WILBURN, WOODROW HOOVER
Remains Returned - ID Announced 03 January 1990

Name: Woodrow Hoover Wilburn
Rank/Branch: O4/US Air Force
Unit: 41st TFS
Date of Birth: 16 June 1917
Home City of Record: Corpus Christi TX
Date of Loss: 04 February 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 221546N 1055300E (WK910620)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: EB66C

Other Personnel in Incident: Jack W. Bomar; John O. Davies; John Fer (all
released POWs); Russell A. Poor (missing); Herb Doby (remains returned)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 March 1990 with the assistance
of 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.

REMARKS: REMS UNAC - 4 -CRWM RET/REC

SYNOPSIS: The Douglas EB66C Skywarrior was outfitted as an electronic
warfare aircraft which carried roughly 5 tons of electronic gear in addition
to its flight crew of three and technical personnel. The EB66C featured a
pressurized capsule installed in the bomb bay, that accommodated four
technicians whose responsibility was to operate electronic reconnaissance
gear.

On February 4, 1967, an EB66C was dispatched on an operational mission over
North Vietnam. The crew and technicians that day included Maj. Jack W.
Bomar, 1Lt. John O. Davies, Capt. John Fer, Capt. Russell A. Poor, Capt.
Herb Doby, and Maj. Woodrow Hoover.

At a point about 40 miles from the China border in Bac Thai Province, North
Vietnam, the EB66C was shot down. Bomar, Fer and Davies were captured. The
fates of Doby, Poor and Wilburn were uncertain.

In the spring of 1973, 591 Americans were released from prison camps in
Vietnam, including Bomar, Davies and Fer. They had been POWs for just over
six years. Poor, Doby and Wilburn remained Missing in Action.

In 1977, the Vietnamese returned remains which were identified as being
those of Capt. Herb Doby, but denied any knowledge of the fates of Poor and
Wilburn.

In 1990, it was announced that the Vietnamese had "discovered" and returned
the remains of Maj. Woodrow Wilburn.

For 23 years, the Vietnamese have denied knowledge of the fates of the
missing from the EB66C they shot down on February 4, 1967. Among the entire
crew, only Poor remains missing.

Disturbing testimony was given to Congress in 1980 that the Vietnamese
"stockpiled" the remains of Americans to return at politically advantageous
times. Could Poor be waiting, in a casket, for just such a moment?

Even more disturbing are the nearly 10,000 reports received by the U.S.
relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia. Many authorities who have
examined this information (largely classified), have reluctantly come to the
conclusion that many Americans are still alive in Southeast Asia. Could Poor
be among these?

Perhaps the most compelling questions when remains are returned are, "Is it
really who they say it is?", and "How -- and when -- did he die?" As long as
reports continue to be received which indicate Americans are still alive in
Indochina, we can only regard the return of remains as a politically
expedient way to show "progress" on accounting for American POW/MIAs. As
long as reports continue to be received, we must wonder how many are alive.

As long as even one American remains alive, held against his will, we must
do everything possible to bring him home -- alive.