Remains Id announced 06/13/2006
Name: John Francis Conlon III
Rank/Branch: O2/US Air Force
Unit: 21st Tactical Air Support Squadron, Pleiku AB SV
Date of Birth: 18 February 1941
Home City of Record: Wilkes Barre PA
Date of Loss: 04 March 1966
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 133700N 1090000E (BR836079)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 3
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: O1E
Refno: 0262
Other Personnel In Incident: Stuart Andrews (missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 May 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.
SYNOPSIS: Major Stuart M. Andrews was the pilot of an O1E aircraft on which
his observer-in-training was 1Lt. John F. Conlon III in March 1966. Andrews
and his observer were sent on a cross-country visual reconnaissance mission
in South Vietnam.
The O1E "Bird Dog" was used extensively in the early years of the war in
Vietnam by forward air controllers and provided low, close visual
reconnaissance and target marking which enabled armed aircraft or ground
troops to close in on a target. The O1E was feared by the enemy, because he
knew that opening fire would expose his location and invite attack by
fighters controlled by the slowly circling Bird Dog. The Vietnamese became
bold, however when they felt their position was compromised and attacked the
little Bird Dog with a vengeance in order to lessen the accuracy of an
impending strike by other craft.
Andrews and Conlon departed Qui Nhon Airfield on March 4, 1966 at 3:20 p.m.
At 3:40 p.m. they made radio contact with a Special Forces Camp in the area
and were asked to check campfires that had been spotted. That radio contact
with the Special Forces camp was the last word anyone heard of Andrews and
Conlon. There was at that time no indication that anything was wrong, but
when the plane failed to arrive at its destination, both men were declared
When 591 Americans were released from prisoner of war camps in 1973, Andrews
and Conlon were not among them. Nearly five years later, in December 1977,
they were presumptively declared dead, based on no information that they
were alive.
Alarmingly, evidence continues to mount that Americans were left as
prisoners in Southeast Asia and continue to be held today. Unlike "MIAs"
from other wars, most of the nearly 2500 Americans who remain missing in
Southeast Asia can be accounted for. Many U.S. Government officials have
said it is their belief that Americans are being held, but have not yet
found the formula that would bring them home. Detractors claim that not
enough is being done to bring these men home.
Stuart M. Andrews was promoted to the rank of Colonel and John F. Conlon III
was promoted to the rank of Major during the period they were maintained
Posted on Tue, Jun. 13, 2006
"I can't believe after storming the heavens all these years, we finally have
an answer."
Long wait finally over
DALLAS - Claire Evans heard the man's voice on the other end of the phone
line and immediately knew the 40-year-long wait was over.....
To see some of the government's evidence concerning the recovery of Maj.
John F. Conlon III's remains, log on to
Terrie Morgan-Besecker, a Times Leader staff writer, may be reached at
June 21, 2006
The Defense POW/Missing Personnel (DPMO) announced today that a U.S. Air
Force officer missing in action from the Vietnam War has been identified and
is being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
He is Maj. John F. Conlon III, Wilkes-Barre Pa.  His funeral is tentatively
scheduled for Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C., in the
On March 4, 1966 Conlon and another crewmember took off from Qui Nhon Air
Field, Binh Dinh Province, South Vietnam, in their O-1E Bird Dog light
observation aircraft. They were on a visual reconnaissance mission to Cheo
Reo, an airstrip approximately 60 miles southwest of Qui Nhon.  The last
radio contact with the crew was with a U.S. Special Forces Camp about 30
minutes after take-off. The crew reported the aircraft's position but made
no mention of problems.  When the aircraft failed to arrive at Cheo Reo, a
search and rescue effort was initiated, but failed to find the aircraft or
crew after six days of searching.
Between May of 1993 and August of 2005 teams from the Joint POW/MIA
Accounting Command (JPAC) conducted six investigations in the Binh Dinh
Province.  They developed leads which took them to a site which was later
scheduled for excavation.
In February of 2006 a joint JPAC-Vietnamese team excavated that site and
found aircraft debris, personal effects, human remains and a dog tag that
related to Conlon's crew.  JPAC scientists used Conlon's dental records to
confirm his identity from those remains excavated at the site.
Of those Americans unaccounted-for from all conflicts, 1,803 are from the
Vietnam War.
For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account
for missing Americans, visit the DPMO website at or
call (703)-699-1169.
Grave of two missing pilots found in Vietnam after 40 years
ID tag, four teeth only remains


MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A Montgomery woman whose husband's military ID was
recovered from a grave in Vietnam after 40 years said she's relieved to know
he had not been captured and tortured.....