Name: Robert Wayne Burnes
Rank/Branch: 02/United States Marine Corps, aircrew
Date of Birth: 27 January  1941
Home City of Record: Edmond OK
Date of Loss: 05 January 1970
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates:164658 North  1060459 East
Status (in 1973): Killed in Action/Body not Recovered
Category: 3
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4B, tail # 152283
Other Personnel in Incident: Larry Robinson, KIA/BNR

Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw
data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA
families, published sources, interviews.  2020


Larry Robinson was 32 years old, a  14 year Marine Corps veteran when the
F4B he was piloting crashed near Savannakhet, 5 miles northwest of Sepone.
Both Robinson and his backseater, 1 Lt Robert Burnes, were declared killed
in action, body not recovered.

Burnes is listed among the missing because his body was never recovered. He is
among nearly 600 Americans who were lost in Laos during U.S. involvement in
Southeast Asia. Although the Pathet Lao stated on several occasions they held
"tens of tens" of American prisoners, Laos was not included in the agreements
ending American involvement in the war, and the U.S. has not negotiated for the
freedom of these men since that day. Consequently, not one American held in Laos
has ever been released. His wife still waits for answers.

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 captive. Are we
doing enough to bring these men home?





Return to Service Member Profiles

On January 5, 1970, an F-4B Phantom II (bureau number 152283, call sign "Playboy 15-02") carrying two crew members took off on a reconnaissance escort mission over Laos. While making a pass over the target area, "Playboy 15-02" was hit by anti-aircraft fire. The Phantom crashed and exploded in the vicinity of (GC) XD 177 594, and no parachutes emerged from the aircraft before it went down. An extensive search of the area was made, but there were no signs of survivors. Both of the men aboard "Playboy 15-02" remain unaccounted for.

First Lieutenant Robert Wayne Burnes, who joined the U.S. Marine Corps from Oklahoma, was a member of Marine Attack Fighter Squadron 542, Marine Air Group 11, 1st Marine Wing. He was the radar intercept officer aboard "Playboy 15-02" when it went down, and was lost with the aircraft. His remains have not been recovered. Today, First Lieutenant Burnes 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.

If you are a family member of this serviceman, DPAA can provide you with additional information and analysis of your case. Please contact your casualty office representative.

Service member profile discrepancy? Please help us ensure the accuracy of each profile by submitting documentation about a service member profile.