Remains Returned 21 June 1989

Name: Donald Henry Asire
Rank/Branch: O5/US Air Force
Unit: 354 Tactical Fighter Squadron
Date of Birth: 08 July 1923
Home City of Record: Pomona CA
Date of Loss: 08 December 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 211500N 1051800E (WF675535)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F105D
Refno: 0544

Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 March 1991 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.


SYNOPSIS: The F105 Thunderchief (or "Thud") performed yoeman service on many
diversified missions in Southeast Asia. F105s flew more combat missions over
North Vietnam than any other USAF aircraft and consequently suffered the
heaviest losses in action. They dropped bombs by day and occasionally by
night from high or low altitude and some later versions (F105D in Wild
Weasel guise) attacked SAM sites with their radar tracking air-to-ground
missiles. This versatile aircraft was also credited with downing 25 Russian

LtCol. Donald H. Asire was the pilot of an F105D which departed Takhli
Airfield, Thailand on an operational mission over North Vietnam on December
8, 1966. Asire's aircraft was number three in a flight of four.

Over Hos Binh Province, about 30 miles northwest of Hanoi, the flight
engaged enemy aircraft. Asire was last seen as he dove into a cloud layer
with an enemy aircraft in pursuit. Thereafter, no radio contact was made
with him.

Donald Asire was continued in a missing status until 19 September 1973 when
his status was changed to presumed killed in action. During the period he
was maintained missing, he was promoted to the rank of Colonel.

For years, the  Vietnamese denied any knowledge of Donald Asire, but on 21
June, 1989, they discovered his remains and returned them to U.S. control.
This return was not publicly announced at the time.

A Vietnamese defector stated in Congressional testimony that Vietnam
stockpiles hundreds of sets of American remains. Congress believed him. He
also testified that he had personally seen live American prisoners, held
long after the war was over and all Americans had supposedly been released.
Congress ignores this testimony, although over 10,000 reports relating to
Americans prisoner, missing or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia seem to
substantiate what he was saying.

The U.S. and Vietnamese "progress" at a snail's pace, while seemingly
ignoring the tremendous weight of evidence that their priority should be
those Americans still alive as captives. Meanwhile, thousands of lives are
spent in the most tortured state imaginable - unable to grieve, unable to
rejoice. They wait.




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On August 25, 1989, the Central Identification Lab-Hawaii (CILHI, now DPAA) identified the remains of Colonel Donald Henry Asire, missing from the Vietnam War.

Colonel Asire, who joined the U.S. Air Force from California, served with the 354th Tactical Fighter Squadron. On December 8, 1966, he piloted an F-105D Thunderchief (serial number 59-1725) on an armed reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. During the mission, the Thunderchief was shot down by enemy aircraft and Col Asire was killed. Hostile presence in the area prevented recovery efforts following the crash. In 1989, the Vietnamese government repatriated remains which were later identified as those of Col Asire.

Colonel Asire is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

If you are a family member of this serviceman, you may contact your casualty office representative to learn more about your service member.