Name: Bruce Edward Kane
Rank/Branch: E4/US Marine Corps
Unit: VMCJ 1; MAG 11
Date of Birth: 07 July 1949
Home City of Record: Deer Park NY
Date of Loss: 09 August 1969
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 163819N 1064643E (XD960180)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 5
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1E
Refno: 1478

Source: Compiled 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. NETWORK in 2020.

Other Personnel in Incident: Ronald J. Janousek (missing)


SYNOPSIS: When U.S. military personnel were in Vietnam, they were frequently
asked to participate in classified missions. Some of these missions were
secret because wide-spread knowledge of them might possibly give the enemy
information we did not wish them to have. Others were classified to conceal
the fact that the U.S. was conducting warfare in denied areas.

The most notorious denied area was, of course, Laos. Prevented by Geneva
Accords from having a large military presence in Laos, the U.S. first
established a CIA cover for anti-communist covert actions. One activity,
begun in 1958, used Meo tribesmen for a small pilot guerrilla program, which
grew to over 40,000 guerrillas within 10 years. The CIA's covert airline,
known as "Air America" supported the Meo as well as numerous other
CIA-backed clandestine guerrilla armies.

When ground operations were indicated or intelligence needed, the U.S. used
the CIA-directed armies, sent U.S. troops in covert MACV-SOG teams, or
airlifted in indigenous troops, often using the air capabilities of the U.S.
Army and Marine Corps. Pilots were asked to alter flight records to reflect
a mission in allowed territory. If they were lost, families were misinformed
about the location of loss. As a result, several case files of men missing
are a tangle of inconsistencies - some records reflecting the "doctored"
loss information, while other records are accurate.

1Lt. Ronald J. Janousek and Cpl. Bruce E. Kane were U.S. Marines attached to
units of the 36th and 11th Marine Aircraft Groups, respectively. On August
9, 1969, the two were killed in the crash of a UH1E helicopter. Theirs is
one of the cases in which reliable factual public information ends with this

Defense Department records indicate that Janousek and Kane were lost at Khe
Sanh, in Quang Tri Province. The U.S. Marines state that Janousek's
helicopter was hit by heavy enemy fire and crashed and burned. The U.S.
Marines state that Kane's helicopter disappeared on a night reconnaissance
mission. Joint Casualty Resolution Center records (considered by some
analysts to be the most accurate of all records), indicate that the loss
occurred in central South Vietnam.

Information obtained from family and other sources indicate that Kane and
Janousek's aircraft crashed and burned in the Se Kong River near the border
of Laos and South Vietnam north of the A Shau Valley, and that they had been
on a secret mission in Laos. The U.S. State Department lists both men as
killed in a hostile action, and further lists Kane as drowned and Janousek
as a crew member of the aircraft. No public records indicate the fates of
the rest of the crew, including the pilot and any passengers aboard.

Given the inconsistencies of the information available, it is impossible to
determine exactly what happened to Kane and Janousek. All sources indicate
that they were killed in the crash. As thousands of reports mount that
Americans are still alive in captivity, families of men like Kane and
Janousek are asking for the complete truth about what happened to their men.
Unfortunately, many cases are still classified, and will be for decades.

The official U.S. position regarding Americans still missing is that there
is no "actionable evidence" to suggest that any are alive. If there are no
soldiers' lives to protect by secrecy, why can the truth not be told? If any
are alive, why are they not home?





Return to Service Member Profiles

On August 9, 1969, an UH-1E Iroquois (bureau number 155339) carrying four crew members took off as the lead in a flight of several helicopters on an emergency extraction mission in Laos. The aircraft was making an approach to a mountain ridge when it came under enemy ground fire and was hit. With the aircraft's engine failing, the pilot commenced autorotation toward the valley floor. However, as it descended, an explosion occurred on board and the aircraft was engulfed in flames. The pilot then steered the aircraft to a mountain river, where he crash landed in deep water. The swift current pulled the Iroquois backward and it rolled over in the water in the vicinity of (GC) XD 960 180. Three crew members survived the crash, but only two could be recovered following the incident. Because of enemy activity in the area, a search could not be made for the missing crew members.

Corporal Bruce Edward Kane entered the U.S. Marine Corps from New York and was a member of the Marine Light Helicopter Squadron 367, Marine Air Group 36, 15th Marine Air Wing. He was the gunner aboard this Iroquois when it crashed, and survived the incident and made it to shore. However, he re-entered the water to attempt to rescue the other crew members, and was swept downstream by the swift current. He was not seen again and remains unaccounted for. Today, Corporal Kane 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.

Service member profile discrepancy? Please help us ensure the accuracy of each profile by submitting documentation about a service member profile.