BURNS, JOHN ROBERT REMAINS IDENTIFIED 05 FEB 93
Name: John Robert Burns Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force Unit: 602nd Fighter Squadron Date of Birth: 08 December 1932 Home City of Record: Memphis TN Date of Loss: 04 August 1966 Country of Loss: Laos Loss Coordinates: 201858N 1042358E (VH443483) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A1E Refno: 0414 Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
Burns is standing on the far right. The photo was taken at Hurlburt field in Ft Walton FL during his A1 Skyraider training.
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 September 1990 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 2003 with information from family. See below.
SYNOPSIS:The Douglas A1 Skyraider ("Spad") is a highly maneuverable, propeller driven aircraft designed as a multipurpose attack bomber or utility aircraft. 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, including rescue missions.
Capt. John R. Burns was the pilot of an A1E aircraft on an operational mission with another plane about 20 miles southeast of the city of Sam Neua, Laos on August 4, 1966. Burns radioed his wingman for directions and after receiving them the wingman's aircraft flew into a rain cloud. After emerging from the clouds, the wingman observed Burns' aircraft to crash. No parachute was seen and no emergency radio beeper was heard. Burns was declared Missing in Action, based on the possibility that he had ejected unseen.
Burns was flying the E model of the Skyraider, which usually carries two crewmen. There is no mention of a second crewman on this flight in Air Force data, and there is no other American missing on that day. It is assumed that Burns was flying alone.
The nature of Burns' mission is not stated in Air Force summaries. Because of the rather remote area of loss, it is not believed that the A1E was on a rescue mission, but probably a bombing mission.
According to the Air Force account, information that Burns died at the time of the incident was received in the Department of the Air Force which led to Burns' status being changed to killed in action on October 11, 1966. The nature of the information is not addressed in the account.
John R. Burns is still listed among the missing because no body has been found. Since the war ended in Vietnam, refugees have flooded the world, bringing with them stories of American soldiers still held prisoner in their homeland. Many authorities now believe that hundreds were left behind as living hostages.
John R. Burns apparently did not survive the crash of his aircraft. His family has undoubtedly accepted his death, and no longer expect him to come home. But hundreds of families wait expectantly and in the special agony only uncertainty can bring. Hundreds of men wait in caves, cages and prisons. How much longer will we allow the abandonment of our best men? It's time we brought them home.
April 10, 2003
Please add my mother's name and email address for anyone who desires to know more about CAPT John R. Burns. My mother's maiden name was Margaret Ann Burns now Margaret Ann Burns Hooser) and her email is email@example.com.