BATES, PAUL JENNINGS, JR.
Name: Paul Jennings Bates, Jr.
Rank/Branch: O3/US Army
Unit: 220th Aviation Company, 212th Aviation Battalion, 11th Aviation Group,
1st Aviation Division
Date of Birth: 20 February 1943 (Phoenix AZ)
Home City of Record: Mesa AZ
Date of Loss: 10 August 1971
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 165158N 1064301E (XD829654)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel in Incident: Thomas A. Dolan (missing)
Source: Compiled 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. NETWORK in 2020.
SYNOPSIS: On August 10, 1971, Capt. Paul J. Bates, pilot and SP5 Thomas A
Dolan, observer, were flying an O1G (serial #51-2267) conducting a visual
reconnaissance mission in Quang Tri, South Vietnam when their aircraft
crashed and burned.
At 1455 hours that day, Capt. Bates was trying to show the pilot of an
accompanying aircraft a target in the area. A few minutes later, his
aircraft appeared to fly into the trees and disappear.
The accompanying aicraft flew to the crash site and observed the wreckage
located on a slope. There were no signs of anyone moving about the area or
any bodies near the wreckage. Shortly after the crash, the aircraft began to
burn. Several aircraft conducted search operations for survivors with no
Those witnessing the crash and those conducting the search operations
believed that it was extremely unlikely that Capt. Bates or SP5 Dolan could
have survived the crash or escaped the fire. The cabin section, half of the
wings, and part of the tail were completely destroyed by the crash and fire.
Because of the difficult terrain and lack of visual indication of survivors,
no ground search was made. In spite of the grave outlook of the fates of
Bates and Dolan, the Army did not declare them killed, but as Missing In
Action. Reasons for this determination are not known.
Bates and Dolan are among nearly 2500 Americans who remain prisoner, missing
or unaccounted for from the Vietnam war. Unfortunately, mounting evidence
indicates that hundreds of Americans are still captive, waiting for the
country they proudly served to secure their freedom.
In our haste to leave an unpopular war, it now appears we abandoned some of
our best men. In our haste to heal the wounds of this same war, will we sign
their death warrants? Or will we do what we can to bring them home?