Name: Charles Douglas "Doug" King
Rank/Branch: E4/US Air Force
Unit: 40th Air Rescue & Recovery Squadron, NKP TH
Date of Birth: 29 March 1946
Home City of Record: Muscatine IA
Date of Loss: 25 December 1968
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 170600N 1055600E (WD980925)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: HH3E
Refno: 1348

Other Personnel In Incident: Charles R. Brownlee (missing from F105D)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 March 1991 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: On Christmas Eve, 1968, Major Charles R. Brownlee's F105D aircraft
was shot down over Laos between the city of Ban Phaphilang and the Ban Karai
Pass. Brownlee successfully ejected from his plane and landed safely on the

On Christmas Day, Doug King volunteered to be aboard an HH3E helicopter
leaving Nakhon Phenom Air Base to rescue Major Brownlee. The helicopter
located the pilot, believed to be dead by then, and King was lowered 100
feet into the jungle to the ground. Once on the ground, King freed Brownlee
from his parachute, secured him to the rescue device and dragged him to a
point near the hovering helicopter.

Suddenly enemy soldiers closed in and began firing. King radioed that he was
under fire and for the helicopter to pull away. Brownlee was secured to the
hoist cable, but King had not yet secured himself to the cable. When the
helicopter pulled away, the hoist line snagged in a tree and broke, dropping
King and Brownlee about 10 feet to the ground.

No news surfaced about King or Brownlee until February 1986, when a Lao
refugee came to the United States and reported that he had witnessed King's
capture, and watched as he was taken away in a truck. The refugee's story
matched most details of King's loss incident. Less clear were the details of
Brownlee's fate.

When the last American troops left Southeast Asia in 1975, some 2500
Americans were unaccounted for. Over 10,000 reports, such as that of the Lao
refugee, received by the U.S.Government since 1975 build a strong case for
belief that hundreds of these "unaccounted for" Americans are still alive
and in captivity.

"Unaccounted for" is a term that should apply to numbers, not men. Nearly
600 men were left behind in Laos, and our government did not negotiate their
release. We, as a nation, have a moral and legal obligation to do everything
we can to find these men and bring them home. Until we do, there can be no
"peace with honor" from the Vietnam war.

During the period they were maintained Missing in Action, Charles R.
Brownlee was promoted to the rank of Colonel, and Charles D. King to the
rank of Chief Master Sergeant.

The Des Moines Register
Saturday, December 26, 1998

Brother's final mission sparks sister's memories
Clayworth Jason

   Christmas was more than a holiday to Sherry King of Muscatine. It was 30
years ago on Christmas Day that her brother, Doug, was presumably killed in
Laos while attempting to rescue a downed Air Force pilot.....






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Airman First Class Charles Douglas King entered the U.S. Air Force from Iowa and served with Detachment 1 of the 40th Air Rescue and Recovery Squadron. On December 25, 1968, he took part in a search and rescue (SAR) mission for a downed pilot in the vicinity of (GC) WD 998 925. Airman First Class King was lowered from the SAR helicopter to the ground in an attempt to recover the pilot, but while he was on the ground, the helicopter came under enemy fire. Airman First Class King was hit, and signaled for the helicopter to ascend. As the helicopter pulled up, raising A1C King on the rescue hoist, the hoist's cable snagged in trees and broke, causing him to fall back to the ground. The helicopter was then forced away by the intensity of the enemy fire. Other crew members on the helicopter estimated that, based on the apparent source of the fire, enemy ground troops must have been very close to A1C's last known position. Subsequent SAR efforts were unable to locate or recover him. Subsequent to the incident, and while carried in the status of missing in action (MIA), the U.S. Air Force promoted Airman First Class King to the rank of Chief Master Sergeant (CMSgt). Today, Chief Master Sergeant King 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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