PAXTON,DONALD ELMER

TC’s Tribute to

PAXTON,DONALD ELMER

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Remains returned – 11/06/1996 Remains identified 08/15/2000  VVMF Wall of Faces

Rank/Branch: O5/US Air Force Country of Loss: Laos
Unit: Loss Coordinates: 163200N 1061600E (XD351297)
Date of Birth: 03 November 1928 Status(in 1973): Missing In Action  Category :2
Home City of Record:  Cedar Rapids IA Acft/Vehicle/Ground:  B57B  Refno: 1392
Loss Date:  22 February 1969 Other Personnel In Incident: Charles Macko (missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II

Project 01 April 1991 from one

or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources,

correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated

by the P.O.W. NETWORK 1998.

Synopsis:

In mid-February, 1969, U.S. Defense policy for response on U.S.

operations in Laos was, “The preferable response to questions about air

operations in Laos is ‘no comment’.” We “weren’t” in Laos.

The B57 Canberra was one of the aircraft used by the U.S. Air Force to bomb

the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The Canberra first came to the Vietnam theater at the

time of the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964. It proved too vulnerable and

difficult to repair for working targets over North Vietnam, but proved

effective in the armed reconnaissance Trail operations of Operation Steel

Tiger. The Canberra was sometimes used in conjunction with other, more

sophisticated aircraft, such as the C130, and was especially effective on night missions.

LtCol. Donald E. Paxton and Maj. Charles Macko were in Laos. Paxton was the

pilot and Macko the co-pilot of a B57 bomber sent on a mission over

Savannakhet Province, Laos, on February 22, 1969. During the mission, the

aircraft was shot down and both men were declared Missing In Action.

Macko and Paxton are two of nearly 600 Americans who disappeared in Laos

during the Vietnam War. Although Pathet Lao leaders stressed that they held

“tens of tens” of American prisoners, they stated that those captured in

Laos would be released in Laos, hoping to gain a seat at the negotiating

table in Paris where the U.S. and Vietnam were negotiating an end to the war.

The U.S. did not include Laos in the Paris Peace Accords, and no Americans

held in Laos were released. In America’s haste to leave Southeast Asia, it

abandoned its finest men. Since the end of the war, the U.S. has received

thousands of reports convincing many that hundreds of Americans are still held captive today.

In seeming disreguard for the Americans either held or having been murdered

by the Pathet Lao, by 1989, the U.S. and the Lao devised a working plan to

provide Laos with humanitarian and economic aid leading toward ultimate full

diplomatic and trade relations while Laos allows the excavation of military

crash sites at sporadic intervals. In America’s haste to return to Southeast Asia, we are again abandoning our men.

Charles Macko and Donald E. Paxton were both promoted to the rank of Colonel during the period they were maintained missing

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PLEASE WRITE OR CONTACT YOUR  LOCAL, STATE, AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND TELL THEM HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT THIS PRACTICE AND TELL THEM TO:

 

BRING OUR SOLDIERS HOME- ONCE AND FOR ALL!!!!
 

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