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