Booth, James Ervin, Maj

Fallen
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Major
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
1115R-Pilot
Last AFSC Group
Aircrew
Primary Unit
1968-1968, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing - Wolf Pack
Service Years
1965 - 1968
Major

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

34 kb

Home State
Missouri
Missouri
Year of Birth
1939
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by MSgt Gerald Lamirand (Jerry) to remember Booth, James Ervin, Maj.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Roseville, California
Last Address
Ubon RTAFB, Thailand

Casualty Date
Jun 23, 1968
 
Cause
Hostile, Died while Missing
Reason
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Location
Vietnam, North (Vietnam)
Conflict
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Miriam Cemetery - Bethany, Missouri
Wall/Plot Coordinates
55W 020

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Aviator (Basic)


 
 Unit Assignments
497th Tactical Fighter Squadron - Night Owls8th Tactical Fighter Wing - Wolf Pack
  1968-1968, 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron - Night Owls
  1968-1968, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing - Wolf Pack
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1961-1973 Vietnam War
  1968-1968 Various Air Missions over North Vietnam
 My Aircraft/Missiles
F-4 Phantom  
  1967-1968, F-4 Phantom
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity


Major Jim Booth was the second of nine children born on a farm near Bethany, Missouri. All his life, he knew that what he wanted to do was fly. When he grew up, Booth worked for a while as an economic analyst for the state of California; then he joined the Air Force and received weapons/systems training onboard the F4 phantom fighter jet.

On 23 June 1968, Lt. Col. Donald F. Casey, pilot and then 1st Lt. James E. Booth, weapons systems officer; comprised the crew of the lead aircraft (serial #66-8724), call sign Machete 01,” in a flight of two conducting a night armed reconnaissance mission along Route 110, which was also known as IR 922A/Black Route, in western Quang Binh Province, North Vietnam. The mission identifier was Steel Tiger, Cricket Area 4,” a region that included the portion of North Vietnam bordering Laos that included the Mu Gia Pass, one of the two primary gateways into the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail via Route 15.

Machete flight arrived in the target area at approximately 2000 hours and immediately established radio contact with the Airborne Battlefield Command and Control Center (ABCCC), call sign “Alleycat,” controlling all air operations in the region. After receiving current weather and mission data, the ABCCC handed the flight over to the Forward Air Controller (FAC) who would direct the mission itself. Shortly thereafter he cleared the flight into the target area to search for lucrative targets of opportunity.

At 2008 hours, Lt. Col Casey spotted some truck lights traveling along Route 110. He notified the rest of the flight of his find before reporting, “Rolling in” for their bomb run. Machete 02 lost sight of Lead in the night’s darkness before observing a large fireball on the side of a hill. Cadillac Flight, a second flight of F4s operating in the area, notified Alleycat that it had seen burning wreckage and tried to establish radio contact with the downed aircrew, but could not make contact with anyone.

The crash site was located in a very rugged, populated and forested region near the village of Xuan Hoa approximately 3 miles due west of Route 110 and 3 miles due east of Route 101, 17 miles northeast of the Mu Gia Pass, 38 miles southwest of Mui Ron Ma and 53 miles northwest of Dong Hoi, Quang Binh Province, North Vietnam.

The ABCCC called for a visual and electronic search and rescue (SAR) operation to immediately begin for Lt. Col. Casey and 1st Lt. Booth. However, it the darkness no parachutes were seen and no emergency radio beepers heard.

At the time the formal search was terminated, Donald Casey and James Booth were declared Missing in Action. In their post-mission debriefing, the other pilots reported seeing no enemy ground fire prior to seeing the fireball on the ground. Because of that, they thought it was possible that Machete Lead was unaware of the elevation of the karst ridges in the target area and flew into the terrain.



   
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