ARTEAGA, JORGE ISAAC
Name: Jorge Isaac Arteaga
Rank/Branch: 1st Lieutenant/US Air Force
Unit: 97th Bombardment Wing
DoB, Age: 22 July 1964 - 26 Born La Paz, Bolivia
Home City of Record: Trumbull CT
Date of Loss: 03 February 1991
Country of Loss: Indian Ocean
Status in 2002: Killed/Body Not Recovered
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: B52, tail number 59-2593
Other Personnel in Incident: Jon J. Olson (missing); Eric D. Hedeen (remains
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 February 1991 from one or more
of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources,
correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews and information
from Justin Jackson-Mann. Updated by the POW NETWORK 2017.
REMARKS: OPERATION DESERT SHIELD
SYNOPSIS: The Boeing B52 Stratofortress first saw combat action in Vietnam
in 1965. The numerous B52 missions in Southeast Asia, code-named Arc Light,
were considered a vital part of the air war. The external and internal bomb
load of the aircraft (roughly 75,000 pounds combined) made the bomber a
formidable war plane which could be highly destructive, yet also capable of
extreme precision. Seventeen of the aircraft were lost to enemy fire in
Southeast Asia, and twelve from other causes.
In 1991, hostilities in the Middle East again called the B52 into action. On
February 3, a B52 crashed about 2,500 miles east of Saudi Arabia over the
Indian Ocean (13 miles north of Diego Garcia.) The aircraft, carrying six
crew members, was returning to Diego Garcia Air Base from a mission over
Iraq. The crew was from the 97th Bombardment Wing on temporary duty assignment
from Eaker Air Force Base.
Three crew members were rescued from the water, but three - Arteaga, Hedeen
and Olson - remained missing. The aircraft was returning from a night of the
most intense bombing for Air Force B-52s to date in the war. There was no
indication that the aircraft had been damaged in battle, and mechanical
difficulties were blamed for the crash.
Some time later, Eric Hedeen's body was found in an inflated life raft and
recovered. He was buried with full military honors on February 12 in
Wenatcheee, Washington. Hedeen had been the electronics warfare officer
onboard the aircraft.
Jon J. Olson was the navigator of the aircraft. His father, retired LtCol.
Norris Olson of Fargo, North Dakota, and his brother, Marc Olson of Minot
Air Force Base, are both B52 pilots.
Jorge I. Arteaga's father is a United Nations liaison to Bolivia.
He married Emily Marie Gardner, from Memphis, Tennessee, in Blytheville, Arkansas on January 14, 1991, just two hours before Jorge went to Eaker Air Force Base to fly overseas. Arteaga was posthumously promoted to Captain. Emily remarried.