Remains Returned 740306
Name: Edward Burke Burdett
Rank/Branch: O6/US Air Force
Date of Birth: 10 March 1921
Home City of Record: Macon GA
Date of Loss: 18 November 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 210500N 1063400E (WJ063312)
Status (in 1973): Prisoner of War
Category: 1
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F105D
Refno: 0912
Other Personnel in Incident: From nearby F105s: Edward W. Lehnhoff; Leslie J.
Hauer; Oscar M. Dardeau, Jr. (all remains returned)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 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
On November 18, 1967, three F105s were shot down over Vinh Phu Province. It
is likely that the three were part of a multi-plane strike on military
targets around Hanoi.
The first F105 to be shot down, a D model, was flown by Col. Edward Burke
Burdett. The aircraft was shot down about 20 miles from Hanoi. Burdett was
captured by the Vietnamese, but, according to a list provided by the
Vietnamese, died in captivity the same day he was shot down. Whether Burdett
was so severely injured in the bail-out or was tortured to death is unknown.
His remains were not returned until March 6, 1974.
The second F105 was an F model and was flown by Maj. Oscar M. Dardeau, Jr.
His co-pilot on the flight was Capt. Edward W. Lehnhoff, Jr. Their aircraft
was shot down about 10 miles north of the city of Phy Tho. The fate of these
two remains uncertain, but they were classified Missing in Action, and there
were indications that the Vietnamese knew their fates. The Vietnamese
"discovered" and returned their remains on November 25, 1987.
Maj. Leslie J. Hauer was the pilot of the third F105 to be shot down at Vinh
Yen. Maj. Hauer was declared Missing in Action. In June, 1977, the
Vietnamese told U.S. officials they would return Maj. Hauer's remains in
September. In September, thirteen years later, they did just that.
Whether all the four airmen shot down on November 18, 1967 survived to be
captured is uncertain, but the notion is not unreasonable. Although the
Vietnamese have conducted site excavations in an effort to show "good will"
in recovering U.S. remains, they are known to have stockpiled hundreds of
American bodies awaiting politically expedient moments to return them, a few
at a time.
Mounting evidence indicates that some Americans are still alive being held
prisoner of war in Southeast Asia. The Vietnamese pledged to return all
prisoners of war and provide the fullest possible accounting of the missing
in the peace accords signed in 1973. They have done neither, and the U.S.
has not compelled them to do so.
The United States government pledged that the POW/MIA issue is of "highest
national priority" but has not achieved results indicative of a priority.
Mitchell and the nearly 2500 Americans who remain unaccounted for in
Southeast Asia deserve our best efforts to bring them home, not empty
Edward W. Lehnhoff, Jr. was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel,
Oscar M. Dardeau, Jr. and Leslie J. Hauer were promoted to the rank of
Colonel, during the period they were maintained Missing in Action.