Name: David John Earll
Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force
Unit: 469th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Korat AB TH
Date of Birth: 02 March 1938
Home City of Record: Dallas TX
Date of Loss: 21 October 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 174012N 1062535E (XE513541)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F105D
Refno: 0502
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 30 April 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: The F105 Thunderchief ("Thud"), in its various versions, flew more
missions against North Vietnam than any other U.S. aircraft. It also
suffered more losses, partially due to its vulnerability, which was
constantly under revision. Between 1965 and 1971, the aircraft was equipped
with armor plate, a secondary flight control system, an improved pilot
ejection seat, a more precise navigation system, better blind bombing
capability and ECM pods for the wings. The D version was a single-place

Captain David J. Earll was a pilot assigned to the 469th Tactical Fighter
Squadron at Korat Airbase, Thailand. On October 21, 1966, he was assigned a
bombing mission over North Vietnam. Earll flew as the number two aircraft in
a flight of two.

Earll was seen to release his rockets on the target and start recovery when
his aircraft exploded into a fireball. No parachutes were seen, and efforts
to contact Earll by radio were unsuccessful. Still, there was the chance
that he ejected safely unseen. Earll was classified Missing in Action. The
target was located near the city of Quang Khe in Quang Binh Province, North

Throughout the remainder of the war, Earll's status remained uncertain.
Government officials were fairly sure that the enemy knew his fate, but had
no solid information that he had been captured. But in 1973, when 591
Americans were released from prisoner of war camps, Earll was not among
them. Neither were hundreds that had been known or suspected to be prisoners
of war.

Following the war, refugee reports began to flow in related to Americans
missing in Southeast Asia. Earll's status remained Missing in Action. Then,
thirteen years after his aircraft crashed, he was administratively declared
dead by the Department of the Air Force based on no specific information to
indicate he was still alive.

The refugee reports and others received through intelligence channels are
largely classified. Many authorities who have examined this evidence believe
that hundreds of Americans are still alive today. U.S. Government policy
dictates that it operate under the assumption that one or more Americans are
still alive, yet no solution to bringing those living Americans has been
found. Whether Earll is among those thought to be still alive is not known.
What seems certain, however, is that we have not done enough to bring these
men home.

David J. Earll was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel during the
period he was maintained missing.