Name: Eugene Millard Jewell
Rank/Branch: O2/US Air Force
Unit: 6233rd Combat Support Group, Ubon RTAFB
Date of Birth: 15 January 1941
Home City of Record: Topeka KS
Date of Loss: 04 September 1965
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 190457N 1053657E (WE666169)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 1
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4C
Refno: 0135

Other Personnel in Incident: James A. Branch (missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 31 April 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: Capt. James A. Branch and 1Lt. Eugene M. Jewell probably thought
they were fortunate to have been selected to fly the F4 Phantom fighter jet.
The Phantom, used by Air Force, Marine and Navy air wings, served a
multitude of functions including fighter-bomber and interceptor, photo and
electronic surveillance. The two man aircraft was extremely fast (Mach 2),
and had a long range (900 - 2300 miles, depending on stores and mission
type). The F4 was also extremely maneuverable and handled well at low and
high altitudes. The F4 was selected for a number of state-of-the-art
electronics conversions, which improved radar intercept and computer bombing
capabilities enormously. Most pilots considered it one of the "hottest"
planes around.

On September 4, 1965, Branch and Jewell comprised the crew of an F4C
assigned a bombing mission over North Vietnam. The mission target was in
Nghe An Province, near a railroad about halfway between the cities of Tho
Trang and Phu Dien Chau. During a low-altitude strafing run, the aircraft
was shot down, crashed and exploded. No parachutes were observed departing
the crippled aircraft.

The U.S. Air Force placed both men in the category of Missing in Action. The
Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) further refined that category according to
enemy knowledge. Category 1, for instance, was reserved for those men on
whom it was certain the enemy had knowledge - such as prisoners of war.
Category 2 generally included men involved in loss incidents with others who
were known to be captured, or who were lost in populous regions where the
enemy would more than likely know their fates.

Inexplicably, Branch is listed as Category 1, and Jewell is listed as
Category 2. Both men are coded as pilots, so it is unclear who was flying
the aircraft and who was operating the bombing/navigation equipment from the
rear seat. Ordinarily, the rear seater ejects from the aircraft first in a
bail-out situation.

Since 1975, nearly 10,000 reports relating to Americans still missing in
Southeast Asia, convincing many authorities that hundreds of Americans are
still held in captivity. James A. Branch and Eugene M. Jewell could be among
them. It's time we brought our men home.