James Ellis Williams

Senior Master Sergeant
United States Air Force
24 October 1939 - 25 January 1978
Oxford, Mississippi
Panel 07E Line 063


USAF Aircrew

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

The database page for James Ellis Williams

22 Jul 2002

In 1987, just after joining the Air Force and arriving at Sheppard AFB, TX, there was a veterans organization selling POW/MIA bracelets in the Base Exchange. I thought it was a nice idea to memoralize a missing or lost casualty. I wore that bracelet for 13 years until, just by accident, I learned his remains had been found. I was visiting my mother at her home in Quitman, MS, for Christmas. As I was glancing through the daily paper, I noticed an article about some remains being returned. The name I read did not even ring a bell until I saw the missing date, May 15, 1966. You see, I had lost my wife of 11 years on May 15, 3 years earlier and somehow that struck an accord when I read the date of loss. I could not believe it. He was finally coming home. Although I no longer wear it, I still have the bracelet, one day hoping to give it to his family along with the articles written about James Ellis Williams. True, you are gone, but for 13 years, until you came home, you were not forgotten.

Edward J. Perry III, TSgt, USAF
E-mail address is not available.

04 May 2007

I fain would weep, and yet my eyes are dry;
My lips are dumb, for fear lest they should speak
The hasty word, and in reproaches seek
Revolt from God's decree that you should die.
I know you would not ask me for my tears,
But rather have me face with courage calm
The lonely hours, and find some healing balm
To fill the emptiness of future years.
And so I pray for strength to bind my soul
With faith unconquerable and hope divine;
And from the grief and sorrow that are mine
Draw cleansing grace to make my being whole
Thus from your loss one friend at least shall gain
New life, to prove you have not died in vain.
Harold Simpson, 1915

From someone who wears his MIA bracelet,
Billie Kaye Ford
3315 Charlie Avenue, Pascagoula, Ms 39581

Notes from The Virtual Wall

On 15 May 1966 an AC-47 gunship, call sign SPOOKY 10 (tail number 43-49546), departed Ubon RTAFB, Thailand, on an armed reconnaissance flight in central Laos. The aircraft's crew consisted of
  • Major George W. Jensen, pilot;
  • Capt. Marshall Tapp, co-pilot;
  • 1st Lt. George Thompson, navigator;
  • SSgt. James Preston, loadmaster;
  • Sgt. James Williams, flight engineer;
  • A2C Kenneth McKenney, aerial gunner;
  • SSgt. William Madison, aerial gunner;
  • Major Lavern Reilly, observer; and
  • two unidentified South Vietnamese aircrewman.
At 1745 hours SPOOKY 10 established radio contact with the airborne command and control aircraft giving their status and position. The pilot transmitted again at 2100 hours, stating situation normal, but giving no position. There was no further radio contact with the aircraft and it did not return to base as scheduled.

An aerial search began at first light on 16 May and continued throughout the day. No signs of SPOOKY 10 or its crew were located. The 8 Americans and the 2 ARVN aboard Spooky 10 were listed Missing in Action on termination of formal search efforts.

On 7 June an intercepted Pathet Lao radio broadcast described an American C-47 aircraft shot down over Laos on 15 May by a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft artillery unit, PAVN Group 559. The report indicated all 10 crewmen were killed.

In 1994 a retired member of the People's Army of North Vietnam (PAVN) related personal knowledge of a May 1966 crash of an American C47 in Laos that killed 10 crewman. This information was substantiated by a review of PAVN Group 559 records. This led to site surveys and excavations which located wreckage and crew-related items associated with SPOOKY 10. A limited quantity of fragmented human remains were recovered from the crash site, but only one positive identification could be made - Major Jensen.

On Monday, 15 May 2000, a memorial service with full military honors was held at Arlington National Cemetery to inter the remains of the ten men aboard SPOOKY 10.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 22 Jul 2002
Last updated 08/10/2009