BOSTON, LEO SIDNEY
Remains Returned 07/2011
Name: Leo Sidney Boston
Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force
Unit: 602 Tactical Fighter Squadron
Date of Birth: 12 May 1935
Home City of Record: Canon City CO
Date of Loss: 29 April 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 212000N 1041500E (VJ740404)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
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 Douglas A1 Skyraider ("Spad") is a highly maneuverable,
propeller driven aircraft designed as a multipurpose attack bomber or
utility aircraft. The E model generally carried two crewmen. The A1 was
first used by the Air Force in its Tactical Air Command to equip the first
Air Commando Group engaged in counterinsurgency operations in South Vietnam,
and later used in a variety of roles, ranging from multi-seat electronic
intelligence gathering to Navy antisubmarine warfare and rescue missions.
The venerable fighter aircraft was retired in the spring of 1968 and had
flown in more than twenty model variations, probably more than any other
U.S. combat aircraft.
The general procedure for a rescue escort entailed two A1 aircraft flying
directly to the search area to look for sign of the downed crewmen while two
other A1s escorted the rescue helicopter to the area. If it was necessary,
the A1s would attack enemy in the area with bombs, rockets and cannon fire
so that the helicopter could land.
Capt. Leo S. Boston was the pilot of an A1E aircraft which was on a search
and rescue mission when he was reported missing. His aircraft, the lead
plane in a flight of two, departed Ubon Airfield, Thailand, and became
separated from the other aircraft during the mission. No visual contact was
made and no radio transmissions were received from him. The last known
location of the flight was about 5 miles west of the Black River in Son La
Province, North Vietnam. The object of Boston's search is unknown. There are
several pilots missing from this general vicinity on that day.
Leo Boston was continued in a missing status until 27 April 1978 when his
status was changed to presumed dead. During the time he was maintained
missing, he was promoted to the rank of Colonel.
Nearly 2500 Americans remain missing or otherwise unaccounted for in
Vietnam. Since the war ended, over 10,000 reports concerning missing
Americans in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S. Government. Many
experts are completely convinced that hundreds of Americans are still held
One set of critics say that the U.S. has done little to address the issue of
live POWs, preferring the politically safer issue of remains return. Others
place the blame on the Vietnamese, for using the issue of POW/MIA to their
political advantage. Regardless of blame, no living American has returned
through the efforts of negotiations between the countries, and the reports
continue to pour in. Are we doing enough to bring these men home?
It's been 45 years since Bethany Boston-Johnson saw her
father, Col. Leo "Sid" Boston, an Air Force
pilot who went missing during a search-and-rescue mission in the Vietnam War.