Name: Donald Lee Harrison
Rank/Branch: O3/US Army
Unit: HHB, 2nd Btn, 94th Artillery, 108th Artillery Group [see note below]
Date of Birth: 24 July 1946 (Macon GA)
Home City of Record: Chamblee GA
Date of Loss: 29 October 1968
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 165627N 1065614E (YD063739)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: O1G
Refno: 1314

Other Personnel In Incident: Steven N. Bezold (missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 June 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.


SYNOPSIS: On the afternoon of October 29, 1968, 1LT Donald L. Harrison,
pilot, and 1LT Steven N. Bezold, observer, were flying in a Cessna O1G Bird
Dog observation plane (tail #57-6027), with another O1G on an artillery
adjustment mission over the DMZ.

As the two planes entered the mission area, they were briefed by departing
aircraft who had been receiving anti-aircraft flak from the northern edge of
the mission area. Lt. Harrison worked the southern end of the Demilitarized
Zone (DMZ) while the other aircraft went north to try to find the source of
the anti-aircraft fire.

The northern aircraft, while observing for a pair of fighter aircraft on a
gun position, had a malfunction and could not mark the target, so the
observer pilots agreed to trade area locations. During the change, as the
aircraft passed each other, 1LT Harrison's plane was hit in the left rear
cockpit area, between the pilot and the observer. The aircraft continued
straight for a few seconds, and then started a slow descending right turn.
The turn became tighter as the descent rate increased until impact. There
were no radio transmissions from Harrison's plane after it was hit.

Due to approaching darkness, and the difficulty in locating the crash site,
only an electronic search could be made that night. The next day, the downed
plane's wing and fuselage were located and vehicle tracks around the
wreckage were seen. It appeared that the wreckage had been moved to a more
visible location in order to draw rescue aircraft into a trap. As aircraft
went near the wing, intense anti-aircraft fire was received. No contact was
ever made with the crew. The area was never searched because of intense
hostility in the area.

When 591 Americans were released from Vietnamese prisons at the end of the
war, Bezold and Harrison were not among them. They are among nearly 2400 who
are still missing in Southeast Asia.

Tragically, over 10,000 reports relating to Americans prisoner, missing, or
unaccounted for in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S. Government,
convincing many experts that hundreds of Americans are still alive, waiting
for their country to come for them. Steven Bezold and Donald Harrison could
be among them. It's time we brought our men home.

Donald Harrison was promoted to the rank of Major and Steven Bezold to the
rank of Captain during the period they were maintained missing.

[note: Vietnam Helicopter Pilot's Association, October '94, reports incident
as "Official description: Died while missing as a result of hostile action
from vehicular accident while serving as pilot in a fixed wing aircraft."]


1/28/2014 5:49 PM, rod stewart wrote:
You have a slight mistake in the above MIAs bio.  His unit was the 220th Recon.
Airplane Company, 212 Avn. Bn., 1st Avn. Bde.
The other person in the aircraft was in the 108th Artillery - not Harrison.
Thanks for all your efforts.

- RA Stewart
220th RAC
Harrison's wingman

Sorry, I know the list is long and the sources many - but I am in those reports and have
those reports and nowhere was a midair between 2 aircraft mentioned. 
He was shot down and died in combat (or as a POW) and not by accident. 
An important difference.

Thanks - Rod Stewart





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On October 29, 1968, an O-1G Bird Dog (tail number 57-6027) with a crew of two took part in a two-plane artillery adjustment mission over the Demilitarized Zone in between North and South Vietnam. During the mission, the Bird Dog was hit by enemy anti-aircraft fire and crashed. No parachutes were seen to emerge from the aircraft before it went down. Search and rescue teams were launched the next day, but intense hostile fire in the area prevented them from reaching the crash site. Both members of the Bird Dog’s crew remain unaccounted for.

First Lieutenant Donald Lee Harrison, who joined the U.S. Army from Georgia, was a member of the 220th Aviation Company, 212th Aviation Battalion, 16th Aviation Group, 1st Aviation Division. He was the pilot of the Bird Dog when it went down, and was lost with the aircraft. His remains have not been located or identified. Following the incident, the Army promoted 1LT Harrison to the rank of Major (MAJ). Today, Major Harrison is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Based on all information available, DPAA assessed the individual's case to be in the analytical category of Active Pursuit.

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