WEAVER, PAUL J.
Name: Paul J. Weaver Rank/Branch: Maj/US Air Force Unit: 16th Special Operations Squadron Age: 34 Home City: Alamosa CO Date of Loss: 31 January 1991 Country of Loss: Kuwait Loss Coordinates: Status: Missing in Action Status in 2001: KIA/Body Recovered Acft/Vehicle/Ground: AC130H
Other Personnel in Incident: Arthur Galvan; John P. Blessinger; Dixon L. Walters, Jr.; Paul G. Buege; Barry M. Clark; Thomas C. Bland Jr.; William D. Grimm; Timothy R. Harrison; Robert K. Hodges; Damon V. Kanuha; James B. May II; John L. Oelschlager; Mark J. Schmauss (all missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 10 February 1991 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, published sources, interviews. Updated 2002 POW NETWORK.
UPDATE: June 2, 2002:
My husband Paul G. Buege...killed in Desert Storm...
Your bio of him is incorrect. It upsets me greatly that you have been misinformed concerning the remains. Out of a crew of fourteen, five were identified, and the other nine families had to accept apportioned remains. There were no returned bodies as your bio suggests. I have no idea if the apportioned remains I received even contain anything of my husband. It disturbs me greatly that Mortuary Affairs reports that we received bodies....when they made us fight to have our own funerals and gravesites, so we wouldn't have to be deemed to a group funeral and grave. The Government knows full well that they don't believe they had the remains of all 14 crewmembers. I will be doing my utmost to correct this misnomer.
Sincerely, Theresa L. Buege
REMARKS: OPERATION DESERT STORM
SYNOPSIS: The Lockheed C130 Hercules aircraft is a multi-purpose four-engine prop aircraft known in military circles for precise radar targeting and awesome firepower. The aircraft is used as transport, tanker, gunship, drone controller, airborne battlefield command and control center, weather reconnaissance craft, electronic reconnaissance platform; search, rescue and recovery craft.
In the hands of the "trash haulers", as the crews of Tactical Air Command transports styled themselves, the C130 proved the most valuable airlift instrument in the Southeast Asia conflict.
The C130 was used in the abortive attempt to rescue hostages held at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1980. The C130 was again in action in the December, 1989, invasion of Panama, spearheading the attack by knocking out Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega's military headquarters. In 1990, the C130 was again to see combat in Operation Desert Storm.
The AC130H Spectre is an armed version of the C130 Hercules transport. It bristles with side-firing cannons, including a 105mm howitzer. Gunships are used to attack tanks and other vehicles as well as stationary ground targets, often under cover of night when the lumbering four-engine turboprops are harder to spot, even at low altitudes. The Spectre missions, especially those of the Special Operations Squadrons, are often classified missions.
On January 31, 1991, an AC130H was performing a support mission deep into enemy territory when it went down over Kuwait. The crew of the aircraft included Major Paul J. Weaver; Capt. Dixon L. Walters; Capt. Arthur Galvan; Capt. William D. Grimm; 1Lt. Clifford Bland, Jr.; TSgt. Robert K. Hodges; Sgt. Damon V. Kanuha; MSgt. James B. May II; SSgt. John L. Oelschlager; SSgt. Mark J. Schmauss; SSgt. John P. Blessinger; SMSgt. Paul G. Buege; and Sgt. Barry M. Clark. U.S. Representative Earl Hutto (D-FL) whose district includes the home base of the 16th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, later told media sources that the gunship was on a targeting mission, seeking out enemy targets and directing other aircraft to them.
Other aircraft heard a "mayday" distress call, but there was no indication of what caused the aircraft to crash. Search and rescue teams were unable to reach the aircraft's location to recover any who may have survived. The crew of the aircraft were equipped with AN-PRC-90 hand-held survival radios, even though a newer version, the AN-PRC-68, might enhance survival chances.
The 90, although still in wide use, uses only two well-known international distress frequencies, increasing the possibility that allied rescuers could be decoyed into a deadly trap by Iraqi forces using the same frequencies. The 68 has 2,000 channels and can be modified to provide encrypted speech to frustrate eavesdroppers. Friendly search forces can determine the direction of signals transmitted by the newer radio.
The families were notified on the following day that the aircraft was down and that all aboard were Missing in Action. Searches were ongoing for the aircraft and/or survivors, families were asked not to speak to media representatives, and little information is available about the crew or the mission on January 30.
The Iraqis have stated that Allied prisoners of war would be used as "human shields" to protect their important military sites from attack by Allied forces. Amidst clearly inflated shoot-down reports issued by the Iraqis, and reluctance by the Pentagon to release premature information, observers wait for news of missing and captured military personnel, speculating on the treatment they will receive as prisoners if they are captured.
Those who recall the torture and degradation American POWs were subjected to by the North Vietnamese can only wait and pray. Those who recall the abandonment of American POWs in World War II, Korea and Vietnam are watching carefully, determined that all our men and women will be returned alive, or fully accounted for, before American troops leave the Middle East when hostilities cease.
Paul J. Weaver was a top student in high school in Alamosa, Colorado. He is single and graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1979. The 16th Special Operations Squadron is based at Hurlburt Field, Florida.