Name: Norman Dale Eaton
Rank/Branch: O5/US Air Force
Unit: 8th Tactical Bomber Squadron, Phan Rang Airbase
Date of Birth: 11 August 1925
Home City of Record: Weatherford OK
Date of Loss: 13 January 1969
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 161600N 1064800E (XD936005)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: B57
Refno: 1359

Other Personnel In Incident: Paul E. Getchell (missing)

Source: Compiled 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 in 2020.


SYNOPSIS: The B57 Canberra was a light tactical bomber that played a varied
role in the Vietnam conflict. A veteran of operations Rolling Thunder and
Steel Tiger, B57's from the 8th Tactical Bombing Squadron at Phan Rang,
South Vietnam had also been equipped with infared sensors for night strike
operations in Tropic Moon II and III in the spring of 1967.

Col. Dale Eaton was the pilot and Capt. Paul E. Getchell the co-pilot of a
B57 Canberra light bomber which was lost in Savannakhet Province, Laos on
January 13, 1969. The aircraft was apparently struck by hostile fire at
about 50 miles southeast of the city of Muong Nong. (NOTE: Although the B57
model on which Eaton and Getchell were flying is not noted in any available
records, based on the history of the aircraft and the nature of warfare in
Laos, it is likely that the two were aboard either one of the later G models
- assigned to night intruder missions - or the RB57E model - assigned to
night reconnaissance.)

Although no parachutes were observed by other aircraft in the area, a
forward air controller (FAC) reported hearing a faint beeper in the
approximate area where the last radio transmission was received.

Both men were declared Missing In Action and classified in "Category 2",
which indicates the strong possibility that the enemy knew their fate. There
are nearly 600 lost in Laos. They were not negotiated for in the Paris Peace
accords, nor have they been negotiated for since, and as a consequence, not
one man held in Laos was ever released.

There are nearly 2500 Americans who remain missing in Southeast Asia.
Intelligence and refugee reports from the region continue to mount that
there are still Americans in captivity in Southeast Asia. Dale Eaton and
Paul Getchell could be among them. It's time we brought our men home.

Norman Dale Eaton is a 1949 graduate of West Point.

National League of Families
POW/MIA Update:  February 12, 2007

personnel listed as missing and unaccounted for by the Department of
Defense.  The identifications of four Americans previously
missing/unaccounted for from the Vietnam War were recently announced:

Colonel Norman D. Eaton, USAF, OK, MIA 1/13/69, Laos, RR 12/16/05, ID

Lt Colonel Paul E. Getchell, USAF, ME, MIA 1/13/69, Laos, RR 12-16-05, ID

Major Benjamin F. Danielson, USAF, USA, MN, MIA 12/5/69, Laos, RR 11/12/03,
ID 8/6/046

Sergeant First Class Lewis C. Walton, RI, MIA 5/10/71, SVN, RR 10/19/04, ID

The League extends best wishes to the families and friends of these men and
hopes that these final answers bring long-awaited peace of mind. The
accounting for these Americans brings to 795 the number of US personnel
accounted for since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.  Over 90% of the
1,788 still listed as missing were lost in Vietnam or in areas of Laos and
Cambodia under Vietnamese wartime control.


NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense

April 24, 2007
Media Contact: (703) 697-5131/697-5132
Public/Industry(703) 428-0711

Airmen Missing In Action From Vietnam War Are Identified

 The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced
 today that the remains of two U.S. servicemen, missing in action from the
 Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to their families
 for burial with full military honors.

 They are Col. Norman D. Eaton, of Weatherford, Okla., and Lt. Col. Paul E.
 Getchell, of Portland, Maine, both U.S. Air Force.Eaton will be buried
 April 25 at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C., and Getchell
 will be buried later this spring at Arlington.

 On Jan. 13, 1969, Eaton and Getchell crewed a B-57B Canberra bomber
 participating in a nighttime attack on targets in Salavan Province,
 Laos. The target area was illuminated by flares from a C-130 aircraft;
 however, the flares dimmed as the B-57 began its third bombing run on the
 target. The crew was low on fuel, but decided to continue the attack run
 without illumination. The C-130 crew received a radio transmission
 indicating that the B-57 was off target and seconds later, the plane
 crashed. Eaton and Getchell could not be recovered at the time of the

 In 1995, a joint U.S.-Lao People's Democratic Republic (L.P.D.R.) team, led
 by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), investigated the incident
 and interviewed a Laotian citizen who recalled the crash.Another joint
 U.S.-L.P.D.R. team surveyed the site and found wreckage and crew-related
 materials consistent with the citizen's report.

 In 2003, a joint U.S.-L.P.D.R. team excavated the crash site and recovered
 Eaton's identification tag. The team was unable to complete the recovery and
 subsequent teams re-visited the site five more times between 2004 and 2005
 before the recovery was complete. As a result, the teams found Getchell's
 identification tag, human remains and additional crew-related items.

 Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence,
 scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory
 also used mitochondrial DNA in the identification of the remains.

 For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account
 for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at http;//
 or call (703) 699-1169.


From: Jeannette Sieland <>
Sent: Fri, Nov 29, 2019 2:11 pm
Subject: Vietnam Bracelet.
A friend of mine found a Vietnam Era name bracelet that she has had since that time period. 
She sent it to me in hopes that I might have better luck than she did in finding either him or his
 family.  She knows I've been searching for my uncle for quite a few years now & hopes I
might have better luck than she did.
The info on the bracelet is: Col. Norman D. Eaton 1-13-69. ....
So my questions do you have any suggestions as to where I might start with this search? 
Any and all ideas are gratefully accepted from you  or anyone else for that matter.
Jeannette Sieland




Return to Service Member Profiles

On February 2, 2007, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC, now DPAA) identified the remains of Colonel Norman Dale Eaton, missing from the Vietnam War.

Colonel Eaton entered the U.S. Air Force from Oklahoma and was a member of the 8th Tactical Bombardment Squadron. On January 13, 1969, he piloted a B-57B Canberra on a night combat mission against enemy targets in Slavan Province, Laos. The target area was illuminated by flares from a C-130 flare ship; however, the flares dimmed as the B-57 began its third bombing run on the target. Reporting that they were low on fuel, the crew continued their attack run without illumination. The C-130 crew received a radio transmission indicating that the B-57 was off-target, and seconds later, the Canberra crashed, killing Col Eaton and the other crew member. Their remains could not be recovered at the time of the incident. However, between 1995 and 2005, joint U.S./Laotian excavations recovered material evidence and human remains from the crash site. Modern forensic techniques were eventually able to identify Col Eaton from the remains recovered.

Colonel Eaton is memorialized in 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.