WHEELER, EUGENE LACY
Name: Eugene Lacy Wheeler
Rank/Branch: O4/US Marine Corps
Unit: VMO-2, MAG 11
Date of Birth: 30 January 1937
Home City of Record: Ashville OH
Date of Loss: 21 April 1970
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 152501N 1073127E (YC709059)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 September 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.
SYNOPSIS: The OV10 Bronco was among the aircraft most feared by the Viet
Cong and NVA forces, because whenever the Bronco appeared overhead, an air
strike seemed certain to follow. Although the glassed-in cabin could become
uncomfortably warm, it provided splendid visibility. The two-man crew had
armor protection and could use machine guns and bombs to attack, as well as
rockets to mark targets for fighter bombers. This versatility enabled the
plane to fly armed reconnaissance missions, in addition to serving as
vehicle for forward air controllers.
On April 21, 1970, Maj. Eugene L. Wheeler was the pilot of an OV10 aircraft
on a mission in Quang Tin Province, South Vietnam near the border of Laos.
During the flight, the aircraft was hit by enemy fire and shot down. Maj.
Wheeler survived the shoot down and was on the ground alive and in radio
contact with other Americans in the area.
An enemy patrol in the area neared Wheeler's position and commenced
shooting. Wheeler's fate remains uncertain. The Marine Corps believes there
is a good possibility that Wheeler survived to be captured, but that
certainly, the Vietnamese could tell us what happened to him on that day.
When the war ended and 591 American POWs were released from Vietnam, Wheeler
was not among them. The Vietnamese have denied any knowledge of him since
Mounting evidence indicates that some Americans are still alive being held
prisoner of war in Southeast Asia. The Vietnamese pledged to return all
prisoners of war and provide the fullest possible accounting of the missing
in the peace accords signed in 1973. They have done neither, and the U.S.
has not compelled them to do so.
The United States government pledged that the POW/MIA issue is of "highest
national priority" but has not achieved results indicative of a priority.
Mitchell and the nearly 2500 Americans who remain unaccounted for in
Southeast Asia deserve our best efforts to bring them home, not empty
The Columbus Dispatch
Sunday, January 4, 1998
LOVED ONES STILL SEEK ANSWERS FAMILIES OF MIAS QUESTION
GOVERNMENT'S RESOLVE ON ISSUE
Ann Fisher Dispatch Staff Reporter
A new year of hope and labor to learn the whereabouts of her father awaits
Mitch McGouldrick Guess.
Nearly 30 years ago, Air Force Col. Francis McGouldrick Jr. was lost in a
midair collision over Laos during the Vietnam War. A few years later, Guess,
then 12, bought her first MIA bracelet and began in earnest a search that has
spanned the balance of her life......