HATCHER, DAVID BURNETT
Name: David Burnett Hatcher
Branch/Rank: UNITED STATES AIR FORCE/O3
Unit: 333 TFS
Date of Birth: 27 March 1934
Home City of Record: MT. AIRY NC
Date of Loss: 30-May-66
Country of Loss: NORTH VIETNAM
Loss Coordinates: 221600 North 1042200 East
Status (in 1973):
Other Personnel in Incident:
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. Updated 2019 with information from Justin Jackson-Mann.
REMARKS: 730212 RELEASED BY DRV
David B. Hatcher, (Dave)
Born Mount Airy, NC.... March 27, 1934
Trained Spence Field, Moultrie Ga; Vance AB, Enid Okla.;
Williams AB Chandler AZ.; Nellis AB, Las Vegas, Nevada. 1958-1960.
36th TFW, 22nd TFS, Bitburg Germany F-100C and F-105D. 1960-1961
4th TFW, 335th and 333rd TFS Seymour Johnson AB Goldsboro, NC
Talkli AB, Thailand Dec 1965 to May 30 1996. 333 TFS. 87 Missions
into North Vietnam.
Air Force 1954 thru 1974. Wife, Willodene, Married May 9, 1955.
Currently a Real Estate Appraiser in North Carolina. Two daughters and
sons in law with 3 grand children, and another on the way.
Shot down May 30, 1996, while strafing a train Northwest of Dien Bien
Phu near the China Border. Don Heiliger was flying wing, who later
became a POW. Captured next day, and arrived at the Hanoi Hilton
6/02/66. Over the next few weeks I got to confess my sins of bombing
pagodas, hospitals, and kindergartens; plus complimenting the nice
guards for their humane and lenient way of showing me the ropes.
Marched with Larry Spencer and 44 other criminals down the streets of
Hanoi the night of July 6, 1966. Met a lot of the Vietnamese people
that night. Later on, back at heartbreak hotel, I learned some more
rope tricks that I had missed. About daybreak was thrown into the cell
next to Neal Murphy Jones who had just been captured, I was able to
cheer Neal up with some jokes about how the little children were
learning US history; the names of our President, our Secretary of
Defense and State. Neal was hurt bad, but he like so many others was a
brave man that morning as he sucked it up and prepared for the long
months and years to follow.
Served with some fine Americans at the Zoo, Little Vegas, Plantation,
Power Plant, Son Tay, Hilton and Dog Patch. The first six months were
in solitary and Dave Burroughs was my first cell mate. Christmas, 1966
we had rice with a scallion on top. Dave gave me his scallion as a
gift. That was a real treat I Thanks Dave. For all you great guys, who
gave me encouragement, joy, hope and a deep concern for the welfare of
another, I am so very proud to have served with you. The innovations,
the integrity, and the love of God, Country and your fellow man under
difficult circumstances was an inspiration that sustained us all.
Let us spend our waning years showing that same spirit to our families,
our neighbors, and our nation, let us entreat the All Mighty God, Our
Heavenly Father, to have mercy on our great land, and to give wisdom to
those who serve in high places. Without His intervention, what hope is
there? We can continue to be examples in the sphere in which we serve.
RET LTCOL/RESIDES NC/WIFE WILLODENE/ALIVE 98
LTCOL Hatcher has been battling Lymphoma. He was brought to hospice on 9 May 2019,
and passed away 12 May 2019.
May his flight west find fair skies and tail winds.
Please keep the family in your prayers.
Dave's visitation and funeral are set for Wednesday, May 15,
2019 at the Antioch Baptist Church, 137 Antioch Ave, Mount Airy, NC.
Visitation 1:30 - 3:00 PM with service afterward.
Addresses for GPS: Antioch Baptist Church: 137 Antioch Ave, Mount Airy,
NC; Hampton Inn: 2029 Rockford St, Mount Airy, NC
Here's Col. Hatchers obituary:
Lt. Col. David B. Hatcher was laid to rest in Mount Airy yesterday with
military honors including pall bearers, flag folders, and seven airmen rifles
for the three volley salute. The highlight was the flyover of 4 F-15Es from
Seymour Johnson. The weather was Chamber of Commerce gorgeous! The flyover
was one of the best I have ever seen. I left a nickel on the grass next to
his grave which I know made Dave smile. He is buried next to Willodene, his
wife of 56 years.
The family made me feel like family. I hadn't seen the girls since
they were quite young. Liz Hatcher Johnson is now the matriarch of the family.
She coordinated the post funeral celebration of David's life. It
turns out I was the only attendee who did not call him David!
Rest well, good friend. GBU.
MORE INFO https://www.loc.gov/item/powmia/pw082681/