KEMMERER, DONALD RICHARD Name: Donald Richard Kemmerer Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force Unit: 390th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Da Nang AB SV Date of Birth: 20 May 1941 Home City of Record: Quakertown PA Date of Loss: 06 August 1967 Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Over Water Loss Coordinates: 171300N 1070200E (YE162045) Status (in 1973): Missing in Action Category: 3 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4C Refno: 0786 Other Personnel in Incident: Albert L. Page, Jr. (missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project with the assistance of one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews: 15 March 1990. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 1998. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: 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. Capt. Donald R. Kemmerer and Capt. Albert L. Page, Jr. were co-pilots of an F4C fighter jet dispatched from Da Nang on a strike mission over North Vietnam on August 6, 1967. Their aircraft was the lead plane in a two-aircraft flight. When Page and Kemmerer were over the target, their aircraft was seen to be hit by hostile fire. Page and Kemmerer radioed that they were ejecting while the aircraft was still near the target area. One engine was observed to be on fire, and the aircraft crashed in the water. The flight was, at that time, about 10 miles north of the city of Vinh Linh in Quang Binh Province, North Vietnam. The aircraft crashed less than 5 miles offshore. No parachutes had been observed exiting the failing aircraft, nor had emergency radio beeper signals been heard. It was not certain if either crewman safely exited the aircraft, but as death was not confirmed, the two were classified Missing in Action. Since American involvement in Vietnam ended in 1975, nearly 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing, prisoner, or otherwise unaccounted for in Indochina have been received by the U.S. Government. Many officials, having examined this largely classified information, have reluctantly concluded that many Americans are still alive today, held captive by our long-ago enemy. Whether Page and Kemmerer survived the over-water crash of their aircraft to be captured by the multitude of enemy fishing and military vessels often found along the coastline is certain not known. It is not known if they might be among those thought to be still alive today. What is certain, however, is that as long as even one American remains alive, held against his will, we owe him our very best efforts to bring him to freedom.