Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force
Unit: 357th Tactical Fighter Squadron
Date of Birth: 14 March 1942
Home City of Record: St. Petersburg FL
Date of Loss: 24 November 1969
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 193500N 1033100E (UG318745)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Other Personnel in Incident: (none 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.
SYNOPSIS: The F105 Thunderchief ("Thud"), in its various versions, flew more missions against North Vietnam than any other U.S. aircraft. It also suffered more losses, partially due to its vulnerability, which was constantly under revision.
Capt. James B. White was the pilot of an F105D assigned a mission north of the Plain of Jars region of Xiangkhoang Province, Laos, on November 24, 1969. This area was long controlled by the communist Pathet Lao and a continual effort had been made by the secret CIA-directed force of some 30,000 indigenous tribesmen to strengthen anti-communist strongholds there. The U.S. committed hundreds of millions of dollars to the war effort in Laos. Details of the "secret war" in Laos were not released until August 1971.
White was flying as the number two aircraft from his base at Takhli, Thailand. According to the Air Force, White simply failed to return to base, and no other details are given. White was classified Missing in Action, and it is uncertain if the enemy could account for him.
Because Laos was "neutral", and because the U.S. continued to state they were not at war with Laos (although we were regularly bombing North Vietnamese traffic along the border and conducted assaults against communist strongholds thoughout the country at the behest of the anti-communist government of Laos), and did not recognize the Pathet Lao as a government entity, the U. S. did not negotiate for Americans lost in Laos.
The Pathet Lao stated that they would release the "tens of tens" of American prisoners they held only from Laos. At war's end, however, no American held in Laos was released.
Mounting evidence indicates that hundreds of Americans are still alive in captivity in Southeast Asia. One of them could be James B. White. He proudly served his country. He deserves better than abandonment.
James Blair White graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1964. He was promoted to the rank of Major during the period he was missing.
"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."
More details here.
Adopted POW/MIA Heroes Copyright ©1999-2020 Lanna - All Rights Reserved