McDONALD, JOSEPH WILLIAM Name: Joseph William McDonald Rank/Branch: 02/U.S. Marine Corps Unit: VMA 224, Detachment C Date of Birth: 17 December 1946 Home City of Record: Wappinger Falls NY Date of Loss: 03 May 1972 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 174859N 1072957E (YE649715) Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 3 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: A6A Refno: 1842 Other Personnel in Incident: David B. Williams (remains returned) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1990 with the assistance of 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: POSSIBLY CAPTURED SYNOPSIS: The Grumman A6 Intruder is a two-man all weather, low-altitude, carrier-based attack plane, with versions adapted as aerial tanker and electronic warfare platform. The A6A primarily flew close-air-support, all-weather and night attacks on enemy troop concentrations, and night interdiction missions. Its advanced navigation and attack system, known as DIANE (Digital Integrated Attack navigation Equipment) allowed small precision targets, such as bridges, barracks and fuel depots to be located and attacked in all weather conditions, day or night. The planes were credited with some of the most difficult single-plane strikes in the war, including the destruction of the Hai Duong bridge between Hanoi and Haiphong by a single A6. Their missions were tough, but their crews among the most talented and most courageous to serve the United States. On May 3, 1972, an A6A flown by 1Lt. Joseph W. McDonald was launched on a mission over North Vietnam. Flying as "guy in back" for McDonald was Capt. David B. Williams. At a point on the coast of North Vietnam, near the city of Ron in Quang Binh Province, their aircraft was shot down. Both men were placed in the category of Missing In Action. The Defense Intelligence Agency further clarified McDonald's and Williams' categories with an "enemy knowledge" qualifier. Both men received ratings of Category 3, which indicates "doubtful knowledge" and includes personnel whose loss incident is such that it is doubtful that the enemy wound have knowledge of the specific individuals (e.g. aircrews lost over water or remote areas). Even though both men were classified Missing in Action, Defense Department notes indicate some likelihood that McDonald, at least, was captured. There are no such notations relating to Williams. The Vietnamese denied any knowledge of either crewman. In late October, 1989, it was announced that remains returned to the U.S. by the Vietnamese had been identified as being those of David B. Williams. No word of McDonald has been publicly announced. Since these men disappeared in May 1972, the U.S. has received nearly 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia. Many officials who have reviewed these reports have reluctantly concluded there are still hundreds of Americans alive in Southeast Asia, held captive by our long-ago enemy. Whether Joseph W. McDonald survived the crash of his aircraft to be captured is not known. What is certain, however, is that the Vietnamese should be able to provide answers as to his fate. It's time we got those answers, and time we brought all living American prisoners home.