DONALD EARL THOMPSON
THE WALL: Panel 14E- Row 120
Name: Donald Earl Thompson
Rank/Branch: O3/US Navy
Unit: Fighter Squadron 213, USS KITTY HAWK
Date of Birth: 17 February 1940
Home City of Record: Wellsville NY
Date of Loss: 04 February 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 200500N 1061500E
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel In Incident: Allan P. Collamore (missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1990 from one or more of
following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with
POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews.
REMARKS: DEAD/CS 317 09012 73
Lt. Donald E. Thompson was a pilot and Lt. Allan P. Collamore a
Intercept Officer, assigned to Fighter Squadron 213 onboard the aircraft
USS KITTY HAWK (CVA-63).
On the night of February 4, 1967, Thompson and Collamore launched in their
Phantom fighter aircraft on an armed reconnaissance mission along the coast
North Vietnam. They were wingman for a two plane section. The flight leader
crossed the beach and executed a level flare dropping run. Thompson's
was briefed to fly in a six to seven mile radar trail behind the other
Approximately one minute after the flare drop, the flight leader observed a
large explosion behind him. He immediately initiated a turn back and
to contact his wingman with no results. He then arrived at the scene of the
explosion and observed a large fire in the area. He radioed for search and
rescue efforts to be initiated. No electronic or visual signals were
from the area. Headlights of trucks were seen along with small arms fire and
red flare. The search was discontinued due to darkness and enemy ground fire.
Searches the next day yielded no new information.
In September 1974 intelligence information possibly relating to the aircrash
told of the downing of a jet where the two pilots were killed and their
buried near the crash site. This information was not positively confirmed.
Thompson and Collamore were classified Missing in Action, and were carried in
this status for the next eight years. At this time, based on no information
they were alive, the two were declared administratively dead.
Thompson and Collamore are among nearly 2300 Americans still prisoner,
or unaccounted for from the Vietnam war. Unlike "MIA's" from other wars, the
large majority of these missing men can be accounted for -- alive or dead.
Since American involvement in Vietnam ended in 1975, nearly 10,000 reports
relating to Americans missing, prisoner, or otherwise unaccounted for in
Indochina have been received by the U.S. Government. Many officials, having
examined this largely classified information, have reluctantly concluded that
many Americans are still alive today, held captive by our long-ago enemy.
It is not known if Thompson and Collamore could be among those thought to be
still alive today. What is certain, however, is that as long as even one
American remains alive, held against his will, we owe him our very best
to bring him to freedom.
"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."