SULLIVAN, JOHN BERNARD III
Remains Returned 13 September 1990
Name: John Bernard Sullivan III
Rank/Branch: O2/US Air Force
Date of Birth: 28 June 1940
Home City of Record: Pittsburgh PA
Date of Loss: 21 June 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 212000N 1061300E (XJ278648)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Other Personnel in Incident: (none 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.
SYNOPSIS: The F105 Thunderchief (or "Thud") performed yoeman service on many
diversified missions in Southeast Asia. F105s flew more combat missions over
North Vietnam than any other USAF aircraft and consequently suffered the
heaviest losses in action.
1Lt. John B. Sullivan was the pilot of an F105D sent on a combat mission
over North Vietnam on June 21, 1966. About 5 miles southwest of Kep in Ha
Bac Province, Sullivan's aircraft was shot down, and he was declared Missing
in Action. The U.S. believed the Vietnamese could probably account for
No further word was heard, and the Vietnamese consistently denied any
knowledge of Sullivan or his fate, until 1990. On September 13, 1990, the
Vietnamese "discovered" and returned the remains of John B. Sullivan.
Thousands of reports have been received indicating that some hundreds of the
roughly 2500 missing may still be alive in captivity. As in the case of
Sullivan, Vietnam can account for most of them. Current "negotiations"
between the U.S. and Vietnam have yielded the remains of over 300 Americans.
The families of these men at last have the peace of knowing whether their
loved one is alive or dead.
In the total view of the issue of the missing, however, the return of
remains signals no progress. In the early 1980's the very credible
Congressional testimony of a Vietnamese mortician indicated that the
Vietnamese stockpile over 400 sets of remains. More importantly, the same
credible witness, whose testimony is believed throughout Congress, stated
that he had seen live Americans held at the same location where the remains
As long as even one American remains alive in captivity in Southeast Asia,
the only issue is that one living man. We must bring them home before there
are only remains to negotiate for.