Remains returned 1989 Identified 04/01/98

Name: Carey Allen Cunningham
Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force
Unit: 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron
Date of Birth: 18 March 1938
Home City of Record: Collinsville AL
Date of Loss: 02 August 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 183115N 1052451E (WF405462)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 3
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: RF4C

Other Personnel in Incident: Wallace G. Hynds Jr. (missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 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.


SYNOPSIS: Col. Wallace G. Hynds was the pilot and Capt. Carey A. Cunningham
the radar navigator of an RF4C reconnaissance version of the Phantom
fighter/bomber. The two were assigned to the 10th Tactical Reconnaissance

On August 2, 1967, Hynds and Cunningham were flying the lead plane in a
flight of two aircraft on a reconnaissance mission near the city of Vinh in
North Vietnam. The number two aircraft observed Hynds' aircraft to crash to
the ground and explode. No parachutes were heard, and no emergency beeper
signals were heard. Based on their visual observation, the two men were
declared killed.

The U.S. Government believes the Vietnamese could account for Hynds and
Cunningham, primarily because the area was relatively heavily populated and
there were enemy forces present. However, the Vietnamese have denied any
knowledge of either Hynds or Cunningham.

Hynds and Cunningham are listed among the missing because their bodies were
never recovered. Others who are missing do not have such clear-cut cases.
Some were known captives; some were photographed as they were led by their
guards. Some were in radio contact with search teams, while others simply

Since the war ended, over 250,000 interviews have been conducted with those
who claim to know about Americans still alive in Southeast Asia, and several
million documents have been studied. U.S. Government experts cannot seem to
agree whether Americans are there alive or not. Detractors say it would be
far too politically difficult to bring the men they believe to be alive
home, and the U.S. is content to negotiate for remains.

Well over 1000 first-hand, eye-witness reports of American prisoners still
alive in Southeast Asia have been received by 1990. Most of them are still
classified. If, as the U.S. seems to believe, the men are all dead, why the
secrecy after so many years? If the men are alive, why are they not home?


Defense POW/MIA Weekly Update
April 1, 1998


The remains of three Americans previously unaccounted-for from Southeast
Asia have been identified and will be returned to their families for burial
in the United States. One is identified as U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander
Donald V. Davis, of Salisbury, N.C. The other is Captain Carey A.
Cunningham, U.S. Air Force, of Collinsville, Ala. The name of a U.S.
civilian lost in Laos will not be released at the request of his family.

On July 25, 1967, LCDR Davis left the USS Oriskany, flying an A4-E aircraft,
on an armed reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. His wingman observed
LCDR Davis' aircraft crash as it was attacking a truck convoy. The wingman
reported there was no chance for survival. No search and rescue was

In 1988 and 1996, a joint U. S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam team visited
the probable location of LCDR Davis' crashsite and interviewed local
villagers for information on this loss incident. Witnesses reported finding
a crashsite and burying the remains of a pilot found within the wreckage.
Analysis of aircraft wreckage determined it to be from an A-4 aircraft.

In 1997, a joint U.S./Vietnamese team excavated a possible burial site
identified by the villagers. The team recovered human remains, life support
equipment, and aircraft wreckage. The remains were repatriated to the U.S.
Army's Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii for analysis and
subsequently identified as those of LCDR Davis.

On August 2, 1967, Capt. Cunningham and his crewmember were flying a
daylight photographic reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. Their
wingman stated that Capt. Cunningham's RF-4C Phantom banked into a hard
right turn and crashed. No parachutes were seen exiting the aircraft before
it crashed.

In 1989, the Vietnamese government repatriated two boxes of remains, one of
which they claimed belonged to Capt. Cunningham's crewmate. In 1992 and 1994,
a joint U.S./Vietnamese team interviewed villagers about a 1967 crash of an
American aircraft in which both pilots died. The villagers reported that the
remains of the pilots were turned over to central authorities.

Personal effects belonging to the Americans were examined in two Vietnamese
military museums. The remains repatriated in 1989 were subsequently identified
as those of Capt. Cunningham. His crewmember is still unaccounted- for.

With this identification, 2,093 Americans remain unaccounted-for from the
Vietnam War.


May 25 1998

Airman's Remains Finally Come Home
The Associated Press
 COLLINSVILLE, Ala.  (AP) - The day he died on the other side of the world,
Capt. Carey Allen Cunningham began a journey that lasted longer than his
life. Last month, beneath two oak trees on a hill overlooking his hometown,
the journey came to an end......




Return to Service Member Profiles

On March 17, 1998, Joint Task Force-Full Accounting (JTF-FA, now DPAA) identified the remains of Captain Carey Allen Cunningham, missing from the Vietnam War.

Captain Cunningham joined the U.S. Air Force from Alabama and was a member of the 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. On August 2, 1967, he was the radar officer and navigator aboard an RF-4C Phantom II (serial number 65-0848) on a daytime reconnaissance mission over enemy territory in Vietnam. The Phantom crashed during its mission, and Capt Cunningham was killed in the incident. Hostile presence in the area prevented ground searches of the Phantom's crash site and his remains could not be recovered at the time. In June 1989, the Vietnamese government repatriated a set of remains that were associated with Capt Cunningham's Phantom. In 1998, U.S. analysts identified the remains as those of Capt Cunningham. 

Captain Cunningham is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. 

If you are a family member of this serviceman, you may contact your casualty office representative to learn more about your service member.