Wayne Edward Pearson

555TH TFS, 432ND TRW, 7TH AF
United States Air Force
04 November 1939 - 22 February 1969
Western Springs, Illinois
Panel 32W Line 082


USAF Pilot

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

The database page for Wayne Edward Pearson

11 Feb 2001

I came across my MIA bracelet recently. I was in grade school when I received the bracelet. I started to check the sites and see what had happened to Wayne Pearson. I found out that he was 29 years old when he went missing and that his name is located on the Wall at Panel 32W - Line 082.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 22 Feb 1969 then-Captain Wayne E. Pearson and 1st Lt M. E. Heenan were flying a strike mission against enemy positions in the Plaines des Jars area of northern Laos, operating under the control of a RAVEN FAC. His F-4D (tail number 66-8717) was hit by enemy fire and went down in flames near Ban Thuang. 1st Lt Heenan ejected from the aircraft before ground impact, but Pearson apparently did not. Although injured during the ejection and subsequent impact with a tree, Heenan managed to evade the North Vietnamese troops searching for him and was picked up by an HH-53 SAR helicopter.

While there was no evidence that Captain Pearson got out of the F-4, neither was there positive evidence of his death - so he initially was classed as Missing in Action. An Air Force review board subsequently determined that all available evidence indicated that he had died in the incident and his status was revised to Died while Missing/Body not Recovered. During the interim, Pearson was promoted to Major.

A joint US/Lao excavation of the wreckage in 1991 recovered human remains which were repatriated on 13 Jan 1992. On 02 Jul 1993 the US Government announced that the remains had been identified as those of Major Pearson.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009