Patrick Robert Curran
On 29 September, 1969, Major Luther A. Lono, pilot, First Lieutenant Patrick R. Curran, bombardier/navigator, were dispatched aboard an A-6A to conduct an armed reconnaissance mission in support of Seventh U.S. Air Force operations over Laos.
The mission was under the control of an Air Force Airborne Tactical Air Control aircraft, and was to be conducted in a heavily defended enemy area.
The mission proceeded without incident until 8:50 pm, at which time the Airborne Tactical Air Control aircraft lost contact with the Lono/Curran aircraft. Their last radio contact had been about 25 miles west of Khe Sanh.
Attempts to contact the aircraft were unsuccessful. At 10:30 pm, the Commanding Officer of the 11th Marine Aircraft Group declared them "overdue." At this declaration, electronic search efforts began for the crew members, and a signal was received by the Tactical Air Control aircraft at 0248 hours on September 30, which was believed to be a signal from an emergency transmitter.
Subsequent attempts to contact the crew were unsuccessful. A visual search began at dawn on September 30, but no sign of the crew or aircraft was found.
Both men were placed in "MIA" status. Presumptive Findings of Death for the two were issued (28 Aug 1978 for Curran; 28 November 1978 for Lono). The crash site was located and excavations conducted which resulted in the recovery of human remains in February 2000. The remains were positively identified on 27 June 2001 as being those of Lono and Curran.
Two Marines have come home.
A memorial from one who remembers,|
30 Jan 1998
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