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JOSEPH CLAIR AUSTIN


is honored on Panel 16E, Line 109 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Leave a Remembrance

REMEMBRANCES

  • Final Mission of LTC Joseph C. Austin

    Posted on 3/18/18 - by wkillian@smjuhsd.org
    On March 19, 1967, LTC Joseph C. Austin was the pilot of a USAF F-105D Thunderchief (#61-0123), call sign “Warhawk 01,” from the 34th Tactical Fighter Squadron based at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base in Thailand. LTC Austin was the flight leader in a flight of four F-105D’s on a strike mission over North Vietnam. After arriving at their primary target, the flight was diverted to an alternate target. To attack, Austin called for normal spacing for the bomb run. There was no anti-aircraft fire in the area, although a few minutes earlier another flight passing through the area had indicated there was. Warhawk 02 was trailing the flight lead by about a mile when he heard Austin call, “Warhawk Lead in.” Warhawk 02 saw the lead aircraft roll in on the target and begin his pull out when Austin’s Thunderchief impacted the ground and exploded. The wingman did not see the canopy separate from the jet nor did he observe a parachute. Warhawks 03 and 04 did not observe the bombing run because of the spacing distance between their aircraft. Search and rescue attempts were not conducted due to the location in North Vietnam. Austin was listed as Missing in Action and was promoted to Colonel during the time he was unaccounted for. His remains have not been recovered. [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org]
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  • Col Joseph C. Austin - Update from DPAA (MIA Status)

    Posted on 3/12/18 - by kr
    According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) website at the below link, the MIA status of Colonel Joseph Clair Austin, USAF, USMA Class of 1952, is ACTIVE PURSUIT:

    https://dpaa.secure.force.com/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt0000000BTaLEAW

    The latest DPAA update (12 February 2018) lists 1,600 Americans still unaccounted for in Southeast Asia from the Vietnam War. Col Austin is one of those 1,600 MIAs.

    http://www.dpaa.mil/portals/85/Documents/VietnamAccounting/2018_stats/Stats20180212.pdf

    On the date of the loss of the F-105D jet aircraft he piloted, 19 March 1967, Austin was a Lt Col. While in MIA status, the U.S. Air Force promoted him to Colonel.
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  • Col Joseph C. Austin - ABMC (Honolulu Memorial)

    Posted on 3/12/18 - by kr
    MIA Colonel Joseph Clair Austin, USAF, USMA Class of 1952, has his name chiseled into one of the "Courts of the Missing" at the Honolulu Memorial in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific on the island of Oahu in the state of Hawaii. See the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) website at this link:

    https://www.abmc.gov/node/511422#.Wqcn-0xFzIU
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  • Col Joseph C. Austin - Info from POW Network (MIA)

    Posted on 3/12/18 - by kr
    Information about MIA Colonel Joseph Clair Austin, USAF, USMA Class of 1952, from the POW Network website is at this link:

    http://pownetwork.org/bios/a/a031.htm
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  • Brave Pilot

    Posted on 3/2/18 - by Dean Carter (Son of a now deceased USAF Vietnam Veteran, Sgt. Lonnie S. Carter, 1968-72) christopherdeancarter@gmail.com
    Colonel Austin (Then LTC. Service Years
    1948-1967)was a member of the 34th Tactical Fighter Squadron. On March 19, 1967, he was the pilot of a Thunderchief Fighter (F-105D) over Ban Karai Pass, North Vietnam when it was hit by hostile fire and crashed.

    His remains were not recovered. He was first declared MIA on 19 March 1969, then confirmed KIA on 25 May 1979. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.

    INFO: www.findagrave.com/memorial/61655610/joseph-clair-austin

    Lt Col Joseph C. Austin was an F-105 pilot assigned a mission over North Vietnam on March 19, 1967. Departing from his base (probably in Thailand), Austin proceeded to his mission area. When Austin's aircraft was just east of the Ban Karai Pass, it was hit by enemy fire and crashed. The Ban Karai Pass is one of several passageways through the mountainous border of Vietnam and Laos. American aircraft flying from Thailand to missions over North Vietnam flew through them regularly, and many aircraft were lost.

    On the Laos side of the border coursed the "Ho Chi Minh Trail", a road heavily traveled by North Vietnamese troops moving materiel and personnel to their destinations through the relative safety of neutral Laos. The return ratio of men lost in and around the passes is far lower than that of those men lost in more populous areas, even though both were shot down by the same enemy and the same weapons. This is partly due to the extremely rugged terrain and resulting difficulty in recovery. It was not known if Austin safely ejected from his aircraft, but not thought likely that he survived.

    However, because the opportunity existed for him to eject safely, Austin was declared Missing in Action rather than presumed dead. When 591 Americans were released in Operation Homecoming in 1973, Austin was not among them. The Vietnamese denied any knowledge of him, although it was their guns that downed him and it is unlikely that the crashing aircraft escaped their attention. The U.S. believes the Vietnamese can account for Austin, alive or dead. Since American involvement in Vietnam ended in 1975, over 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing, prisoner, or otherwise unaccounted for in Indochina have been received by the U.S. Government. Many officials, having examined this largely classified information, have reluctantly concluded that many Americans are still alive today, held captive by our long-ago enemy.

    INFO: https://airforce.togetherweserved.com/usaf/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ShadowBoxProfile&type=Person&ID=94222



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The Wall of Faces

Brought to you by the organization that built The Wall, the Vietnam Veterans Virtual Memorial Wall is dedicated to honoring, remembering and sharing the legacies of all those who died in the Vietnam War. Here you can go beyond the names on The Wall to see the faces, share the stories and read the remembrances posted by friends, neighbors, classmates and family members.

All of these photos will be showcased in The Education Center at The Wall on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. To learn more about the effort to collect these photos and ensure their faces will never be forgotten, visit www.buildthecenter.org.