O'DONNELL, SAMUEL JR. Name: Samuel O'Donnel, Jr. Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force Unit: Ubon AFB, Thailand Date of Birth: 28 January 1943 Home City of Record: Weatherly PA Date of Loss: 12 July 1972 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 174300N 1062900E (XE573593) Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 4 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F4E Refno: 1898 Other Personnel In Incident: James L. Huard (missing) 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. NETWORK 1998. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: The Phantom, used by Air Force, Marine and Navy air wings, served a multitude of functions including fighter-bomber and interceptor, photo and electronic surveillance. The two man aircraft was extremely fast (Mach 2), and had a long range (900 - 2300 miles, depending on stores and mission type). The F4 was also extremely maneuverable and handled well at low and high altitudes. Most pilots considered it one of the "hottest" planes around. 1lT. James l. Huard was the pilot and aircraft commander of an F4 aircraft on a solo tactical mission when it was lost on July 12, 1972. His Weapons Systems Operator on the flight was Capt. Samuel O'Donnell, Jr.. When the plane was about 17 miles NNW of Dong Hoi, it failed to make a progress check. During subsequent search and rescue, two Forward Air Controllers (FAC) reported hearing a faint but definite emergency signal, but no radio contact could be established or ground search initiated because of heavy enemy force concentration in the area. Search continued until July 14, 1972. Later information showed that the plane went down in a reservoir. When it was drained, the wreckage of the plane was found, but there was no sign of either crewman, nor any evidence to indicate that they perished with the plane. The two were classified missing in action. Nearly 2500 Americans did not return from the war in Vietnam. Thousands of reports have been received indicating that some hundreds remain alive in captivity. Whether Huard and McDonnell are alive is not known. What is certain, however, is that Vietnam and her communist allies can tell us what happened to most of our men. and return those who are alive. James L. Huard was promoted to the rank of Captain during the period he was maintained Missing in Action.