Remains Returned 13 September 1990

Name: Stanley George Sprague
Rank/Branch: O4/US Air Force
Date of Birth: 08 August 1930
Home City of Record: Rapid City SD
Date of Loss: 12 September 1966
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 205659N 1041159E (VJ158166)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 3
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: A1E
Refno: 0455
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 Douglas A1 Skyraider ("Spad") is a highly maneuverable,
propeller driven aircraft designed as a multipurpose attack bomber or
utility aircraft. The A1 was used in a variety of roles, ranging from
multi-seat electronic intelligence gathering to antisubmarine warfare and
rescue missions. The fighter aircraft was retired in the spring of 1968 and
had flown in more than twenty model variations, probably more than any other
U.S. combat aircraft.

Maj. Stanley G. Sprague was the pilot of an A1E assigned an operational
mission over Laos on September 12, 1966. During the mission, his aircraft
was shot down over Sam Neua Province, about 35 miles southeast of the city
of Sam Neua. This area, known to be a Pathet Lao headquarters, was also
believed to be the location where many American POWs were held.

The circumstances surrounding Sprague's loss are not known. Information at
the time of loss indicated that Sprague was killed in the crash of the
aircraft, and there was no information to indicate the enemy knew his fate.

However, on September 13, 1990, the North Vietnamese returned Sprague's
remains. According to at least one list, that of Joint Casualty Resolution
Center (JCRC), Sprague was actually shot down in North Vietnam. The nearest
point of border of Vietnam is approximately 50 miles from the coordinates
listed by the Department of Defense as Sprague's loss location.

If Sprague's target had been in North Vietnam, and he was based in Thailand,
it is possible that he was on approach or egress from the target, guided by
radar sites in northern Laos. He may have been hit at or near the target and
headed for a safer rescue point.

Details of many of the Americans lost are hazy or distorted because of
classification. Efforts are ongoing by advocates and family members to get
records declassified so that all may know the truth about what happened to
the men left behind in Southeast Asia.