Donald Maurice SingerColonel
354TH TFS, 355TH TFW, 7TH AF
United States Air Force
29 September 1928 - 26 October 1977
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The database page for Donald Maurice Singer
I still have the bracelet I bought when I was in college. I found the name
Lt. Col. Donald Singer
is engraved on the bracelet and I know from the directory that he lived in
The photo and following article is taken from The Philadelphia Daily News, special supplement entitled 'SIX HUNDRED AND THIRTY,' October 26, 1987. The special supplement was issued in conjunction with the dedication of the Philadelphia Viet Nam Memorial.
From a native Philadelphian and Vietnam veteran,
The MissionOn 17 August 1966 Major Joseph W. Brand, pilot, and Major Donald M. Singer, electronic warfare officer (EWO), both of the 354th Tactical Fighter Squadron, departed Takhli RTAFB, Thailand, flying lead in a flight of four F-105F aircraft. The flight's assigned mission was to search out and destroy surface-to-air missiles (SAM) and antiaircraft artillery (AAA) sites in North Vietnam. Brand and Singer were in F-105F tail number 63-8308.
According to available information, the flight had just departed the primary target area when the flight leader sighted a lucrative target and directed an attack by lead and his wingman to expend their remaining ordnance. The second section (aircraft #3 and #4) were to provide MiG cover during the ground attack.
Immediately after lead released his ordnance, number three observed canopy jettison and ejection by both crew members, with the aircraft impacting in the vicinity of the ground target. Number three saw one parachute blossom; number four saw one fully deployed parachute and a second partially open parachute. Brand's wingman (aircraft #2) did not witness the ejection, nor did he see the parachutes. Because the three remaining aircraft were maneuvering, none of the aircrews was able to watch the parachutes all the way to the ground, but the two chutes were sighted on the ground near the aircraft wreckage. Both parachutes were removed shortly afterwards but it was impossible to determine who removed them. One voice call was received from Major Brand, and an emergency beeper was heard, but two-way radio contact was not established with either downed crewman. The crew was downed in a populated rural area with numerous rice paddies.
When search-and-rescue aircraft (A-1E SKYRAIDERS) arrived, they made repeated low passes looking for signs of the crew (flares, smoke, or other signals) and continued efforts to establish radio contact, but their efforts were unsuccessful. The two crewmen were classed as Missing in Action on termination of the formal SAR effort.
On 30 August 1966 the Hanoi news service reported that a U.S. aircraft was downed on 17 August in Nghia Lo Province. Over three years later (22 December 1969) a representative of "The Women's Strike for Peace Organization" visited Hanoi and returned with five letters which she stated had been given her by the North Vietnamese. According to the representative, the North Vietnamese stated the five addressees had died in their parachutes or in the crash of their aircraft. One of the letters returned was addressed to Major Singer by his wife. A news release on 7 January 1971 reported that Win Ton Lay, a DRV spokesman in Paris, stated that Major Singer was known to be dead. However, neither Major Brand nor Major Singer was included on any list provided by the North Vietnamese government to the U. S. government.
The two men were continued in MIA status for over a decade; during that time, both were promoted twice - first to Lieutenant Colonel, then to Colonel. On 31 May 1977 the Secretary of the Air Force approved a Presumptive Finding of Death for Colonel Brand, changing his status to Died while Missing. On 30 September 1977 21 sets of identifiable human remains were repatriated; among them were the remains of both Colonel Brand and Colonel Singer. Identification of the two men was announced on 25 October 1977 and the Secretary of the Air Force approved a Finding of Death for Colonel Singer on the following day, 26 October 1977.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 08/10/2009