Remains Returned 07/15/96  ID 06/14/2002
ID recinded by USG March 2003
Name: Robert Allen Govan
Rank/Branch: O4/US Air Force
Unit: 606th Air Commando Squadron
Date of Birth: 27 May 1934
Home City of Record: Washington DC
Date of Loss: 01 April 1967
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 165843N 1055800E (XD029773)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: T28D
Refno: 0635
Other Personnel In Incident: David R. Williams (missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 September 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. NETWORK 2002.
SYNOPSIS: The North American T28 Nomad was used throughout Southeast Asia
for counterinsurgency missions and flew many successful strikes in Laos and
South Vietnam before increasingly more accurate ground fire proved the
aircraft too vulnerable to survive.
Major David R. Williams and Maj. Robert A. Govan comprised the crew of a
T28D Nomad sent on an armed reconnaissance mission over Laos on April 1,
1967. While in the process of preparing to attack the target, the T28 was
struck by hostile fire. A fireball was observed on the ground. No
communication was received from the crew members and no parachutes were
seen. The aircraft crashed about 10 miles east of Ban Muong Sen in
Savannakhet Province.
Williams and Govan became two of nearly 600 Americans who disappeared in
Laos during the Vietnam War. Although Pathet Lao leaders stressed that they
held "tens of tens" of American prisoners, they stated that those captured
in Laos would be released in Laos, hoping to gain a seat at the negotiating
table in Paris where the U.S. and Vietnam were negotiating an end to the
The U.S. did not include Laos in the Paris Peace Accords, and no Americans
held in Laos were released. In America's haste to leave Southeast Asia, it
abandoned its finest men. Since the end of the war, the U.S. has received
thousands of reports convincing many that hundreds of Americans are still
held captive today.
In seeming disregard for the Americans either held or having been murdered
by the Pathet Lao, by 1989, the U.S. and the Lao devised a working plan to
provide Laos with humanitarian and economic aid leading toward ultimate full
diplomatic and trade relations while Laos allows the excavation of military
crash sites at sporadic intervals. In America's haste to return to Southeast
Asia, we are again abandoning our men.
David R. Williams was promoted to the rank of Colonel and Robert A. Govan to
the rank of Lieutenant Colonel during the period they were maintained