Name: Wlater Kosko
Rank/Branch: USAF, O3
Date of Birth: 01 December 30
Home City of Record: Columbia, VA
Date of Loss: 27 July 65
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 210400N 1051800E
Status (in 1973): Missing
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F105D

Remarks: Ejected-no beep voice srch neg-j

Other Personnel In Incident:

Source: Compiled by THE P.O.W. NETWORK 02 February 93 from the following
published sources - POW/MIA's -- Report of the Select Committee on POW/MIA
Affairs United States Senate -- January 13, 1993. "The Senate Select
Committee staff has prepared case summaries for the priority cases that the
Administration is now investigating. These provide the facts about each
case, describe the circumstances under which the individual was lost, and
detail the information learned since the date of loss.  Information in the
case summaries is limited to information from casualty files, does not
include any judgments by Committee staff, and attempts to relate essential
facts. The Committee acknowledges that POW/MIAs' primary next-of- kin know
their family members' cases in more comprehensive detail than summarized
here and recognizes the limitations that the report format imposes on these
summaries."   2020

On July 27, 1965, Captain Kosko was the pilot of an F-105D, one in a flight
of four aircraft from Takhli Air Base, Thailand, on a bombing mission over
Phu Tho Province, North Vietnam.  There was intense anti-aircraft fire
directed at the flight.  Following an explosion near his aircraft, Captain
Kosko reported he was hit and there was smoke in his cockpit.  He later
ejected and other flight members observed a fully deployed chute and
survival gear. There was no beeper or voice contact with him after his

Captain Kosko was seen to land in the Black River.  A search of the river
disclosed an inflated life raft which was empty and no evidence of the
pilot.  On July 27th and 28th, Radio Hanoi reported eight U.S. aircraft shot
down on July 27, 1965 and stated that pilots had been taken into custody
from shoot downs in Ha Tay Province.  Captain Kosko landed on the border of
Ha Tay and Vinh Phu.

Captain Kosko was initially declared missing.  Returning U.S. POWs were
unable to provide any information concerning his fate.  In November 1977 he
was declared dead/body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of

U.S. investigators in Vietnam in 1988 and 1990 visited the area of Captain
Kosko's loss.  Vietnamese officials stated that Captain Kosko's life raft
was recovered during the war.  One witness stated it was used as a fishing
boat in the local river until it deteriorated and was discarded.  U.S.
investigators were told Captain Kosko had indeed landed in the Black River,
had never reappeared after going under water, and they believed he drowned
in the river.





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Captain Terry Treloar Koonce, who joined the U.S. Air Force from Texas, served with the 606th Air Commando Squadron, 56th Air Commando Wing. On December 25, 1967, Capt Koonce took off in a single-seat T-28D Trojan (tail number 49-1558, call sign Zorro 12) out of Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Base on a night armed reconnaissance mission to enemy targets in Savannakhet Province, Laos. Captain Koonce made two passes over his target, and his Forward Air Controller (FAC) cleared him for a third attack pass after he reported seeing several explosions from the target. Observing the pass, the FAC saw exploding debris in the path of Capt Koonce's Trojan followed by an explosion over the target near (GC) WD 782 822. The FAC did not see a parachute and did not hear rescue beepers after the explosion. Aerial searches over the next several days located a possible crash site obscured by dense jungle growth; however, enemy presence in the area prevented a ground search, and further attempts to locate or recover Capt Koonce's remains have been unsuccessful. Subsequent to the incident, and while carried in the status of missing in action (MIA), the U.S. Air Force promoted Captain Koonce to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col). Today, Lieutenant Colonel Koonce 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.

If you are a family member of this serviceman, DPAA can provide you with additional information and analysis of your case. Please contact your casualty office representative.

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