Kiefel, Ernest Philip, Jr., Lt Col

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Last Rank
Lieutenant Colonel
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
1521J-Bombardier
Last AFSC Group
Aircrew
Primary Unit
1965-1966, 405th Fighter Wing
Service Years
1955 - 1966
Lieutenant Colonel

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
Year of Birth
1933
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt John Paul Jones, Sr. (JJ) to remember Kiefel, Ernest Philip, Jr., Lt Col.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Harrisburg, PA
Last Address
Da Nang AB





Casualty Date
Feb 10, 1966
 
Cause
Hostile, Died while Missing
Reason
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Location
Laos
Conflict
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial - Honolulu, Hawaii
Wall/Plot Coordinates
05E 023

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Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2012, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

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Navigator Observer (Senior)


 
 Unit Assignments
13th Bombardment Squadron, Light405th Fighter Wing
  1965-1966, 13th Bombardment Squadron, Light
  1965-1966, 405th Fighter Wing
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1966-1966 Non-operation sorties/Reconnaissance missions over Laos
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-57 Canberra  
  1965-1966, B-57 Canberra
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Capt. Russell P. Hunter Jr. was the pilot of a B-57B Canberra sent on an night strike mission over Laos on February 10, 1966. His navigator/co-pilot was Capt. Ernest P. Kiefel Jr., an Air Force officer with 16 years service. The two men were assigned to the 13th Bombing Squadron based at Da Nang, South Vietnam.

Hunter's aircraft was on its second pass over a target on the Ho Chi Minh Trail when Hunter reported he was having difficulty with the aircraft and the crew members were bailing out. Neither Hunter nor Kiefel were found after the aircraft went down. Their last known location was about 5 miles east of the city of Sepone in Savannakhet Province.

(NOTE: Air Force records state "the crew members were bailing out," which can be misinterpreted unless one understands that the Canberra was a two-man aircraft. The crew, in this case, consisted of Hunter and Kiefel only.)

What happened to Hunter and Kiefel is not known. They are among nearly 600 Americans who disappeared in the "secret war" in Laos and never returned. When 591 Americans were released from prisons in Vietnam in 1973 at the end of the war, not one American held by the Lao was among them. No treaty or agreement has been signed to secure their release since that day, although the Lao stated publicly that they held prisoners and would release them only from Laos. There is ample reason to believe that the Vietnamese and/or the Communist Lao know what happened to Hunter and Kiefel on December 29, 1967.

  Hunter and Kiefel were promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel during the period they were maintained missing.

   
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