FER, JOHN

Name: John Fer
Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force, pilot
Unit: 41st TRS
Date of Birth: 12 September 1937
Home City of Record: Hemet CA
Date of Loss: 04 February 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 221546N 1055300E (WK910620)
Status (in 1973): Released POW
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: EB66C

Official pre-capture photo

Other Personnel in Incident: John O. Davies; Jack W. Bomar NAV (both
released POWs); Russell A. Poor (missing); Herb Doby; Woodrow H. Wilburn
(remains returned)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 March 1990 with the assistance of
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.  2023

REMARKS: 730304 RELSD BY DRV

SYNOPSIS: The Douglas EB66C Skywarrior was outfitted as an electronic
warfare aircraft which carried roughly 5 tons of electronic gear in addition
to its flight crew of three and technical personnel. The EB66C featured a
pressurized capsule installed in the bomb bay, that accommodated four
technicians whose responsibility was to operate electronic reconnaissance
gear.

On February 4, 1967, an EB66C was dispatched on an operational mission over
North Vietnam. The crew and technicians that day included Maj. Jack W.
Bomar, 1Lt. John O. Davies, Capt. John Fer, Capt. Russell A. Poor, Capt.
Herb Doby, and Maj. Woodrow Hoover.

At a point about 40 miles from the China border in Bac Thai Province, North
Vietnam, the EB66C was shot down. Bomar, Fer and Davies were captured. The
fates of Doby, Poor and Wilburn were uncertain.

In the spring of 1973, 591 Americans were released from prison camps in
Vietnam, including Bomar, Davies and Fer. They had been POWs for just over
six years. Poor, Doby and Wilburn remained Missing in Action.

In 1977, the Vietnamese returned remains which were identified as being
those of Capt. Herb Doby, but denied any knowledge of the fates of Poor and
Wilburn.

In 1990, it was announced that the Vietnamese had "discovered" and returned
the remains of Maj. Woodrow Wilburn.

For 23 years, the Vietnamese have denied knowledge of the fates of the
missing from the EB66C they shot down on February 4, 1967. Among the entire
crew, only Poor remains missing.

Disturbing testimony was given to Congress in 1980 that the Vietnamese
"stockpiled" the remains of Americans to return at politically advantageous
times. Could Poor be waiting, in a casket, for just such a moment?

Even more disturbing are the nearly 10,000 reports received by the U.S.
relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia. Many authorities who have
examined this information (largely classified), have reluctantly come to the
conclusion that many Americans are still alive in Southeast Asia. Could Poor
be among these?

Perhaps the most compelling questions when remains are returned are, "Is it
really who they say it is?", and "How -- and when -- did he die?" As long as
reports continue to be received which indicate Americans are still alive in
Indochina, we can only regard the return of remains as a politically
expedient way to show "progress" on accounting for American POW/MIAs. As
long as reports continue to be received, we must wonder how many are alive.

As long as even one American remains alive, held against his will, we must
do everything possible to bring him home -- alive.

~~~~~~~

John Fer retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel. He lives in
South Carolina.

=====================

 

http://losalamitos.patch.com/articles/memorial-day-ceremony-held-in-honor-of-fallen-u-s-soldiers-448edd1b

POW Speaks About Sacrifice at Memorial Day Service

Retired Air Force Colonel John Fer gave an emotional address to the congregation
at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base's Sunday Service.

By Blake Morris

 

In honor or Memorial Day and the soldiers who died in combat, retired Air Force
Colonel and Vietnam War POW John Fer spoke at the Sunday service at the Joint

Forces Training Base

A Silver Star recipient, Fer was a pilot shot down during the Vietnam War. He
remained a POW for over 6 years before being released on March 4, 1973.

From the beginning of his address, Fer set the emotional and spiritual tone of the
morning.....

 

 
So cool! Warren You in CA found our story on former POW John Fer. Warren wore his bracelet. Now he wants to give it back. @wusa9 pic.twitter.com/ ...

 

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