Name: James A. Beene
Rank/Branch: USN, O2
Date of Birth: 11 July 39
Home City of Record: Burbank, CA
Date of Loss: 05 October 66
Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 182900 NORTH  1060600 EAST
Status (in 1973): Missing
Category: 3
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: A1H, #137610
Refno: 0483
Remarks: Aircraft missing over water.

Other Personnel In Incident:

Source: Compiled by THE P.O.W. NETWORK 02 February 93 from the
following published sources - POW/MIA's -- Report of the Select Committee
on POW/MIA Affairs United States Senate -- January 13, 1993. "The Senate
Select Committee staff has prepared case summaries for the priority cases
that the Administration is now investigating. These provide the facts about
each case, describe the circumstances under which the individual was lost,
and detail the information learned since the date of loss.  Information in
the case summaries is limited to information from casualty files, does not
include any judgments by Committee staff, and attempts to relate essential
facts. The Committee acknowledges that POW/MIAs' primary next-of- kin know
their family members' cases in more comprehensive detail than summarized
here and recognizes the limitations that the report format imposes on these
summaries."  2020

On October 5, 1966, Lieutenant JG Beene was the flight leader and
pilot of an A-1 section aircraft from the U.S.S. Oriskany on an
armed reconnaissance mission over the coastal area of North Vietnam
between Cape Mui Ron and Thanh Hoa.  While in an area 15 miles
south of Hon Mat Island, Lieutenant Beene entered the base of thick
cumulus clouds and never emerged.  An oil slick was later sighted
on the ocean which might have come from submerged leaking fuel
tanks but no aircraft debris was located.

A SAR effort was unable to locate any specific trace of Lieutenant
Beene, and he was declared missing.  His name was provided to
Vietnamese officials in Paris in October 1971, but no information
was received in return. 

Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information about
his precise fate.  In February 1976 he was declared killed in
action, body not recovered. 




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Lieutenant Junior Grade James Alvin Beene entered the U.S. Navy from California and served in Fighter Squadron 152. On October 5, 1966, he was piloting a single-seat A-1H Skyraider (bureau number 137610) as the lead aircraft in a flight of two on a night armed reconnaissance mission against enemy targets between Cape Mu Ron and the Tanh Hoa area of North Vietnam. As he met his wingman at the rendezvous point, LTJG Beene reported he was having issues with his flight instruments and passed lead duties to his wingman. Eventually, bad weather forced the flight to change targets, and LTJG Beene took over lead flight duties again. Soon after, LTJG Beene was seen to enter a weather front and radioed that he was flying on instruments and reversing course. His wingman waited for him to emerge from the clouds, but did not see and could not reestablish contact with LTJG Beene. Searches were conducted at the time but were unsuccessful in locating the missing Skyraider, and the next morning an oil slick was discovered near where LTJG Beene went missing at (GC) XF 179 438; however, LTJG Beene was not seen again. Following his disappearance, the Navy promoted LTJG Beene to the rank of Lieutenant Commander (LCDR). Today, Lieutenant Commander Beene is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. 

Based on all information available, DPAA assessed the individual's case to be in the analytical category of Active Pursuit.

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