John Robert BurnsCaptain
602ND ACS, 14TH ACW, 7TH AF
United States Air Force
08 December 1932 - 04 August 1966
Panel 09E Line 105
The database page for John Robert Burns
29 Apr 2003
I Considered Him My Brother --
A Note from The Virtual WallThe 602nd Fighter Squadron was activated at Bien Hoa Air Base in October 1964 and promptly was redesignated the 602nd Fighter Commando Squadron. It later became the 602nd Air Commando Squadron, and later still the 602nd Special Operations Squadron. In August 1966, it was the 602nd ACS, part of the 14th Air Commando Wing (Nha Trang) but based at Udorn RTAFB in Thailand.
On 04 Aug 1966, two of the 602nd's A-1E Skyraiders departed Udorn to conduct a bombing raid on a target near Kang Mong, about 20 miles east of Sam Neua and close to the Lao/NVN border. The weather was poor, with a low cloud ceiling that forced the section to operate below the deck. His wingman saw Captain Burns, in A-1E 52-133872, crash into the ground in the target area. He did not see a parachute or hear an emergency beeper, and subsequent SAR efforts failed to locate any trace of Burns. Although he initially was classed as Missing in Action, the Air Force reclassified him on 10 Oct 1966 as "Killed in Action, Body not Recovered" with a casualty date of 04 Aug 1966 ... in short, it was decided that the balance of information indicated he had not survived the crash.
And so matters stood for over a quarter of a century, until on 05 Feb 1993 the Defense Department announced the positive identification of Captain Burns' remains, which had been repatriated on 05 Apr 1992. John Robert Burns was laid to rest in Memorial Cemetery, Paris, Tennessee.
Additional information is available on the
As an aside, the search and rescue efforts for Captain Burns claimed a second aircraft ... a flight of F-105Ds from the 357th Tac Ftr Sqd at Takhli RTAFB had provided RESCAP services for the SAR force. As the Thunderchiefs made a final pass before departing for Takhli, F-105D tail number 61-0119, piloted by 1st Lt Allen V. Rogers, was hit by antiaircraft artillery and caught fire. Rogers was able to nurse the ailing Thud back into Thai airspace before ejecting some 40 miles from Udorn, where he was picked up following the ejection.
The point-of-contact for this memorial is|
a first cousin (once removed),
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 29 Apr 2003
Last updated 04/07/2008