MOTT, DAVID PHILLIP
|Name: David Phillip Mott
Rank/Branch: O3/USAF, pilot
Unit: 20th TASS
Date of Birth: 21 Jan 1942
Home City of Record: Fargo ND
Date of Loss: 19 May 1972
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 164400N 1071800E (YD465527)
Status (in 1973): Released POW
Other Personnel in Incident: William E. Thomas (released POW)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1991 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.
REMARKS: 730327 RELSD BY PRG
SYNOPSIS: The OV10 Bronco was among the aircraft most feared by the Viet
Cong and NVA forces, because whenever the Bronco appeared overhead, an air
strike seemed certain to follow. Although the glassed-in cabin could become
uncomfortably warm, it provided splendid visibility. The two-man crew had
armor protection and could use machine guns and bombs to attack, as well as
rockets to mark targets for fighter bombers. This versatility enabled the
plane to fly armed reconnaissance missions, in addition to serving as
vehicle for forward air controllers.
Capt. David P. Mott and Chief Warrant Officer William E. Thomas, Jr. were
the crew of an OV10A aircraft sent on a combat mission over South Vietnam on
May 19, 1972. During the mission, the aircraft was shot down a few miles
from Quang Tri city in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. Both Mott and
Thomas, unknown to U.S. authorities, were captured by the Vietnamese and
taken to Hanoi.
For the next 11 months, Thomas and Mott were "guests" in the Hanoi prison
system. They were officially prisoners of the Viet Cong, but were held in
North Vietnam. On March 27, the two were released in Operation Homecoming,
during which 591 Americans were released by the Vietnamese.
Since the war ended, over 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing,
prisoner or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S.
Government. Many authorities who have examined this largely classified
information are convinced that hundreds of Americans are still held captive
today. These reports are the source of serious distress to many returned
American prisoners. They had a code that no one could honorably return
unless all of the prisoners returned. Not only that code of honor, but the
honor of our country is at stake as long as even one man remains unjustly
held. It's time we brought our men home.
SOURCE: WE CAME HOME copyright 1977
Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR Ret), Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor
P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Text is reproduced as found in the original publication (including date and
UPDATE - 09/95 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO
DAVID P. MOTT
Captain - United States Air Force
Shot Down: May 19, 1972
Released: March 27, 1973
After graduating from North Dakota State University with a Bachelors Degree
in Mathematics, I entered the Air Force through OTS and was commissioned on
10 November 1965. My year of pilot training was spent in Big Spring, Texas
at Webb AFB and, upon receiving my wings, I remained to serve as a T-38
My long awaited chance to serve my country in Vietnam finally came in March
1971 when I was assigned to OV-10 training with a port call in September
1971. After much training and many TDYs, Da Nang AB, Republic of Vietnam
became my new "home." I flew as a Forward Air Controller until I was shot
down in Quang Tri Province on 19 May 1972 (Ho Chi Minh's birthday). The area
where I ejected was infested with North Vietnamese troops and rescue
attempts were futile. I was captured within minutes.
Although I was captured in South Vietnam and was supposedly a prisoner of
the Provisional Revolutionary Government (Viet Cong), I was actually held
for the full ten months by the North Vietnamese in North Vietnam. Most of
last summer (1972) was spent in the mountains and jungles of North Vietnam
while en route to Hanoi. Once I arrived in Hanoi, I was interned at the
"Plantation Gardens" and later moved to the "Hanoi Hilton" complex until my
release on 27 March 1973.
The most difficult aspect of my imprisonment was not knowing if my family
knew what had happened to me. Were they aware that I was alive, uninjured
and a prisoner of war? I was not allowed to write to them, nor to receive
letters or packages from them during the ten months I was captive. The first
knowledge they had that I was definitely a POW was the day of the ceasefire
when the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong turned over the list of the men they
I was concerned about my family but not worried for them. I am fortunate to
have a strong and capable wife, Phyllis, and I felt certain that she would
be able to keep the family running smoothly during our period of forced
separation. We have two children, Andrea, 7 and David Jr., 6. My family and
I have always enjoyed the military and Air Force life, and I plan to
continue my flying career in a tactical fighter.
David Mott retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel. He and his
wife Liz reside in Colorado.