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.