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Name: Howard Vincent Andre, Jr.
Rank/Branch: O4/US Air Force
Unit: 609th Special Operations Squadron
Date of Birth: 18 March 1935
Home City of Record: Memphis TN
Date of Loss: 08 July 1969
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 191643N 1030913E (YG060325)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A26A

Other Personnel in Incident: James E. Sizemore (missing)

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Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 October 1990 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews.

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REMARKS

SYNOPSIS: The Douglas A26 was a twin-engine attack bomber with World War II service. In Vietnam, it served the French in the 1950's and also the U.S. in the early years of American involvement in Southeast Asia. In 1966, eight A26's were deployed to Nakhon Phanom to perform hunter-killer missions against truck convoys in southern Laos.

Maj. James E. Sizemore and Maj. Howard V. Andre Jr. comprised an A26 team stationed at Nakhon Phanom, assigned a mission over the Plain of Jars region of Xiangkhoang Province, Laos on July 8, 1969. Sizemore was the pilot and Andre the navigator on the flight.

When the aircraft was about 12 miles south of the city of Ban Na Mai, it was downed by hostile fire. A ground team subsequently furnished unspecified information that Sizemore and Andre could not have survived. Both were classified Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered.

Sizemore and Andre are listed among the missing because their bodies were not recovered. The presence of enemy troops in this area makes it highly likely that the Lao have information they could provide about their fates.

In 1973, the prisoners of war held in Vietnam were released. Laos was not part of the Paris agreement which ended American involvement in Indochina and no prisoners held by the Lao were ever released. Nearly 600 Americans were left behind, abandoned by the country they proudly served.

In 1975, refugees fled Southeast Asia and brought with them stories of Americans prisoner, missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia. The reports continued to flow in as the years passed. By 1990, over 10,000 reports had been received. Some sources have passed multiple polygraph tests, but the U.S. Government still insists that proof is not available.

Meanwhile, the Lao voice dismay about the large numbers of their people that were killed and the fact that much of their once beautiful homeland now is cratered like the moon from bombs dropped by American planes. They seem to want acknowledgement that, in bombing enemy sanctuaries in Laos, we also did great harm to the Lao people.

We are haunted by the secret war we conducted in Laos through the lives of the Americans we left behind. Some of them are still alive. What must they be thinking of us?

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These are the facts. Just the facts. They don't tell you about anything about a man named Howard Vincent Andre, Jr. Nor can I. Because I never knew him in life. That I put this page up for him now, after his death, is only a small thing. A memorial to a man who gave all he had to give for his country - right or wrong.

I wonder what they called him - Howie? Vince? I wonder what kind of music he liked. He'd be almost 63 now. Near my Dad's age. Perhaps he has grandchildren he never knew. He was 34 years old when he died. Gone in the blink of an eye.

Forgotten by the country that he fought for so willingly.

I never knew Howard, but I'm proud to have adopted him, and to champion his cause, and that of all the others who are still unaccounted for - Dead and Alive.

For several years I wore a tin bracelet on my wrist. The name on that bracelet was Terry L. Alford. He was born in Pasadena - but his home of record was Texas. Terry was born on October 22, 1947. He was single and in the Army...acheiving the rank of CWO. On Nov. 4, 1969 he began his tour of duty in Vietnam..less than 4 months after Howard died. I didn't find out until recently that Terry didn't come home. I'm not even sure of the circumstances of his death....His death is listed as Sept. 29, 1978 while MIA. He was a crew member on a helicopter that crashed near Khanh Hoa, South Vietnam. I don't even know when he was listed as being a POW. Regardless, his name is on The Wall.

In closing it's The Wall that's in my thoughts. I lived right outside of Washington, DC for 15 years. I saw the Wall being constructed. I saw it when it was finished. Like many of the other people there, I stood silently, tears streaming down my face. I cried because there were SO many. Because it could have been my brother's name I was looking at. Because I protested the war, and the man whose bracelet I wore might have thought I was protesting him. I wasn't.

The war was wrong. But the men and women who went to Vietnam, and died there, weren't wrong at all. They were honorable people who answered a call from their country, without question. I respect their decision. I respect their dedication. I respect their bravery.

Now it's time that the government who called them to war, spoke up to account for those still missing. It's time the United States said "We want them back -- NOW" Each day that passes without an answer is another day of shame for the US.

Please, write your Representatives in Washington, DC. Write the President. Tell them you won't stop til all the missing are accounted for. Tell them you haven't forgotten - and you won't let them forget either.

Howard and Terry - thank you. May you rest in peace.

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paige's proud american award

only in America

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the warrant officer's web of excellence

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