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Name: Gordon James Wenaas
Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force
Unit: 314th Tactical Airlift Wing, Nha Trang Airbase, South Vietnam
Date of Birth: 02 March 1932
Home City of Record: Mayville ND
Date of Loss: 29 December 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 220900N 1032200E (UK315501)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 4
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: C130E
Other Personnel In Incident:
James R. Williams; Gean P. Clapper; Charles P. Claxton; Wayne A. Eckley; Donald E. Fisher; Edwin N. Osborne; Frank C. Parker; Gerald G. VanBuren; Edward J. Darcy; Jack McCrary; (all missing)


On December 29, 1967, a C130E aircraft departed Nha Trang Airbase shortly after midnight on an operational mission over North Vietnam. The eleven man crew aboard the aircraft included Maj. Charles P. Claxton; Capt. Edwin N. Osborne Jr., and Capt. Gerald G. Van Buren (all listed as pilots); and crewmen SSgt. Edward J. Darcy; SSgt. Gean P. Clapper; SSgt. Wayne A. Eckley; LtCol. Donald E. Fisher; TSgt. Jack McCrary; Capt. Frank C. Parker III; Capt. Gordon J. Wenaas; and Sgt. James R. Williams.

At 4:30 a.m., the pilot made radio contact with Nha Trang and said the mission was progressing as scheduled. No further contact was made. The aircraft's last known position was in extreme northwest North Vietnam, in mountainous Lai Chau Province. The eleven Americans aboard the aircraft were declared Missing in Action.

When the war ended, and 591 Americans were released from Vietnamese prison camps, the crew of the C130 was not among them. Although the Vietnamese pledged, as part of the Paris Peace Accords, to release all prisoners and make the fullest possible accounting of the missing, they have done neither. The Vietnamese deny any knowledge of the crew of the C130.

Alarmingly, evidence continues to mount that Americans were left as prisoners in Southeast Asia and continue to be held today. Unlike "MIAs" from other wars, most of the nearly 2500 men and women who remain missing in Southeast Asia can be accounted for. If even one was left alive (and many authorities estimate the numbers to be in the hundreds), we have failed as a nation until and unless we do everything possible to secure his freedom and bring him home.


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