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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 141794
Last updated: 14 October 2020
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Time:04:00 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic F111 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
General Dynamics F-111A
Owner/operator:429th TFS, 474th TFW, USAF (429th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 474th Tactical Fighter Wing, United States Air Force)
Registration: 67-0063
C/n / msn: A1-108
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Khammouane Province, near the city of Ban Phaphilang -   Laos
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:Takhli RTAFB, Thailand
Destination airport:
On 7 November 1972, then Major Robert M. Brown, pilot, and Major Robert D. Morrissey, weapons systems officer, comprised the crew of an F-111A, call sign was "Whaler 57." At 02:19 hours they departed Takhli Airbase, Thailand on a single aircraft strike mission.

Their target was the Luat Son Highway ferry and ford nestled in a populated and forested area where the highway crossed over the river approximately 24 miles south of the major port city of Dong Hoi, 10 miles southeast of the coastline and 9 miles north of the demilitarized zone (DMZ), Quang Binh Province, North Vietnam.

Normal voice and radar contact was established with Whaler 57 before and after takeoff. The last radar contact was made by "Invert GCI" at 02:58 hours and the last voice contact was with Moonbeam, the onsite battlefield airborne command and control center. At 03:06 hours Major Brown reported the mission was progressing normally. At 04:00 hours Moonbeam initiated a standard communications check with Whaler 57. When he was not able to establish contact with them, Moonbeam began a communications search of the area.

67-0033 was officially reported lost over North Vietnam, but loss co-ordinates released later (17'08.52" N, 106'45.57" E) indicated that in all probabilty, the aircraft was lost in Khammouane Province, Laos near the city of Ban Phaphilang

An extensive formal search and rescue (SAR) effort was initiated at 05:00 hours on 7 November and continued until 20 November. When no sign of aircraft wreckage was found and no contact with either downed crewman could be established, the SAR was terminated. During this massive search, a wide variety of aircraft were used to include OV10 Broncos, A7 Corsairs and F4 Phantoms.

Further, this aircraft was the third F-111 reported lost over North Vietnam in 1972. At the time the formal search ended, both Robert M. Brown and Robert D. Morrissey were listed Missing in Action. This was amended to Killed In Action on February 16, 1977

According to Beverely Brown, Robert Brown's daughter: "In January 2012, we were told that remains had been found and identified as Dad's. He has been found and returned to US soil. My dad died as he would have wanted - flying an airplane and serving his country."


Revision history:

10-Jan-2012 12:00 Uli Elch Added
10-Jan-2012 12:01 Uli Elch Updated [Cn]
11-Jan-2012 08:40 Uli Elch Updated [Location, Phase, Narrative]
28-Jan-2013 15:32 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
28-Jan-2013 15:48 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]

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