KERR, JOHN CREIGHTON GILLE

Name: John Creighton Gille Kerr
Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force
Unit: (unknown, per USAF)
Date of Birth: 16 March 1932
Home City of Record: Miami FL
Date of Loss: 22 August 1967
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 193830N 1033345E (UG490720)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A26A
Refno: 0802

Other Personnel in Incident: Burke H. Morgan (missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 September 1990 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 2020.

REMARKS:

SYNOPSIS: The Douglas A26 was a twin-engine attack bomber with World War II
service. In Vietnam, it served the French in the 1950's and also the U.S. in
the early years of American involvement in Southeast Asia. In 1966, eight
A26's were deployed to Nakhon Phanom to perform hunter-killer missions
against truck convoys in southern Laos.

Maj. John C.G. Kerr was the pilot and Capt. Burke H. Morgan the navigator of
an A26A aircraft assigned a mission over the Plain of Jars region of Laos on
August 22, 1967. The Plain of Jars had long been controlled by the communist
Pathet Lao and a continual effort had been made by the secret CIA-directed
force of some 30,000 indigenous tribesmen to strengthen anti-communist
strongholds there. The U.S. committed millions of dollars to the secret war
in Laos. Details of this secret operation were not released until August
1971.

During the mission radar and radio contact was lost with Kerr and Morgan,
and they were declared missing at the time of estimated fuel exhaustion.
About four years later, unspecified evidence was received by the Department
of the Air Force that both men died at the time of the incident. They were
at that time declared Killed in Action.

Because Laos was "neutral" and because the U.S. continued to state they were
not at war with Laos (although we were regularly bombing North Vietnamese
traffic along the border and conducted assaults against communist
strongholds throughout the country at the behest of the anti-communist
government of Laos), and the U.S. did not recognize the Pathet Lao as a
government entity, the nearly 600 Americans lost in Laos were never
recovered.

The Pathet Lao stated that they would release the "tens of tens" of American
prisoners they held only from Laos. At war's end, no American held in Laos
was released - or negotiated for.

Mounting evidence indicates that hundreds of Americans are still alive in
captivity in Southeast Asia. They proudly served their country and deserve
better than abandonment.

Burke H. Morgan was promoted to the rank of Major during the period he was
maintained missing.


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01/2020

https://dpaa.secure.force.com/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt0000000BTbJEAW

MAJ JOHN CREIGHTON GILLE KERR

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On August 22, 1967, an A-26A Invader (tail number 64-17662) with a crew of two took off for an armed reconnaissance mission over road routes in Laos. The aircraft made radio contact with a ground control station near Route #6, and then proceeded on to reconnoiter a series of other roads and the area around the town of Ban Ban. The Invader last made radio contact near grid coordinates VG 000 009 and reported no signs of trouble; however, ground control soon lost radar contact with the aircraft, and it did not return from its mission. Immediate searches were unsuccessful due to the large size of the possible loss area. Following the war, a crash site was located, but only the navigator's remains could be identified among the wreckage.

Major John Creighton Gillespie Kerr entered the U.S. Air Force from Florida and served in the 606th Air Commando Squadron. He was the pilot of this Invader when it went missing on August 22, 1967, and was the crew member whose remains have not been recovered or identified. Today, Major Kerr 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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