Name: Richard Fecteau
Branch/Rank: CIV
Date of Birth:
Home City of Record:
Date of Loss: 29 November 1952
Country of Loss: China
Loss Coordinates:
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Acft
Other Personnel in Incident: John T. Downey, returnee  - see updates

Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw
data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA
families, published sources, interviews and CACCF = Combined Action
Combat Casualty File. Notes below are sourced and clipped from various
articles. Updated 2011.



                                                                                      [adamsck1.txt 08/01/91]

by Dennis Adamscheck

... Americans were also held in China after the Korean War, as bargaining
chips to gain political favors.  Joseph King and Walter Enbom were returned
in 1957.  Steve Kiba, a 1955 returnee, stated "While a prisoner of the Red
Chinese after the Korean War, I saw over fifteen Caucasian prisoners.  These
fifteen men are in addition to John T. Downey and Richard Fecteau, with whom
our B-29 crew spent three weeks.  (December 7 to 28, 1954).  I reported
these sightings to our Air Force Intelligence, the CIA and the State
Department upon my return to freedom.  Their reaction was one of
indifference and I was admonished to forget not only the fifteen, but also,
Downey and Fecteau.  It was suggested that perhaps I had imagined that i had
seen these men."

Richard Fecteau was returned in 1971 and John Downey in 1973, over 19 years
after Steve Kiba had reported seeing them in captivity in 1954....


                                                [ADAMSCK3.TXT 08/05/92]

by Dennis Adamscheck

...The government's idea of "good politics" is playing a game with the lives
of captive U.S. servicemen and the emotions of family members. What is
frightening is a conspiracy of this nature among governmental offices would
have had to originate from the top.  Five U.S. Presidents, Nixon, Ford,
Carter, Reagan and Bush, knew that American citizens had been left behind in
communist captivity.  President Bush, having been in charge of the CIA,
would have been most knowledgeable.  Consider the following: CIA agents
Richard Fecteau and John Downey were seen in a Chinese prison camp by Steve
Kiba, and airman shot down during the Korean War.  When Kiba was released by
the Chinese in 1955, he told the CIA, the State Department and Air Force
Intelligence about Fecteau, Downey and many other Americans he had seen in
the nine prison camps he had been held captive in, in China.  Kiba said
their reaction was one of indifference and he was admonished to forget the
many he had seen, especially Fecteau and Downey.

Fecteau was released to freedom in 1971 and Downey in 1973.  Downey secretly
appeared from his captivity in China with the second to last group of
American POWs who were returned from captivity in Viet Nam on March 12,
1973.  Secret negotiations between China and the U.S. had surely taken place
to accomplish this release.  The DIA and State Department could not have
been part of the negotiations without Presidential knowledge.  Their success
in gaining the release of U.S. government agents is to be applauded.  But
are the many other soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen of no


                                               [insi12.95 01/16/96]


... 10. On 10/15/90 Insight Magazine published a story by Susan Katz
Keating, about the Korean war downing on 1/12/53 of Air Force radio operator
Steve Kiba who was not released until August 1955, along with 10 others held
in China. The story also shows a photo of Fecteau who was not freed until

The Bamboo Cage, by Nigel Cawthorn
The Full Story of the American Servicemen still held hostage in South-East

... The CIA were also dealing in drugs to fund some of their operations in
Laos, but the corruption involved in running that war might run so deep that
the CIA and others might be determined that the truth never comes out. And
that means leaving the American PoWs, many of whom knew what was going on,
where they are. Many CIA men are among the missing and the Agency often
seems quite content to leave their agents in enemy hands when their return
might be inconvenient. CIA agents John T. Downey and Richard G. Fecteau
languished in a Chinese jail for nearly 20 years after being shot down while
dropping guerrilla units into the country in November, 1952. Fecteau was
released in December, 1971, in the run-up to Richard Nixon's historic trip
to China. Downey was held until March, 1973, when Nixon finally admitted
publicly that Fecteau worked for the CIA. (3)...

Page 287

November  82

by Glenn Rifkin

         My Nineteen Years
         in a Chinese Prison
         Thirty years ago this month, Richard Fecteau of Lynn,
         Massachusetts, along with John Downey of Wallingford, Connecticut,
         began an incredible ordeal.  Neither has talked or written much
         about it, but in this article Dick tells exactly what happened and
         how it was. . .

It  WAS A COLD NOVEMBER night in 1952 as the unmarked C-47 swooped in
over the snow-blanketed landscape of Manchuria, China.  Suddenly, as the plane
reached 50 feet, large white sheets were pulled aside on the ground to
reveal two 50-caliber antiaircraft guns.  At point-blank range the guns
began to fire and the plane plunged into it bank of trees, the wings and
body torn asunder. Both pilots were killed.....


                                                [sjnp0703.98 07/04/98]
St. Joseph (MO) New Press

CIA honors 2 spies who survived imprisonment in China for 20 years

                         By ROBERT BURNS
                         Associated Press

WASHINGTON - On the same day President Clinton arrived to a red carpet
welcome in China last week, two men stood to applause in a banquet room
at CIA headquarters and accepted awards for a very different experience
in China.....


US Seeks Chinese Help on Korea MIAs   -- April 8, 1999

 AP Military Writer

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Clinton administration wants China to open its
   Korean War-era records in search of clues to the fate of several missing
   Americans, including two pilots apparently killed when their unmarked
   plane was shot down on a CIA covert mission in Manchuria in November


China OKs US Search For Cold War Remains
July 08, 2002

"BBC - Search for 'spy' pilots in China

The US Pentagon is sending a team to north-eastern China to investigate the
possibility of recovering the remains of two pilots who died during a spy
mission 50 years ago.....


SEARCHERS will seek CIA pilot's remains
Louisville Courier Journal - Louisville,KY,USA


Searchers will seek CIA pilot's remains
Louisville man's plane shot down in China over 50 years ago

The Courier-Journal

American investigators will search in northeastern China for the remains of
a Louisville pilot killed during a secret CIA mission more than 50 years


Remains are not pilot's in China spy mission
Louisvillian Schwartz shot down in 1952

March 23, 2005

By Sheryl Edelen
The Courier-Journal

U.S. military investigators analyzing materials from the site of a plane
crash in China that killed a Louisville pilot on a CIA mission in 1952 have
identified remains found there as those of his co-pilot......


June 2010
This first link is an article about Richard Fecteau's
over 19 years in a red Chinese prison.
Lynn man, former CIA agent, recalls captivity in China
For a more detailed article about CIA agents Richard Fecteau
& John Downey, click on the following link:
You will find their story most interesting. 



What a tale, now a film: 2 CIA officers captured by Chinese on secret

Jun 2, 2011 ... WASHINGTON - A CIA-produced documentary about a secret
mission in China, ... The agency plans a public release of the film about two
CIA officers captured
... The Associated Press obtained a copy of the film under the ...