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This Page Is Dedicated To
Leonard L. Kaster

 

In memory of Leonard L. Kaster


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  • Name: Leonard Lee Kaster
  • Rank/Branch: O2/US Air Force
  • Unit: 405th Fighter Wing
  • Date of Birth: 24 September 1938
  • Home City of Record: Holyoke MA
  • Date of Loss: 06 August 1964
  • Country of Loss: South Vietnam
  • Loss Coordinates: 110953N 1070444E (YT270349)
  • Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
  • Category: 2
  • Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: B57B
  • Other Personnel in Incident: Frec C. Cutrer Jr. (missing)


Source: 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.


REMARKS: AC CRASH EXPLODE HVY VC - J
SYNOPSIS: The B57 Canberra was one of the aircraft used by the U.S. Air Force to bomb the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The Canberra first came to the Vietnam theater at the time of the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964. It proved too vulnerable and difficult to repair for working targets over North Vietnam, but proved effective in the armed reconnaissance Trail operations of Operation Steel Tiger. The Canberra was sometimes used in conjunction with other, more sophisticated aircraft, such as the C130, and was especially effective on night missions.
Capt. Fred C. Cutrer Jr. was the pilot of a Canberra sent on an operational mission over South Vietnam on August 6, 1964. The navigator onboard the aircraft was 1Lt. Leonard L. Kaster. Aircraft control last heard from the aircraft by radio when it was northeast of Tan Son Nhut.
The aircraft went down near the Sang Dong Nai River in Long Khan Province, South Vietnam. According to Defense Intelligence data, it received heavy fire from Viet Cong forces, crashed and exploded. Neither crewman was believed to have survived. Both were classified Killed in Action, Body Not Recovered.
Cutrer and Kaster are listed among the missing because their 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.
Well over 1000 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?
Fred C. Cutrer, Jr. was promoted to the rank of Major before a determination of death was made.


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"All Biographical and loss information on POWs provided by Operation Just Cause have been supplied by Chuck and Mary Schantag of POWNET. Please check with POWNET regularly for updates."

 

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This page last updated on April 9, 2000