1994, which I have for 15 years been requesting JTF-FA
and J-PAC to excavate. The purpose for your first two
paragraphs under # 1. Review of aircraft losses… -
seems to be to try to convince me that this crash site
is not my brother's. DPMO thoroughly convinced
me of that in 1996, and I remain convinced to
this hour. Sadly, they have missed, and not for the
first time since then, my reasons for requesting that
excavation. In 1994 JTF-FA did a test survey at the
site, and out of a small hole pulled up aircraft parts
that could have belonged to an F-4, F-8, or A-6. That
DPMO did A 100 kilometer circle search and separated out
and focused on only the 36 Navy/Marine airframes from
the 193 total loss incidents indicates they still have
no understanding of why I have been requesting the dig.
I've explained it many times, clearly. They should
have understood by now, and I'm truly perplexed how they
keep missing it.
The second issue deals
with two opposing Vietnamese narratives concerning my
brother's loss incident. In your paragraph #2.
Review…, DPMO downgrades to the point of elimination
the credibility of several earlier, written Vietnamese
reports simply because the reports don't name
eye-witnesses or quote them. DPMO has virtually thrown
away five official Vietnamese reports (two by
VNOSMP, one by Kim Boi District officials, and two by
Bui Van Van, former cadre of District Public Security
Service), calling them "hearsay."¯ This is evidence
unjustifiably eliminated. Look: Vietnam ordered,
unilaterally, over the space of over five years, these
independent inquiries or investigations into the facts
surrounding Kelly's loss. These reports represent the
findings of local or regional officials. The reporting
parties apparently did not think it necessary to name or
quote anyone to support their findings. Maybe, in a
totalitarian state, an official feels no need to justify
his findings or document his sources. He simply reports
his conclusions. We downgrade hearsay evidence in the
U.S. because we are governed by a Constitution and all
the laws of evidence precipitating from it. To throw out
these reports because they don't meet our standards of
evidence is simply arrogant and wrong. Sure, it muddies
the water to consider these reports as valid evidence,
but isn't DPMO's job to discover the truth, not just
simplify it? I believe that other evidence has to be
weighed in part by how well it corroborates these
earlier, documented reports. If it doesn't, someone
should be questioning why.
Then, Vietnam parades
several "eye witnesses" before JTF-FA interviewers, none
of whom even questions their IDs. None of these
farmers-turned-militiamen-for-a-day (one day in the
whole war given the backwater location of the incident),
mentions a fire fight with Kelly as reported five times
earlier. Amazingly, our experienced interviewers never
even question this omission, or ask the "witnesses"¯
about a gun battle. This glaring, significant
discrepancy is ignored (or possibly never noticed
because of piss-poor prior preparation or unfamiliarity
with Kelly's case). Instead, they praise the
"independent" narratives for their agreement and
consistency (prompted from the same script?). JTF-FA's
interviewers are happy to accept the "witness" as
genuine (I wonder how many would bet a pay check on it),
and DPMO is satisfied to call them "eye witnesses," in
spite of the warnings from the "DIA Evaluation of
POW/MIA Information" referred to in my e-mail. As you
may have guessed, I (and I'm not alone) am far from
DPMO is using a double
standard here: throw out hearsay, but accept testimony
from witnesses whose ID is in reality unknown and
unknowable; or, put another way, invalidate documentary
evidence as a lie because of hearsay, but insist
testimony from virtually unidentified witnesses could
not be scripted.
Your "witness" narratives
not only fail to corroborate the earlier official
reports, they run counter to what we know about Kelly's
character. Kelly was a leader, a skilled, cool-headed
and focused professional even in the pandemonium of an
attack bomber's cockpit in white-knuckled combat - -
read his fitness reports and his citations for valor.
His returned pilot Red McDaniel believed he "shot it
out." Kelly personally told me a month before his
shoot-down that what he feared most was becoming a POW.
The reports that he resisted his would-be captors were
no surprise to me at all. He was a fighter with a
warrior's ethos. You threw that away too.
Before we leave this
hearsay thing, your whole letter can be held up as an
example of hearsay as DPMO seems to define it. It is a
gathering and summing up of information (like the VN
reports), a conclusion of research/analysis done by
another/others, who go un-named and un-quoted.
Sounds like hearsay to me. Should I for this reason
trash your letter? I don't think I should. At the same
time, and for the same reason, I don't think DPMO should
trash these official Vietnamese reports.
Furthermore, your letter
specifically uses hearsay at least twice to support its
conclusions. In your paragraph 2. c. "While no
specific witness interviews are mentioned, the
fact the pistol was found…"(emphasis is
mine). Hearsay, as I understand it. Again, in
your conclusion, "Mr. Hop…told the team the grave's
location is general knowledge among the inhabitants of
the village"¯. Is this not hearsay? The rule seems to
be that DPMO can use hearsay to further its own ends,
but no one else dare use it as evidence.
Your letter picks apart,
one by one, the reports I had cited, mostly degrading
their credibility for lack of first hand witness names.
I want to focus on just one, again paragraph 2.c.
"Inventory of his captured equipment…" This is the one
I quoted earlier, in which you used hearsay. Let me
finish that quote: "…pistol was found with two
unexpended magazines would suggest LCDR Patterson had
not fired his weapon"¯. Given that quote, I can't
disagree with the logic of your conclusion. But wait!
The report doesn't say that! The report actually reads:
"Material evidence: one pistol, two cartridges…"
Cartridges. Bullets, not magazines. That
strongly suggests my brother did in fact fire his
pistol at least several times before it was captured.
Where did you get "unexpended magazines"¯? Quoted
correctly, this report supports my belief there was a
firefight not even mentioned by the "eye-witnesses"¯.
Quoted correctly, this report corroborates the other
official Vietnamese reports which speak of a
"firefight", an "exchange of gunfire", etc. My
brother, I can proudly conclude, went down (to death or
My disappointment is born
of high hope and sincerity crushed by indifferent
research/analysis. Your letter summarizes some
researcher/analyst's best work? I am not impressed. I
don't expect that DPMO and I will ever agree on much,
but I would so enjoy reading a report that was
thoroughly and professionally researched.
I learned a few truths
about investigating incidents and
interviewing/interrogating witnesses and suspects in my
31 years as a law enforcement officer:
1) Do require
investigators and interviewers to stand tall behind
their work. Anonymity produces shoddy and
2) Do take all
reasonable evidence into account. If a piece of
evidence leads to a lack of, for instance,
corroboration, or difficulty in arriving at a desired
conclusion, analyze it, don't just eliminate it.
Life isn't always simple.
3) Do interview
witnesses with a healthy amount of skepticism, both as
to their IDs and their narratives, particularly when
they are brought forward by an interested party, and
never before studying a case's background thoroughly.
For all the weight I place
on the official Vietnamese reports, I remain in limbo
about my brother's death. After all, witnesses and
written reports alike agree on one point: Kelly was
killed. My lingering doubts are based on:
Returned POW Col. Dewey
Smith's report that in a POW facility he saw Kelly's
name headlining an interrogation questionnaire. If
Kelly was killed in the boonies, how does DPMO explain
Smith's observation? Why would prison interrogators
prepare a questionnaire for an enemy flier who was
killed before capture, and before his ID could possibly
have been known? DPMO has never fully explained this
that I can recall.
Returned POW Cmdr Red
McDaniel's report that a guard told him Kelly's injury
was healed, and he was OK.
The empty grave. A couple
"witnesses" pointed to the very spot they claim Kelly
was buried. JTF-FA dug up and screened a considerable
patch of ground and found no evidence whatsoever that a
body, or anything else had ever been buried there. The
Vietnamese explained that away in too many scenarios not
to excite skepticism in any ordinary person's mind.
Wouldn't at least a plastic button or a metal zipper or
a tooth have survived Kelly's being: 1) bombed (what
would we be bombing out on that mountainside anyway?);
2) eaten by animals; 3) slipped down-slope. There were
others - it seemed Vietnam officialdom couldn't agree on
the best one to put before our investigators, so they
tried them all out over time. I have seen the photos of
the site, and I reject the flooding stream scenario—the
slope is so steep no stream could overflow its banks far
enough to reach the spot in question. Even JTF-FA
expressed its doubts and concluded that the soil strata
at the burial spot had never been disturbed.
The report Kelly was taken
out of country by the Soviets. JCSD was never able to
verify Prof. Kolomeets' claims, neither has anyone ever
proved them false--that is until a DPMO official stepped
up to tell me that whoever it was being transported
couldn't have been my brother, since we have his
"verified grave site" in Vietnam. No evidence of a
body, but still "verified grave,"?? How does that
I have read some reports,
and heard about others, by various intelligence
gathering agencies of the USG or private individuals,
which give credence to the allegation that some of our
"special talents"¯ were taken out of Vietnam, some
labeled "MB", "Moscow bound." Kelly and other
A-6-A bombardier-navigators would fit that bill.
Kelly survived his capture, and the Soviets took him,
wouldn't it make sense that they, the Soviets, would
tell the Vietnamese to cover his disappearance with some
story? How about: "We killed that air pirate, but alas,
you bombed his grave site and the pigs ate him and he
was washed away, so we can't give you his body. But
trust us. He died here." That works just fine in a
I speculate--just throwing
out ideas, thinking out loud.
Getting back on task--
Please send these requests
for action up your chain:
As to the crash site
1) Do a 100 Kilometer
circle search, as before, but this time of the 157 Air
Force F-4 losses, as revealed by the 198 total aircraft
losses minus the 36 Navy/Marine F-4, F-8, and A-6 losses
in your analysis just completed for me, and tell me: 1)
how many of these crash sites have never been found; and
2) how many of their air crews are still unaccounted
2) If that study reveals
a few crash sites and air crews still missing, get J-PAC
to investigate/excavate the crash site I gave you in
1994, for the purpose of identifying the specific
aircraft therein, before all evidence of that airframe's
identity turns to dust, and do a "fullest possible
accounting" of its aircrew, thereby "keeping the
As to the issue of my
brother's loss incident:
3) Re-validate the
Vietnamese reports documenting my brother's loss
incident dated years prior to the witness statements, or
convince me they're lies.
4) Admonish your
officials, investigators, researchers and analysts to
cease referring to the Vietnamese-claimed "grave site"
of James Kelly Patterson as "confirmed" or "verified,"¯
keeping in mind that this has, at least once, kept a
learned DPMO official from even considering the possible
validity of a live-sighting report of case 0691 that was
dated after May of 1967.
5) Re-excavate the
alleged grave site, using the "new technology"I was told
existed during our one-on-one at the last family
briefing in Washington D.C., and find something proving
that Kelly Patterson died there and that all my doubts
George "Luck" Patterson
Brother and NOK of
LtCdr James Kelly Patterson, USN