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Remains identified 06/05/2000
Name: James Milton Jefferson
Rank/Branch: O2/US Air Force
Unit: 391st TFS (?)
Date of Birth: 11 July 1941 (FL)
Home City of Record: San Diego CA
Date of Loss: 12 May 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 205856N 1053022E (WJ526201) (USG Records)
             Norm Gaddis: 205900N 10592900E (USG Records)
             Per Norm Gaddis: 205856N 1053022E
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F4C
Other Personnel In Incident: Norman C. Gaddis (released POW)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 October 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 loss coordinates by
the P.O.W. NETWORK 2002.
REMARKS: POSS DEAD - IR 6918550273
SYNOPSIS: James M. Jefferson left sunny Florida to attend the United States
Air Force Academy, where his brother had graduated in 1959. In 1964,
Jefferson graduated and embarked on what seemed to be a promising career
with the Air Force. After being trained on the F4 Phantom fighter jet, he
was sent to Vietnam.
On May 12, 1967, Col. Normal C. Gaddis, with 1Lt. Jefferson serving as his
bombardier/navigator, were sent on a mission over North Vietnam. When the
flight was near the border of Ha Tay and Hoa Binh Provinces, North Vietnam,
it was hit by enemy fire and crashed. Jefferson, as backseater, ejected
first. Gaddis ejected second and was immediately captured by the North
While Gaddis was a prisoner, he was shown a name tag and other items
belonging to his crewman, which were in good condition. He believed that
Jefferson had also been captured, although he never found him in the prison
system in which he was being held. As the years passed, he began to lose
hope of finding Jefferson alive.
In 1973, Gaddis was released with 590 other Americans. James M. Jefferson
was not released, nor have the Vietnamese accounted for him since that day.
His fate is unknown, like nearly 2500 other Americans still missing from
Southeast Asia. Although the Vietnamese clearly know what happened to James
Jefferson, the U.S. has been helpless to extract that information from them.
Since 1973, over 10,000 reports have been received, convincing many experts
that hundreds of Americans are still alive in the hands of the governments
of Southeast Asia. One of them could be James M. Jefferson. What are we
doing to bring him home?
James M. Jefferson was promoted to the rank of Major during the period he
was maintained Missing in Action.
August 13, 1999
Eleanor Jefferson, mother of Major James Jefferson, USAF, and Wayne
Jefferson, passed away August 13th. The funeral was held in Gainesville,
Florida. In peace, may she find the answers she sought for so long.