Singer, Donald Maurice, Col

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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
1575A-Electronic Warfare Officer
Last AFSC Group
Electronic Warfare
Primary Unit
1965-1977, 1575A, 355th Tactical Fighter Wing
Service Years
1950 - 1966
Officer Collar Insignia

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Chris Starks to remember Singer, Donald Maurice, Col.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Takhli RTAFB, Thailand

Casualty Date
Aug 17, 1966
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Not Specified
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
10E 015/Plot: Section 11, Site 243-2

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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
354th Tactical Fighter Squadron355th Tactical Fighter Wing
  1965-1977, 1575A, 354th Tactical Fighter Squadron
  1965-1977, 1575A, 355th Tactical Fighter Wing
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1961-1973 Vietnam War
 My Aircraft/Missiles
F-105 Thunderchief (Thud)  
  1965-1966, F-105 Thunderchief (Thud)
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
The career Air Force electronic warfare officer was an amateur astronomer and enjoyed gazing at the night sky with a homemade 6-inch reflecting telescope. He had graduated from Germantown High School in 1946 and was active in drama, debate and language organizations there. Air Force officer's training and assignments around the world followed graduation from Marietta (Ohio) College. The aircraft on which the 37-year-old colonel was flying crashed on August 17, 1966, in Viet Nam. Singer, assigned to the 354th Tactical Fighter Squadron, was considered to be missing in action until October 1977, when evidence that he had died was found. Survivors included his wife and parents.

The Mission On 17 August 1966 Major Joseph W. Brand, pilot, and Major Donald M. Singer, electronic warfare officer (EWO), both of the 354th Tactical Fighter Squadron, departed Takhli RTAFB, Thailand, flying lead in a flight of four F-105F aircraft. The flight's assigned mission was to search out and destroy surface-to-air missiles (SAM) and antiaircraft artillery (AAA) sites in North Vietnam. Brand and Singer were in F-105F tail number 63-8308.

According to available information, the flight had just departed the primary target area when the flight leader sighted a lucrative target and directed an attack by lead and his wingman to expend their remaining ordnance. The second section (aircraft #3 and #4) were to provide MiG cover during the ground attack.

Immediately after lead released his ordnance, number three observed canopy jettison and ejection by both crew members, with the aircraft impacting in the vicinity of the ground target. Number three saw one parachute blossom; number four saw one fully deployed parachute and a second partially open parachute. Brand's wingman (aircraft #2) did not witness the ejection, nor did he see the parachutes. Because the three remaining aircraft were maneuvering, none of the aircrews was able to watch the parachutes all the way to the ground, but the two chutes were sighted on the ground near the aircraft wreckage. Both parachutes were removed shortly afterwards but it was impossible to determine who removed them. One voice call was received from Major Brand, and an emergency beeper was heard, but two-way radio contact was not established with either downed crewman. The crew was downed in a populated rural area with numerous rice paddies.

When search-and-rescue aircraft (A-1E SKYRAIDERS) arrived, they made repeated low passes looking for signs of the crew (flares, smoke, or other signals) and continued efforts to establish radio contact, but their efforts were unsuccessful. The two crewmen were classed as Missing in Action on termination of the formal SAR effort.

On 30 August 1966 the Hanoi news service reported that a U.S. aircraft was downed on 17 August in Nghia Lo Province. Over three years later (22 December 1969) a representative of "The Women's Strike for Peace Organization" visited Hanoi and returned with five letters which she stated had been given her by the North Vietnamese. According to the representative, the North Vietnamese stated the five addressees had died in their parachutes or in the crash of their aircraft. One of the letters returned was addressed to Major Singer by his wife. A news release on 7 January 1971 reported that Win Ton Lay, a DRV spokesman in Paris, stated that Major Singer was known to be dead. However, neither Major Brand nor Major Singer was included on any list provided by the North Vietnamese government to the U. S. government.

The two men were continued in MIA status for over a decade; during that time, both were promoted twice - first to Lieutenant Colonel, then to Colonel. On 31 May 1977 the Secretary of the Air Force approved a Presumptive Finding of Death for Colonel Brand, changing his status to Died while Missing. On 30 September 1977 21 sets of identifiable human remains were repatriated; among them were the remains of both Colonel Brand and Colonel Singer. Identification of the two men was announced on 25 October 1977 and the Secretary of the Air Force approved a Finding of Death for Colonel Singer on the following day, 26 October 1977.

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