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|SYNOPSIS: Arthur V. McLaughlin was aboard a B52 shot down by a Surface to Air (SAM) missile over Hanoi on December 20, 1972. He was attached to the 99th Bomb Wing, temporarily assigned to 8th Air Force stationed at Guam. His B52 was one of many involved in the successful "Christmas Bombings" of Hanoi that finally convinced the Vietnamese to sit at the peace table.|
|There were a
total of 12 men missing in close proximity to each other from B52 aircraft on December 20.
It is unclear which men were together on any given plane, although it seems clear that the
four missing were on the same plane as Madden and Martini, as Defense Department notes
that two men were released from Lerner and Perry's plane. The total number listed exceeds
a normal B52 crew capacity, which is six. McClaughlin's craft was third in a flight of
three B52s over Hanoi that day. The fate of all three planes is uncertain.
One thing that amazed analysts about the B52 bombers that were shot down over Hanoi during this period was the high survival rate of the crewmembers. Many more were returned as POWs than was expected. The B52s that were shot down were downed in extremely hostile territory with little or no chance of rescue.
Unfortunately, it does not appear that all the prisoners were returned in 1973 at the end of the war. Since 1975, thousands of reports have been received by the U.S. Government relating to Americans still alive in captivity. Experts in the U.S. Government have stated they believe they are being held. The question then, is no longer whether or not they are alive, but who are they, and how can we bring them home? And is one of them Arthur McLaughlin?
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|Thanks to Ron Fleischer.|
|"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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