REED, JAMES WILLIAM "BILL" Name: James William "Bill" Reed Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force Unit: 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Ubon AF TH Date of Birth: 23 July 1943 Home City of Record: Cambridge OH Date of Loss: 24 July 1970 Country of Loss: Laos Loss Coordinates: 193031N 1031928E (UG242578) Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4D Refno: 1650 Other Personnel In Incident: Donald B. Bloodworth (missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 31 April 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. NETWORK 1998. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: Capt. James W. "Bill" Reed was a pilot assigned to the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Ubon Airfield, Thailand. On July 24, 1970, he and his navigator, 1Lt. Donald B. Bloodworth were assigned an operational mission over Laos in their F4D Phantom fighter/bomber. Their mission that day took them over the Plaine des Jarres (Plain of Jars) region of northern Laos in Xiangkhoang Province. As the aircraft was making a strafing pass over a communist truck convoy, it took enemy fire. The crew of a C123 observed the Phantom crash after it had made its pass over the target, but no one saw parachutes before seeing a huge explosion, and no recognizable aircraft parts were found. No emergency radio beeper signals were heard. Nevertheless, there remained the possibility that the men safely ejected. Bloodworth was listed Missing In Action, Category 1, which means that the U.S. is certain the enemy knows what happened to him. As backseater, he would have been first to eject from the crippled plane, so he would not necessarily land close to his pilot. Bill Reed is Missing In Action, Category 2, meaning there is strong reason to suspect the enemy knows his fate. Reed and Bloodworth are among nearly 600 Americans who disappeared in Laos during the Vietnam war. As Laos did not take part in the agreements that ended American involvement in Indochina, no prisoner release was ever negotiated with Laos. Although the Pathet Lao stated on several occasions that they held "tens of tens" of American prisoners, not one man held in Laos has ever been released, and no agreement has been reached to free them. Over the years since the war ended, thousands of reports have been received which have convinced many that hundreds of Americans are still alive in Southeast Asia, held against their will. Bill Reed and Donald Bloodworth could be among them. If so, what must they be thinking of us? Donald B. Bloodworth was promoted to the rank of Captain and James W. Reed was promoted to the rank of Major during the period they were maintained missing.