Remains Returned 24 September 1987; ID Announced 7 January 1988

Name: Wayne Eugene Fullam
Rank/Branch: O4/US Air Force
Date of Birth: 09 March 1932
Home City of Record: Chattanooga TN
Date of Loss: 07 October 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 211600N 1065500E (XJ970520)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F105D
Refno: 0855
Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1991 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: In the early 1970's, families and friends of missing Americans
launched a campaign to plant Freedom Trees in honor of the missing men. The
first Tree planted at McGhee Tyson Air Base, Alcoa, Tennessee was dedicated
to Air Force Major Wayne E. Fullam. Since that time, many of the freedom
trees have been removed or forgotten, but many have grown tall in the two
decades since their planting, leaving a living reminder of the men America
left behind in Southeast Asia.

Major Wayne Fullam was the lead F105D pilot in a group of 20 planes on a
strike mission in North Vietnam. Fullam's plane was shot down about 30 miles
north-northeast of Haiphong over Ha Bac Province. Fullam radioed to his
wingman that he was "getting out." In nearby Hanoi, Soviet helicopters were
being bombed and destroyed for the first time in the war. Maj. Fullam was
observed to eject with a good parachute, and strong emergency beeper signals
were received by his flight members. Voice contact was not made, however,
after he bailed out.

A rescue helicopter started in after Fullam, but was driven back by heavy
fire. When search and rescue teams arrived, Fullam's parachute was seen
hanging in the trees with his beeper still transmitting. The helicopter crew
watched as Fullam's parachute was being pulled from the tree. When SAR made
a second pass, the parachute was gone and the beeper had been silenced. At
the time, it was assumed that Fullam had been injured or killed during his
ejection or had been unconscious and subsequently captured. Since no proof
of either capture or death was obtained, Maj. Fullam was listed Missing in

A subsequent intelligence report indicated that Fullam had been captured in
good condition by members of a Chinese anti-aircraft unit operating in
Vietnam, turned over the the North Vietnamese, and was last seen being
driven away in a jeep. This report was never verified, however, and Maj.
Fullam's status remained Missing in Action.

The Vietnamese are believed to have information about the fate of Fullam. He
did not disappear into a vacuum. When 591 lucky Americans were released from
North Vietnamese prisons in 1973, Fullam was not among them. The Vietnamese
denied all knowledge of him.

By 1985, all the nearly 2500 missing Americans were presumptively declared
dead by the U.S. Government, except for only one man, who remains in
Prisoner of War status.

In September 1987, twenty-one years after Major Fullam was shot down, the
Vietnamese "discovered" his remains and returned them to U.S. control. In
January 1988, the U.S. announced that it had verified the identification of
the remains, and they were turned over to Fullam's family for burial.

By 1991, over 10,000 reports relating to Americans prisoner, missing and
unaccounted for in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S. Many
authoritied who have reviewed this largely-classified information believe
there are hundreds of Americans are still alive in captivity today.

Regardless of political viewpoints on the war in Indochina, Americans agree
that the high value of human lives is one of our basic tenets. For the
Communists, however, human life is subjugated for the good of the State.
"Humanitarian" is not a word in the Communist vocabulary. Negotiations with
the Vietnamese, on a "humanitarian" basis, cannot, therefore, have any hope
for success. Meanwhile, Americans wait in captivity while governments decide
on common ground for negotiations.

Wayne E. Fullam was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel during the
period he was maintained missing.