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Name: Wayne Ellsworth Newberry II
Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force
Date of Birth: 16 December 1938
Home City of Record: East St. Louis IL
Date of Loss: 29 September 1968
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 152257N 1072658E (YC611023)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A1H
Refno: 1293
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 June 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.
SYNOPSIS: The Douglas A1 Skyraider ("Spad") is a highly maneuverable,
propeller driven aircraft designed as a multipurpose attack bomber or
utility aircraft. The Spad was first used by the Air Force in its Tactical
Air Command (TAC) to equip the first Air Commando Group engaged in
counterinsurgency operations in South Vietnam, and later used in a variety
of roles, ranging from electronic intelligence gathering to antisubmarine
warfare and rescue missions. The venerable fighter aircraft was retired in
1968 and had flown in more than twenty model variations, probably more than
any other U.S. combat aircraft.
The general procedure for a rescue escort entailed two A1 aircraft flying
directly to the search area to look for sign of the downed crewmen while two
other A1s escorted the rescue helicopter to the area. If it was necessary,
the A1s would attack enemy in the area with bombs, rockets and cannon fire
so that the helicopter could land.
Capt. Wayne E. Newberry was a Spad pilot. Newberry was on an unspecified
mission over Saravane Province, Laos when his A1H was struck by enemy fire
and crashed. At the time, it was felt that Newberry had died in the crash of
his aircraft, and he was listed as Killed, Body Not Recovered.
(NOTE: Newberry was trained in TAC duties, and it might be assumed that he
was on a TAC assignment; however, the location of loss favors that of a
rescue escort or recce mission.)
Wayne Newberry is among nearly 600 Americans who disappeared in Laos. Unlike
in Vietnam, no American held in Laos was released at the end of the war,
even though the Pathet Lao stated publicly that they held "tens of tens" of
American prisoners.
Since the war ended, over 10,000 reports relating to Americans prisoner,
missing or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S.
Government. Many authorities, having reviewed this largely-classified
information, have concluded that there are still hundreds alive in captivity
Wayne Newberry, according to witnesses, did not survive the crash of his
aircraft. But the U.S. believes that he can be accounted for, alive or dead.
It's time we got answers, and time our men were brought home.