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 2020.

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.


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01/2020

https://dpaa.secure.force.com/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt0000000KZPfEAO

MAJ DONALD RICHARD KEMMERER

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On August 6, 1967, an F-4C Phantom II (tail number 64-0752) with two crew members took part in a two-aircraft combat mission over North Vietnam. While attacking an enemy target, this Phantom was hit by ground fire and reported a fire warning light. As the wingman aircraft aborted its pass on the target, the Phantom's pilot called, I have both fire warning lights; am punching out. The crew of the other aircraft then observed the Phantom enter a vertical dive with fire coming from both tailpipes, and impact the water with no explosion. The wingman circled the crash site but no beeper signals were detected and no parachutes sighted, and further search efforts were unable to locate the aircraft or its crew.

Captain Donald Richard Kemmerer entered the U.S. Air Force from Pennsylvania and was a member of the 390th Tactical Fighter Squadron. He was the pilot of this Phantom when it crashed, and was lost with the aircraft. His remains were not recovered. After the incident, the Air Force promoted Capt Kemmerer to the rank of Major (Maj). Today, Major Kemmerer 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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