I walked through a County Court House square.
JAMES ATLEE WHEELER
DATE OF BIRTH
HOME CITY OF RECORD
DATE OF LOSS
COUNTRY OF LOSS
STATUS (IN 1973)
OTHER PERSONNEL IN INCIDENT
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.
CRASH - TARGET AREA
SYNOPSIS: The Douglas A1 Skyraider ("Spad") is a highly maneuverable, propeller driven aircraft designed as a multipurpose attack bomber or utility aricraft. The A1 was first used by the Air Force in its Tactical Air Command to equip the first Air Commando Group engaged in counterinsurgency operations in South Vietnam. The aircraft was retired in the spring of 1968 and had flown in more than twenty model variations, probably more than any other U.S. combat aircraft.
Capt. James A. Wheeler was the pilot of an A1E assigned an interdiction mission about 10 miles south of Tinh Bien in South Vietnam on April 18, 1965. The target area, very close to the Cambodian border, was in Chau Doc Province. During Wheeler's dive bombing attack, his aircraft was seen to release a fragmentation bomb which detonated immediately. The aircraft dived straight into the ground trailing fuel and smoke and exploded on impact. It was determined that Wheeler could not have survived.
James A. Wheeler is listed among the missing because his remains were never recovered. Others who are missing do not have such clear-cut cases. Some were known captives; some were photographed as they were led by their guards. Some were in radio contact with search teams, while others simply disappeared.
Since the war ended, over 250,000 interviews have been conducted with those who claim to know about Americans still alive in Southeast Asia, and several million documents have been studied. U.S. Government experts cannot seem to agree whether Americans are there alive or not. Detractors say it would be far too politically difficult to bring the men they believe to be alive home, and the U.S. is content to negotiate for remains.
Well over 1,000 first-hand, eye-witness reports of American prisoners still alive in Southeast Asia have been received by 1990. Most of them are still classified. If, as the U.S. seems to believe, the men are all dead, why the secrecy after so many years? If the men are alive, why are they not home?
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