SPINLER, DARRELL JOHN Remains Identified - June 7, 2011 Name: Darrell John Spinler Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force Unit: (unknown) Date of Birth: 16 June 1938 Home City of Record: Browns Valley MN Date of Loss: 21 June 1967 Country of Loss: Laos Loss Coordinates: 152957N 1063958E (XC787141) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A1E Refno: 0738 Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1990 with the assistance of 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 2011. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: The Douglas A1 Skyraider ("Spad") is a highly maneuverable, propeller-driven aircraft designed as a multipurpose attack bomber or utility aircraft. The H and J models were single seat aircraft, whereas the E model carried two crewmen. The A1 was first used by the Air Force in its Tactical Air Command to equip the first Air Commando Group engaged in counterinsurgency operations in South Vietnam, and later used the aircraft as escort for rescue units. The general procedure for a rescue escort entailed two A1 aircraft flying directly to the search area to look for sign of the downed crewmen while two other A1s escorted the rescue helicopter to the area. If it was necessary, the A1s would attack enemy in the area with bombs, rockets and cannon fire so that the helicopter could land. On June 21, 1967, Capt. Darrell J. Spinler was flying an A1E on a strike mission near the eastern rim of the Plateau des Blovens in Laos. He was the lead aircraft in a flight of two. As Spinler's aircraft was recovering from a napalm pass over the target, it was struck by enemy fire. The wingman observed Spinler's aircraft go into a spin and crash. Spinler was thought to have been killed in the crash of his aircraft. If there was a second crewman on board, his name is not part of public record available on this loss. The Defense Intelligence Agency further expanded the Spinler's status to include an enemy knowledge ranking of 2. Category 2 indicates "suspect knowledge" and includes personnel who may have been involved in loss incidents with individuals reported in Category 1 (confirmed knowledge), or who were lost in areas or under conditions that they may reasonably be expected to be known by the enemy; who were connected with an incident which was discussed but not identified by names in enemy news media; or identified (by elimination, but not 100% positively) through analysis of all-source intelligence. Spinler became one of nearly 600 Americans who disappeared in Laos during the Vietnam War. Although Pathet Lao leaders stressed that they held "tens of tens" of American prisoners, they stated that those captured in Laos would be released in Laos, hoping to gain a seat at the negotiating table in Paris where the U.S. and Vietnam were negotiating an end to the war. The U.S. did not include Laos in the Paris Peace Accords, and no American held in Laos was ever released. In America's haste to leave Southeast Asia, it abandoned some of its finest men. In seeming disregard for the Americans either held or having been murdered by the Pathet Lao, by 1989 the U.S. and the Lao had devised a working plan to provide Laos with humanitarian and economic aid leading toward ultimate full diplomatic and trade relations while Laos allows the excavation of military crash sites at sporadic intervals. In America's haste to return to Southeast Asia, we are again abandoning our men. --------------------------------------------------------------------
From: "Bill Miller"
SPINLER, DARRELL JOHN found and recovered for a special memorial ceremony with full military honors in his hometown.
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