Name: Richard Kenneth Allee 
Rank/Branch: Colonel/US Air Force 
Unit: 354th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 
Takhli Airbase, Thailand 

Date of Birth: .14 December 1935
Home of Record: Port Jervis, NY
Date of Loss: 21 December 1968 
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 173000N 1053900E (WE705360)
Click coordinates to view (4) maps

Status in 1973: Missing in Action 
Category: 3
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F105D "Thunderchief"
Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing) 


SYNOPSIS:   The principle Air Force tactical strike aircraft during the Vietnam War was the Republic F105 Thunderchief, nicknamed a "Thud.". Mass-produced after the Korean War, it served throughout Southeast Asia, particularly during Rolling Thunder operations

On 21 December 1968, then Capt. Richard K. Allee was the pilot of an F105D Thunderchief fighter/bomber that departed Takhli Airbase, Thailand as the #2 aircraft in a flight of four on a combat mission to interdict the NVA supply route running through the Mu Gia Pass located approximately 60 miles due west of Dong Hoi, North Vietnam; 14 miles southwest of the Lao/North Vietnamese border and 3 miles west of Ban Senphan, Khammouane Province, Laos.

The Mu Gia Pass is a break in the mountains that form the border of Laos and Vietnam. This area is considered a major artery of the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail. When North Vietnam began to increase its military strength in South Vietnam, NVA and Viet Cong troops again intruded on neutral Laos for sanctuary, as the Viet Minh had done during the war with the French some years before.

This border road was used by the Communists to transport weapons, supplies and troops from North Vietnam into South Vietnam, and was frequently no more than a path cut through the jungle covered mountains. US forces used all assets available to them to stop this flow of men and supplies from moving south into the war zone. Between the spring of 1965 and December 1971, 43 American airmen would disappear in a 33 mile square area surrounding the Mu Gia Pass without a trace.

At 1300 hours, as the flight reached a point near the city of Na Phao and a few miles southwest of the Mu Gia Pass, Richard Allee's aircraft was struck by hostile ground fire. Other pilots in the flight saw the Thud catch on fire and crash into a wooded area. However, in the confusion of the anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) attack, none of the other pilots saw a parachute or heard an emergency beeper emanating from the dense jungle below. Search and Rescue (SAR) efforts were immediately initiated, but could find no trace of the aircraft or its pilot. Because of the intense enemy presence in and around the area of loss, no ground search was possible. At the time formal search efforts were terminated, Richard Allee was listed Missing In Action.

Capt. Allee is among the nearly 600 Americans who disappeared in Laos. Many of these men were known to be alive on the ground. The Laotians admitted holding "tens of tens" of American Prisoners of War. but these men were never negotiated for either by direct negotiation between our countries or through the Paris Peace Accords which ended the War in Vietnam since Laos was not a party to that agreement.

Because of the area of loss, there is no question the communists know the fate of Richard Allee, and could account for him either alive or dead.Further, since the end of the Vietnam War well over 21,000 reports of American prisoners, missing and otherwise unaccounted for have been received by our government. Many of these reports document LIVE American Prisoners of War remaining captive throughout Southeast Asia TODAY.

Fighter pilots in Vietnam were call upon to fly in many dangerous circumstances, and they were prepared to be wounded, killed or captured. It probably never occurred to them that they could be abandoned by the country they so proudly served.