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 1998. 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 thoughout 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.