Name: Donald Myrick Russell
Branch/Rank: United States Air Force/O4
Date of Birth: 28 December  1931
Home City of Record: WESTBROOK ME
Date of Loss: 05 December 1967
Country of Loss: LAOS
Loss Coordinates: 210500 North  1040200 East
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F105D #1758
Other Personnel in Incident:
Refno:  0935

Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw
data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA
families, published sources, interviews and CACCF = Combined Action
Combat Casualty File. 2017




Some records say home city of record is BERLIN CT.

No further information available at this time.


Donald Myrick Russell

Date of birth: December 28, 1931
Date of death: December 5, 1967
Place of Birth: Maine, Portland
Home of record: Westbrook Maine
Status: KIA


Silver Star ...

Distinguished Flying Cross ...


-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: This just came in
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2017 08:16:12 -0500
From: Joe Oliver <>

This came in March 12. It was posted on a tribute to Don Russell and I wanted to send for his Bio at your site.  I also want to send the
email responses between his relatives and myself.    They may be worth adding to an almost blank page.  Best

Geoffrey Davis
March 12 at 6:17pm

F-105D 591758 333 TFS 355 TFW Takhli Hit by 37/57-mm AAA while attacking a storage area in Laos. Crashed approximately 11 NM south of Sam Nuea in Laos. 20-14N 104-02-30E

Maj Donald Myrick Russell 333 TFS pilot was KIA.

Call Sign: "Wildcat 01". Major Donald M. Russell flew as Wildcat 01 leading a flight of four F-105s attacking a storage complex under FAC control in Northern Laos at 20-15N and 104-02E.

Other members in the flight were:
#2. lLt Richard J. Maxwell
#3. Capt John H. McKillop
#4. Maj John J. Vittitow, Jr.

The flight from the 333 TFS took off from Takhli at 13:17 and Major Russell was lost over the target at 15:00.

"At 0755Z, Major Russell began a dive bomb run against the target, on a heading of 030 degrees, airspeed unknown. The aircraft went into an uncontrolled spin. The FAC later observed flames coming from the aft section of Major Russell's aircraft and finally he saw the aircraft impact the ground. The FAC previously had reported to the flight possible small arms fire in the area. No defenses were observed by the flight, however. The actual cause of the loss is unknown. The aircraft impacted at 2014N/1040230E. A chute was not seen and a beeper was not heard. SAR operations were conducted without results." (PACAF Intelligence Index) "... Lt Col Donald Russell was shot down and killed while leading a strike mission in hostile territory over Laos. ...

Col Russell was ... on his 59th strike mission in the F-105 Thunderchief ....
(On 18 Oct 1967, he was credited with shooting down a MiG-17 in F-105D 62-4394 during a strike on the Doi Loi Railroad Bypass Bridge).
Leading three other F-105s, he rolled into the enemy target [a storage complex] at an unusually steep altitude. Because of the thick cloud cover, the other aircraft lost sight of Col Russell when he passed 10,000 feet and only a forward air controller saw what happened next. The FAC reported that Col Russell's aircraft appeared to roll inverted and then enter a 70 to 80 degree nose-low spin. There was no visible attempt made to recover from the spin. No parachute was ever seen. No distress beeper was ever heard."

Between 7 - 16 May 1994, in Laos, "... a second joint team excavated (Col Russell's) crash site and recovered human remains, aircraft wreckage, pilot-related materials, life support equipment, an identification tag for "RUSSELL, DONALD M," and a fragment of an identification tag for "RUSSEL DONA...". From there the remains were sent to the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory, Hickam AFB HI, where they were further identified as belonging to Col Russell." His remains were buried in the National Cemetary in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on 19 July 1996. (Kirtland Focus) Maj Russell was born 28 December 1933 in Portland, Main, and entered the service from Westbrook, Maine. He was declared dead on 14 November 1973. His name appears on the Vietnam War Memorial Wall on panel 31E line 42.

"PACAF Intelligence Index of USAF Personnel MIA/PW in Southeast Asia", pg 3-213, AFHRA Call # K717.6031-3 & Kirtland Focus, 2 Aug 1996 ~
from the son of Wild Weasel Pilot Maj. James L. 'Jim' Davis, 354th TFS July 1967- Feb. 1968.

But for the grace of God, I'd be walking in your shoes. God Bless your Father and your Family for the sacrifices you've all made for our country, sir.



They Died For You, They Died For Me
by Don's cousin TSgt Travis James Humphrey,
Song Released in 2000 ( Public Domain )

Maj Donald Russell was the pilot of an F-105D hit by AAA on 5 December 1967 while attacking a storage area in Laos. On 18 October 1967 he had been credited with shooting down a MiG-17.

He belonged to the 333 TFS from Takhli RTAB, Thailand.

The Wall Panel 31E - Line 42

In Loving Memory of ... Donald Myrick Russell.

*** Colonel Russell was a member of the 33rd Tactical Fighter Squadron. On December 5, 1967, he was the pilot of a Thunderchief Fighter (F-105D) on a mission over Laos, when his aircraft crashed. His remains were recovered on May 11, 1994 and identified on June 7, 1996. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.

*** On 19 July 1996, his remains were buried in the National Cemetery in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

You may be gone, no longer living on this earth; but you will live on - in the memories of your family and friends. There will always be a part of you living in me, your brother, sisters and those who knew you and loved you. You will live on because we remember you!

***** God bless all of his family and friends. May we never forget.
Your cousin, Tim Humphrey

***** I only knew you through the stories of my Dad (Buzz), and my uncles Phillip, Tim, and Charlie. I wish I got to know you.
Jerry Humphrey - Second Cousin


TFW History, Jul - Dec 66, USAF microfilm MO554 & Ken Mays, e-mail 4 Mar 2005.

The eleventh F-105 RTU Class 67IR graduated at McConnell AFB KS. The class started on 9 January 1967 with 21 pilots. However only 17 pilots graduated with the class, which was named

"The Reluctant Hog-Herders".

The class deployed for conventional weapons delivery training to George AFB CA between 25 May - 16 June 1967 with the 563 TFS. The squadron commander was Lt Col Joe W. Pickett. Capt Steven W. Long, Jr. won both Outstanding Pilot and Top Gun awards. Maj Kenneth W. Mays won the Academic award.

The other 15 pilots in the class were:
Maj Robert Warren Barnett, Maj William L. King, Jr.,
Maj James Arlen Clements, Maj Donald W. Revers,
Maj Rudolph Edward Fiedor, Maj James L. Taylor - 34 TFS, Maj Crosley James Fitton, Jr., Maj Raymond Walter Vissotzky, Maj Billy R. Givens, Maj Jay M. Barker, Maj Robert W. Kennedy, Capt Robert M. Elliot, Capt George D. Smith, Maj Donald Myrick Russell, Maj Robert B. Abernathy

Song from your son
On 2/10/73 I wrote a song with the following words remembering my father

My Brother Donald Lee Russell.

My brother was a boy of three the day my father left.
His father kissed him on the cheek and tears drops filled my eyes. For when his father walked away my brother knew not why He didn't know he had to go, he had to go to war.

My brother fast approaching four, was soundly sleeping when,
The doorbell echoed bringing news,
News so hard to bare,
It seemed unreal for me to hear my father's plane was down,
They knew not if he could be safe or if he might be gone.

My brother after passing five looked up to the sky,
He wondered if he'd ever see his father home again,
Mother tucked him into bed and this is what he said,
Will you tell me if you know,
Is my father dead?

My brother now is almost nine yet he does not know,
If his father will return,
Or ever be seen again,
Yet the saddest part remains,
He can't recall the day,
His father kissed him on the cheek,
Saying son be good.
That was written forty years ago, and still as much as I miss my father, I'm sadder still that my "little" brother never knew him.
Don Russell, Oldest Son of Col. Donald M. Russell