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is honored on Panel 13E, Line 13 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

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  • The full story of his loss

    Posted on 5/7/18 - by virgil hornsby
    Virgil Hornsby
    December 5, 2015 ·
    Remembering my brother Red (Flintstone 4) today.

    The 388th TFW Tactical Fighter Wing’s, 421st TFS (Tactical Fighter Squadron), Flintstone flight departed Korat RTAFB (Royal Thai Air Force Base) on an Iron Hand (Surface to Air suppression) mission on the afternoon of 05DEC66. The target, a SAM launch site on the northern edge of Thud Ridge, in Route Pak 6, NW of Hanoi. The flight consisted of four F-105’s. Flight leader, Flintstone 1, was Captain John Hill, number 2 was Captain Frank Reamer, number 3 was piloted by Captain Norman Suits and in number 4 (a spare for an aircraft that returned to base with mechanical failure) was Major Burriss Begley.
    Upon arrival at the turning point to head down the ridge, Two Mig 17’s were waiting behind the ridge As Number 4 was making his turn under number 3 (at his most vulnerable position), Maj Begley called the break saying he was hit. . Maj Begley’s last transmission was clear and calm indicating he had not been injured. He stated he had just crossed the “Red”, was losing power and altitude and was going to eject.
    After action report - Captain Norman L Suits
    “At approximately 1552 as we were approaching our turn point to head down the ridge, I looked around to my wing man, Flintstone 4, and observed a Mig coming out of the sun and firing at number 4. I called him to break but was blocked out by his transmission saying he was hit. I saw pieces of the tail and drag chute coming off his plane. The Mig overshot in a left climbing turn and I got him in my sights, but the gun would not fire. I then jettisoned everything and turned to pick up number 4. I saw his airplane burning and observed another Mig coming in at my six. I went burner and accelerated past number 4 and his aircraft (62-4331) crashed near a wooded hill about 15 miles from Yen Bai. I was about 2 miles from him and didn’t see a chute.”
    Interview with Major Frank Reamer
    “Two Mig 17’s were waiting for us behind the ridge when we arrived at our turn point to go down the ridge. As Number 4 was making his turn under number 3 (at his most vulnerable position), Maj Begley called the break saying he was hit. Flight lead and I jettisoned everything and broke right pulling max G’s. We were bouncing so much that we could not get a visual on Maj Begley’s plane. Number 3 turned to pick up the Mig on number 4’s six. His guns jammed and he did not get off a shot. Maj Begley’s last transmission was clear and calm indicating he had not been injured. He said he had just crossed the “Red”, was losing power and altitude and he was going to eject. We determined that he had not actually crossed the Red river (a safer place to eject), just a tributary of the Red River. I did not hear a beeper, but there was a lot of chatter. Some pilots preferred to disconnect the beeper. I don’t know if that was Maj Begley’s preference. No search and rescue was attempted due to the location of the crash”. Captain Frank Reamer –
    Major Begley was declared Missing in Action (MIA), REFNO 0542, 05 Dec 1966 and was subsequently promoted to Colonel. He continued in this status until changed to presumptive finding of dead, remains not recovered, 04 Apr 1978. - USAFHQ
    Colonel Begley was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for a mission conducted one month prior to his loss. The citation stated “He was flight leader of a flight of four F105 aircraft on a combat support mission over hostile territory. Despite intense barrages of hostile fire, Major Begley successfully led his flight to the secondary target (a moving train), when the primary target was obscured by bad weather. The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by Major Begley, during this mission, reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.” - NPRC
    Colonel Begley’s previous experience included combat missions flown in the P-51D during WW II (1945), and F-84E in the Korean conflict (1952), plus a previous 2 month TDY to Viet Nam in 1965. – NPRC
    Colonel Begley’s remains (13 bones) were ultimately returned, identified and interred in Arlington,
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  • I'm proud of our Vietnam Veterans

    Posted on 11/6/17 - by Dennis Wriston
    Colonel Burriss Nelson Begley, Served with the 421st Tactical Fighter Squadron, 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, 7th Air Force.
  • Rest in Peace

    Posted on 9/28/17 - by Judie Ruble
    I got my bracelet in his name in the late 60's early 70's in San Francisco but lost it while in Germany, but 40+ yrs. later I still remember his name. Watching the Ken Burns documentary "Viet Nam" on PBS made me thinkk of him
  • His was the 2nd POW/MIA bracelet I wore

    Posted on 5/8/17 - by Toni Johnson
    I was ecstatic to see the 1st POW/MIA name on my bracelet released from the Hanoi Hilton. Col. Begley's was the 2nd one I wore and I always hoped for the same positive outcome. When I read his remains had been found, I was so sad for him, his family, his brothers in service, and those who knew and loved him. As decades have passed, we can only hope those people know he's not been forgotten even by those who never knew him but wore his name on their bracelet.
  • Still Remember - Col. Burriss Begley

    Posted on 2/7/17 - by Greg C
    I got my bracelet for Col. Begley in the late 1960s when I was working as a young engineer at Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. I sill have the bracelet which I came across in box I have kept all these years. Today, I decided to research the latest information on Col. Begley, but nothing new has been reported since his unidentifiable remains were returned to the US in the 1990s. I will continue to pray for him and all the other military members lost in all our conflicts in the world, and I hope his family has found peace. God bless you all - and thank you for your service to God and country!.
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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.