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Narrative:On July 6, 1971, U.S. Army Capt. Donald G. "Butch" Carr was aboard an Air Force OV-10A Bronco aircraft flown by U.S. Air Force Lt. Daniel W. Thomas when the aircraft disappeared 15 miles inside Laos west of Ben Het.
North American Rockwell OV-10A-20-NH Bronco
|Owner/operator:||23rd TASS, 504 TASG, USAF|
|C/n / msn:|| 305-42|
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2|
|Airplane damage:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||approx. 20 miles east of Muang Fandeng, west of Ben Het -
|Departure airport:||Nakhon Phanom AB, Thailand|
The aircraft had been on a visual reconnaissance mission over central Laos when it was lost. Thomas' plane was detailed out of the 23rd Tactical Aerial Surveillance Squadron and bore the tail number of 67-14634.
At 15:30 hours, Thomas radioed to the Army support facility that he was in his target area, but that he was unable to observe because of weather conditions. This was his last known radio contact. Thomas and Carr were due to depart the area at 17:00 hours, and should have radioed then. Search efforts were conducted through July 10, with no results.
A ground reconnaissance team later reported hearing an impact or explosion at 16:00 hours on July 6 in their vicinity, but they did not report seeing the aircraft.
A source reported that in early July 1971, he had seen an American POW in that area. The source learned from a guard that the POW was a pilot of an OV-10 that had been downed a week prior. This information was thought to possibly correlate to either Carr or Thomas.
Carr and Thomas became two 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, no American held in Laos was ever released.
As a belated postscript, in September 1999, pieces of aircraft wreckage were discovered in the general area of where 67-14634 was believed to have crashed. However, later investigations showed the parts found to be "generic", and could have come from either an OV-10A or a UH-iH helicopter, so the aircraft and its crew remain officially "missing in action"
||Dr. John Smith
||Updated [Date, Time, Aircraft type, Cn, Operator, Total occupants, Total fatalities, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]|