Remains Identified and accepted 11/03/99
Name: Thomas Hugh Amos
Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force
Date of Birth: 25 September 1940
Home City of Record: Republic MO
Date of Loss: 20 April 1972
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 152900N 1073100E (YC699138)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: AC130
Refno: 1831
Other Personnel In Incident: Mason I. Burnham (missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 June 1990 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: Lockheed's versatile C130 aircraft filled many roles in Vietnam,
including transport, tanker, gunship, drone controller, airborne battlefield
command and control center, weather reconnaissance, electronic
reconnaissance, and search, rescue and recovery.
The AC130, outfitted as a gunship, was the most spectacular of the modified
C130's. These ships pierced the darkness using searchlights, flares, night
observation devices that intensified natural light, and a variety of
electronic sensors such as radar, infared equipment and even low-level
television. On some models, a computer automatically translated sensor data
into instructions for the pilot, who kept his fixed, side-firing guns
trained on target by adjusting the angle of bank as he circled. The crew of
these planes were, therefore, highly trained and capable. They were highly
desirable "captures" for the enemy because of their technical knowledge.
Captains Thomas H. Amos and Mason I. Burnham were pilot and co-pilot of an
AC130 on a mission near the border of South Vietnam and Laos on April 20,
1973 when their plane was shot down by enemy fire. Because there existed the
possibility that the two safely ejected the aircraft, they were declared
missing in action. The fate of the rest of the crew (some 8-12 men) is not
indicated in public records. The aircraft went down in Quang Tin Province,
about halfway between Ben Giang, South Vietnam and Chavane, Laos.
[NOTE: 1999 update:  Some records, and Burnham's widow indicate that Amos
and Burnham were the crew of an F-4 (#0602) on support mission for the
C-130, not in the C-130 itself.]
The Defense Intelligence Agency further expanded Amos' and Burnham's
classification to include an enemy knowledge ranking of 2. Category 2
indicates "suspect knowledge" and includes personnel who may have been
involved in loss incidents with individuals reported in Category 1
(confirmed knowledge), or who were lost in areas or under conditions that
they may reasonably be expected to be known by the enemy; who were connected
with an incident which was discussed but not identified by names in enemy
news media; or identified (by elimination, but not 100% positively) through
analysis of all-source intelligence.
When the war in Vietnam ended, and 591 American Prisoners of War were
released, Amos and Burnham were not among them. As time passed, reports
amassed, to a current number of over 10,000. Many authorities who have
reviewed this largely-classified information have concluded that hundreds of
Americans are still alive in captivity today.
The United States Government seems unable to decide whether or not men are
still alive in captivity in Southeast Asia, preferring the less
controversial (and less liable) position of operating "under the assumption
that one or more" are alive.
Whether Thomas Amos and Mason Burnham survived the crash of their aircraft
to be captured has never been determined. Whether they are among those
thought to be still alive is uncertain. What is clear, however, is that if
there is even one American being held against his will in Southeast Asia, we
have a legal and moral responsibility to do everything possible to bring him
From - Tue Nov 09 12:29:49 1999
From: "Rusty" <>
Subject: re: Thomas H. Amos
I have information of a MIA, whose bracelet I have been wearing, and now
returned. Maj (capt) Thomas. H. Amos's remains have been located, and his
funeral was held in Springfield Missouri,  Nov 6, 1999 with full military
honors.  I returned my bracelet to his daughter and she was glad to have it
back and know that someone had not forgotten about him.  She also informed
me that the synopsis of his shoot down were inaccurate. He way flying a F-4D
Phantom II with his back seater, Mason I. Burnham  and crashed into the side
of a mountain while escorting a AC-130A gunship on a mission over the
Laos/SVN boarder.
Maj. Amos's daughter told me that the dog tags and a leg bone were ID's as
her fathers, and the remaining remains will be buried at Arlington National
Cemetery in Washington DC next spring.
From - Sat Nov 06 15:18:09 1999
... I thought you might like to see the write-up sent to the National League
of Families office by Pat Amos Dunlap and her husband, Frank, regarding the
ID on Major Tom Amos, USAF, one of the 7 Americans whose names have not yet
been announced by DOD, but likely will be today, November 3rd.  Pat is the
League's OK Coordinator. ... Pat and Frank were very complimentary about the
efforts made by CILHI, JTF and USAF personnel, how hard they worked to
obtain a successful ID and what it means to their family....
Here is the info sent to the Springfield, Missouri newspaper:
THOMAS HUGH AMOS former Springfield Aviator, son of Dr James Amos, former
Springfield, Greene County Health Officer and Missouri State Health Officer,
who was lost in Vietnam during April 1972 and carried as Missing In Action
(MIA) for many years, will finally be returned for burial)
Thomas Hugh Amos was born on September 25, 1940 in Fulton, Missouri.  Tom
was  the third child of Dr. James Roy and Marie Mulcare Amos.  He attended
Helias High School in Jefferson City, Missouri for three years and was
graduated from Parkview High School, May 1958, in Springfield, Missouri.
Tom was graduated from Drury College in Springfield, Missouri, August 1963,
with a BA degree in Biology.
Tom married Virginia A. "Ginny" Johnson in Springfield, Missouri on June 23,
1962.  Tom and Ginny had two children.  Julie Ann Amos was born in Enid,
Oklahoma on March 26, 1965 and James William Amos was born in England on May
30, 1967.
Tom joined the Air Force in November 1963 and attended Officer Training
School in San Antonio, Texas.  He received his commission as a 2nd
Lieutenant in February 1964.  He entered Pilot Training during February 1964
at Vance AFB, Enid, Oklahoma.  He completed Pilot Training in March 1965
where he receiving his Pilot rating and wings.
After pilot training, Tom was assigned to Davis Montham AFB, Arizona for
check out in the F-4,  Phantom, and a top of the line fighter-bomber.  Tom
had assignments at MacDill AFB, Florida then to Okinawa for several months
prior to assignment in Thailand where he was flying combat missions in
Vietnam from February to August of 1966.  It was during this tour that Tom
earned The Distinguished Flying Cross, one of the highest decorations
awarded to flyers.  On April 26, 1966, Tom's aircraft was part of a
four-ship formation providing cover for friendly aircraft making bombing
runs deep within enemy territory.  His aircraft was severely damaged by
hostile fire and he was able to guide his crippled aircraft away from enemy
territory to a safe recovery.
In October 1966, he was reassigned to RAF Station Bentwaters, England where
he stayed for nearly three years.  During this tour, he was upgraded to
aircraft commander in the F-4C aircraft.  In August 1969 he was reassigned
to Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina.  While at this assignment he was
upgraded to an instructor pilot and flight examiner.   In late March of 1972
Tom was sent to Korea as part of a military build up.  Three weeks later he
was flying combat missions in Vietnam.
Tom was flying a night combat mission on April 20, 1972 when his plane went
down in action with the enemy, near the Laos boarder.  The following
morning, Dr James R. Amos received a call from the Air Force advising him of
Tom's situation.  Search efforts in the crash area failed to establish any
Initially, Tom was listed as Missing in Action (MIA).  His status was later
changed to presumed Killed in Action (KIA).  Tom was promoted to the grade
of Major posthumously.  After 21 years, two local natives found the crash
site in a mountainous region in Laos and recovered some remains and dog tags
in 1993.  Additional remains were recovered during three excavations
conducted by a joint U.S. and Laos military teams in 1998.  During the
summer of 1999 the Air Force announced that a positive DNA match had been
made on remains recovered from Tom crash site.
His mother, Mrs. Marie Amos of Lebanon, Missouri; his daughter, Julie
Ashurst of Springfield, Missouri and a son, James Amos of St. Paul,
Minnesota, survive Tom.  He has two grandchildren; Robert Ashurst and
Samantha Ashurst of Springfield, Missouri.  He has three sisters; Mrs. Pat
Dunlap of Edmond, Oklahoma, Mrs. Jill Mitchell of Crane, Missouri and Mrs.
Debbie Schirber of Stillwell, Minnesota.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, November 6th  at 10 AM at St.
Agnes Cathedral in Springfield, Missouri.   Burial will be at St. Mary's
Cemetery next to his wife, Ginny.
Frank and Pat Dunlap