McCARTY, JAMES L. REMAINS RETURNED 13 SEPT 90 IDENTIFIED 11 JUNE 97
Name: James L. McCarty Rank/Branch: USAF, O2 Unit: 433rd TFS Date of Birth: 24 April 26 Home City of Record: McClean, TX Date of Loss: 24 June 72 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 205259N 1050757E Status (in 1973): Missing in Action Category: 2 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F4D
Other Personnel In Incident: Charles A. Jackson (released, Homecoming '73)
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."
On June 24, 1972, First Lieutenant McCarty and Capt. Charles A. Jackson were the crew of an F-4D which was engaged by six MIGs over Nghia Lo Province and shot down by an air to air missile. Capt. Jackson was captured on the ground. The second aircraft in their flight with another two man crew, Grant and Beekman, was also attacked by MIGs and shot down over Vinh Phu Province. The crews of both aircraft were declared missing in action.
There were conflicting reports of contact with the crew of this aircraft. It was later concluded that the reference to contact with those in incident 1882 was incorrect and in fact referred to contact on the ground with the aircrew of those in incident 1881. First Lieutenant Jackson was captured, taught English to Vietnamese prison system cadre in late 1972, and upon his release from captivity during Operation Homecoming stated he did not believe that Lieutenant McCarty had survived on the ground.
Following the shoot down, a People's Army of Vietnam unit radioed that its MIG-21 aircraft had downed two aircraft. U.S. intelligence analysts later concluded that this report correctly pertained to the shoot down of those involved in incident 1882 on June 24th and the two crewmen from case 1882 also shot down on June 24th and captured on June 25th. On June 29, 1972, the Vietnam News Agency reported Capt. Jackson had been captured alive in Nghia Lo Province.
Lt. McCarty was not confirmed alive in captivity. After Operation Homecoming he was declared killed in action, body not recovered.
In December 1990, a joint U.S./Vietnamese team conducted a search of the crash site and recovered a data plate confirmed to be from one of the F-4D's jet engines associated with this loss incident. In the spring of 1991, a U.S. resident turned over a bone fragment and dog tag type information said to come from a resident of Vietnam and pertaining to three purported MIAs said to be associated with an incident on Dong Dang District, Cao Bang Province, an area bordering the People's Republic of China. One of the names was James L. McCarty. A July 5, 1991 DIA analysis concluded the report was not true and "...part of a Vietnamese government managed intelligence operation..."
In November 1991, a joint U.S./Vietnamese investigation gained access to an apparent archival document describing the shoot down of a U.S. aircraft by the People's Air Force on June 24, 1972 in Phu Yen District, Nghia Lo Province. Charles Allen Jackson was identified by name as captured and partial body parts were also found. Material evidence of the air loss was recovered and turned over to Nghia Lo Province military. Capt. Jackson escaped from custody that night in 1972 but was recaptured in the morning.