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November 28, 1972, Jack Harvey and Bobby Jones were flying an F4D Phantom jet on a
non-combat flight from their base at Udorn, Thailand to Da Nang, South Vietnam. The
purpose of the mission was to log flight hours for Jones, the only Flight Surgeon missing
from the Vietnam War, to maintain his Flight Surgeon status.
Shortly before arriving at Da Nang, when the aircraft was about 18 miles northwest of its destination, it disappeared from the radar screen without any voice contact. A few hours later, emergency signals were heard, but rescue efforts were hampered by monsoon rains and enemy held territory. When search teams were able to enter the area three days later, they did not locate the crew of the F4D. No further word has surfaced on either Harvey or Jones.
Examination of intelligence reports indicate that there was more than one prison "system" in Vietnam. Those prisoners who were released in 1973 were maintained in the same systems. If Jones was captured and kept in another system, the POWs who returned did not know it.
Now, nearly 20 years later, men like Jones are all but forgotten except by friends, family and fellow veterans. The U.S. "priority" placed on determining their fates pales in comparison to the results it has achieved. Since Jones went missing, over 6000 reports have been received by the U.S. that Americans are still being held captive in Southeast Asia. Whether Jones is among them is not known. What is certain, however, is that we, as a nation, are guilty of the abandonment of nearly 2500 of our best and most courageous men. We cannot forget, and must do everything in our power to bring these men home. .
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