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 2020.

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.

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02/2020

https://dpaa.secure.force.com/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt00000001UHEEA2

MAJ JAMES WILLIAM REED

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On July 24, 1970, an F-4D Phantom II (tail number 67-7761, call sign "Falcon 72") with two crew members took off from Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, to escort an AC-119 Stinger on an armed night reconnaissance mission over Laos. After the Stinger fired on an enemy truck in the target area and illuminated it with flares, the Phantom moved in for an attack as well. After the Phantom's first pass on the target, the Stinger's crew lost radio contact with the Phantom and could not re-establish communications. They also observed a large explosion on the ground near the target area. Three other aircraft were called in to assist in a search and saw fires on the ground, which they believed to be burning wreckage from a crash. A ground search of the area was not possible at the time, but later efforts located the Phantom's crash site and recovered the remains of the navigator. The pilot remains unaccounted for.

Captain James William Reed, who entered the U.S. Air Force from Ohio, served in the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron and was the pilot of this Phantom when it was lost. His remains were not recovered from the crash site. Subsequent to the incident, and while carried in the status of missing in action (MIA), the U.S. Air Force promoted Captain Reed to the rank of Major (Maj). Today, Major Reed is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Based on all information available, DPAA assessed the individual's case to be in the analytical category of Active Pursuit.

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