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
Category: 4
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: A1E
Refno: 0319
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?



Missing Vietnam War pilot ID'd; children to bring remains back to Colorado - By Liz Navratil
The Denver Post

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.

 View Full Story




On April 25, 2011, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC, now DPAA) identified the remains of Colonel Leo Sydney Boston, missing from the Vietnam War.

Colonel Boston joined the U.S. Air Force from Colorado and was a member of the 602nd Tactical Fighter Squadron. On April 29, 1966, he was the pilot of an A-1E Skyraider participating in a search and rescue mission over North Vietnam. Colonel Boston's aircraft went down over Son La Province, North Vietnam, at some point during the mission, and he was killed in the incident. Immediate search efforts could not be conducted due to heavy enemy presence in the area. Between 1996 and 2005, U.S. and Vietnamese search teams conducted joint investigations in Son La Province that recovered aircraft wreckage, human remains, and crew-related equipment. In 2011, modern advances in forensic techniques allowed for the identification of Col Boston from among the remains recovered there.

Colonel Boston 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.