Name: James Wayne Herrick, Jr.
Rank/Branch: 1LT/U S Air Force
Unit: 602nd Special Operations Squadron, NKP
Date of Birth: 28 October 1944
Home City of Record: Panora IA
Date of Loss: 27 October 1969
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 193100N 1035000E (UG796608)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 3
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: A1H
REFNO: 1506
Other Personnel In Incident: none missing

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 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: Jim Herrick was born on a farm in Guthrie Co. Iowa, the oldest son
of the Herricks. He had paralytic polio at the age of 7, but by the summer
of his 8th year was completely recovered with no trace of paralysis. He had
a normal, active youth.

In school at Iowa State College, Jim was in the Air Force ROTC, and went to
flight school following college. He volunteered for overseas duty and was
sent to Southeast Asia in May 1969.

On October 27, 1969, Jim was flying an A1H aircraft on a reconnaissance
mission when his plane went down in Xiangkhouang Province, Laos. His last
known location was one mile north-northwest of Ban Khang Pha Nien and 19
miles north-northeast of Xieng Khouang. This is near the famed Plaine des
Jarres region of Laos.

In the prisoner of war release following the signing of the Paris Peace
agreements, no prisoners held by the Lao were released. Only those prisoners
held by the Vietnamese were freed. Jim Herrick, along with nearly 600 other
Americans, disappeared in Laos and were left behind, forgotten.

Thousands of reports of Americans held in captivity have been received by
the United States Government. Many sources have been polygraphed and
indicate no deception, yet the government states there is no "proof"
Americans are being held. Yet, the reports persist, and increase in number
as the years pass.

As the years pass, what must those men be thinking of us?

James W. Herrick was promoted to the rank of Captain during the period he
was maintained Missing in Action. He was presumptively declared killed in
action 21 November 1977, based on no new information to prove he was alive.





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Captain James Wayne Herrick Jr. entered the U.S. Air Force from Iowa and was a member of the 602nd Special Operations Squadron, 56th Special Operations Wing. On October 27, 1969, he was the pilot of an A-1H Skyraider (tail number 52-137539) that took off in a flight of two aircraft from Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand, on a reconnaissance mission along Route 7 north-northeast of Ban Khang - Pha Nien, Xiangkhouang Province, Laos. Because of inclement weather, the flight leader decided to abort the mission and directed Captain Herrick return to base. Captain Herrick acknowledged this transmission, but shortly afterwards, the flight leader lost radio contact with him. His aircraft failed to return to base, no parachute was observed, and no rescue beeper signals were received in the area of the aircraft's presumed loss. Three days later, another pilot on the same type of mission along Route 7, reported seeing aircraft wreckage and a burned area at grid coordinate 48Q UG 796 608 that had not been there five days earlier.  Today, Captain Herrick 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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