Name: James Edward Whitt
Rank/Branch: O4/US Air Force
Unit: 25th Tactical Fighter Squadron
Date of Birth: 01 February 1934
Home City of Record: Penfield IL
Date of Loss: 23 March 1972
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 160958N 1064659E (XC818886)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4D
Refno: 1802

Other Personnel in Incident: James T. Jackson (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 Phantom, used by Air Force, Marine and Navy air wings, served
a multitude of functions including fighter-bomber and interceptor, photo and
electronic surveillance. The two man aircraft was extremely fast (Mach 2),
and had a long range (900 - 2300 miles, depending on stores and mission
type). The F4 was also extremely maneuverable and handled well at low and
high altitudes. Most pilots considered it one of the "hottest" planes

Maj. James E. Whitt was the pilot and Capt. James T. Jackson the
bombardier/navigator on an F4D attached to the 25th Tactical Fighter
Squadron at Ubon Airfield, Thailand. On March 23, 1972, the two were
assigned an operational mission that would take them over Savannakhet
Province, Laos.

Other pilots in the flight observed Whitt's aircraft crash in an inverted
position upon egress from the target, about 25 miles southeast of the city
of Muong Nong. Both men were briefly classified Missing in Action, during
which time Jackson was promoted to the rank of Major. On March 24, however,
it was determined that both men had died in the incident, based on the
receipt of unspecified evidence of death received by the Department of the
Air Force.

Jackson and Whitt are listed among the missing because their remains were
never recovered.  They are among nearly 600 Americans who disappeared in
Laos. Many of these 600 are known to have been alive on the ground following
their shoot downs. Although the Pathet Lao publicly stated on several
occasions that they held "tens of tens" of American prisoners, not one
American held in Laos has ever been released.

Laos did not participate in the Paris Peace accords ending American
involvement in the war in 1973, and no treaty has ever been signed that
would free the Americans held in Laos. Over 10,000 reports relating to
Americans prisoner, missing, or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia have been
received by the U.S. since the end of the war, convincing many authorities
that hundreds are still alive. It's time we brought our men home.





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On March 23, 1972, an F-4D Phantom II (tail number 65-8792, call sign "Oxteam 01") with a crew of two took part in a combat mission over Laos. As the formation left the target area, "Oxteam 01" rolled over and crashed near the target. No parachutes emerged from the aircraft before it went down, and a low-level flight over the crash site revealed no signs of life. Hostile forces in the area prevented ground searches of the crash site, and both members of the crew remain unaccounted for.

Major James Edward Whitt, who joined the U.S. Air Force from Illinois, was a member of the 25th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 8th Tactical Fighter Group. He was the aircraft commander of "Oxteam 01" when it crashed, and was lost with the aircraft. His remains were not recovered following the incident. Today, Major Whitt 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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