James Alan Fowler

Lieutenant Colonel
United States Air Force
07 January 1938 - 06 September 1979
Bismark, North Dakota
Panel 01W Line 038

USAF Pilot

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for James Alan Fowler

07 Jun 2007

LtCol Fowler was flying an F-4D Phantom from Udorn, Thailand when he was shot down by a SAM in the Yen Bai area of North Vietnam.

His remains were never returned by the North Vietnamese.

From a college classmate,
Daniel P. Rapp

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 06 June 1972 the 523rd Tac Ftr Sqdn was tasked with providing MIGCAP support for a B-52 strike in North Vietnam. The four-plane section was led by then-Major James A. Fowler and his WSO Captain John W. Seuell, Wheeling, Missouri, flying in F-4D tail number 66-0232. The flight took up station in the vicinity of the Yen Bai Airfield on the Red River some 120 kilometers northwest of Hanoi. After the B-52 strike the fighters began to withdraw - but 66-0232 was struck in the rear fuselage by an SA-2 missile, burst into flames, and crashed. No parachutes were sighted by other members of the flight, and although emergency beeper signals were heard no voice contact was made with either crewman. Both crewmen were listed as Missing in Action and remained in that status after the POWs were released in Feb/Mar 1973. The Secretary of the Air Force approved Presumptive Findings of Death for both men, Seuell on 27 Feb 1975 and Fowler on 06 Sep 1979. As noted above, their remains have not been repatriated.

The POW Network biographies for the two men contain a strange statement:

"The shootdown site was in an are [sic] in North Vietnam that the U.S. had access to in May, 1973, but failed to inspect."
In May 1973 the United States was permitted strictly controlled and supervised access to certain areas of North Vietnam in order to neutralize air-laid mines. According to the POW Network's locational data the crash site is on the northern slope of a ridgeline which parallels the north bank of the Red River. To suggest, as the POW Network does, the United States in 1973 had opportunity to wander at will around North Vietnam inspecting crash sites is specious at best and grossly misleading at worst.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a college classmate,
Daniel P. Rapp

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 07 Jun 2007
Last updated 11/12/2007