Name: David Ian Drummond
Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force, co-pilot
Unit: 307th Strat Wing
Date of Birth: 10 June 1947
Home City of Record: Westwood NJ
Date of Loss: 22 December 1972
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 210125N 1055100E (WJ880210)
Status (in 1973): Released POW
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: B52

November 2017, Branson, MO

Other Personnel in Incident: Gary L. Morgan; William T. Mayall; John H. Yuill;
William W. Conlee; Louis H. Bernasconi (all released POWs)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 July 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: Frustrated by problems in negotiating a peace settlement, and
pressured by a Congress and public wanting an immediate end to American
involvement in Vietnam, President Nixon ordered the most concentrated air
offensive of the war - known as Linebacker II - in December 1972. During the
offensive, sometimes called the "Christmas bombings," 40,000 tons of bombs
were dropped, primarily over the area between Hanoi and Haiphong. White
House Press Secretary Ronald Ziegler said that the bombing would end only
when all U.S. POWs were released and an internationally recognized
cease-fire was in force.

Linebacker II flights generally arrived over Hanoi in tight cells of three
aircraft to maximize the mutual support benefits of their ECM equipment and
flew straight and level to stabilize the bombing computers and ensure that
all bombs fell on the military targets and not in civilian areas.

The pilots of the early missions reported that "wall-to-wall SAMS"
surrounded Hanoi as they neared its outskirts. The Christmas Bombings,
despite press accounts to the contrary, were of the most precise the world
had seen. Pilots involved in the immense series of strikes generally agree
that the strikes against anti-aircraft and strategic targets was so
successful that the U.S., had it desired, "could have taken the entire
country of Vietnam by inserting an average Boy Scout troop in Hanoi and
marching them southward."

To achieve this precision bombing, the Pentagon deemed it necessary to stick
to a regular flight path. For many missions, the predictable B52 strikes
were anticipated and prepared for by the North Vietnamese. Later, however,
flight paths were altered and attrition all but eliminated any hostile
threat from the ground.

Still, aircraft were shot down near the end of the campaign. On December 22,
1972, a B52 was shot down near Hanoi. Its crew included LTCOL John H. Yuill,
LTCOL Louis H. Bernasconi, LTCOL William W. Conlee, CAPT David I. Drummond,
1LT William T. Mayall, and TSGT Gary L. Morgan. This crew was exceptionally
fortunate--they were all were captured by the North Vietnamese. The captured
crew was held in Hanoi until March 29, 1973, at which time they were
released in Operation Homecoming. The U.S. did not know all of them had been

Linebacker II involved 155 Boeing B52 Stratofortress bombers stationed at
Anderson AFB, Guam (72nd Strat Wing) and another 50 B52s stationed at Utapoa
Airbase, Thailand (307th Strat Wing), an enormous number of bombers with
over one thousand men flying the missions. However, the bombings were not
conducted without high loss of aircraft and personnel. During the month of
December 1972, 61 crewmembers onboard ten B52 aircraft were shot down and
were captured or declared missing. (The B52 carried a crew of six men;
however, one B52 lost carried an extra crewman.) Of these 61, 33 men were
released in 1973. The others remained missing at the end of the war. Over
half of these survived to eject safely.

Since the war ended, over 10,000 reports have been received relating to
Americans missing, prisoner or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia. The crew
of the B52 shot down on December 22 was lucky to have survived and only have
a few weeks imprisonment. Many authorities are now convinced that many
Americans are still held captive in Southeast Asia. It's time we found them
and brought them home.


David Drummond and his wife Jill reside in New Jersey.

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