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Howard Vincent Andre, Jr.
Rank/Branch: O4/US Air Force
Unit: 609th Special Operations Squadron
Date of Birth: 18 March 1935
Home City of Record: Memphis TN
Date of Loss: 08 July 1969
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 191643N 1030913E (YG060325)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A26A
Refno: 1464
Other Personnel in Incident: James E. Sizemore (missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 October 1990 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK.

The Douglas A26 was a twin-engine attack bomber with World War II service. In Vietnam, it served the French in the 1950's and also the U.S. in the early years of American involvement in Southeast Asia. In 1966, eight A26's were deployed to Nakhon Phanom to perform hunter-killer missions against truck convoys in southern Laos. Maj. James E. Sizemore and Maj. Howard V. Andre Jr. comprised an A26 team stationed at Nakhon Phanom, assigned a mission over the Plain of Jars region of Xiangkhoang Province, Laos on July 8, 1969. Sizemore was the pilot and Andre the navigator on the flight.

When the aircraft was about 12 miles south of the city of Ban Na Mai, it was downed by hostile fire. A ground team subsequently furnished unspecified information that Sizemore and Andre could not have survived. Both were classified Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered.

Sizemore and Andre are listed among the missing because their bodies were not recovered. The presence of enemy troops in this area makes it highly likely that the Lao have information they could provide about their fates.

In 1973, the prisoners of war held in Vietnam were released. Laos was not part of the Paris agreement which ended American involvement in Indochina and no prisoners held by the Lao were ever released. Nearly 600 Americans were left behind, abandoned by the country they proudly served.

In 1975, refugees fled Southeast Asia and brought with them stories of Americans prisoner, missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia. The reports continued to flow in as the years passed. By 1990, over 10,000 reports had been received. Some sources have passed multiple polygraph tests, but the U.S. Government still insists that proof is not available.

Meanwhile, the Lao voice dismay about the large numbers of their people that were killed and the fact that much of their once beautiful homeland now is cratered like the moon from bombs dropped by American planes. They seem to want acknowledgement that, in bombing enemy sanctuaries in Laos, we also did great harm to the Lao people.

We are haunted by the secret war we conducted in Laos through the lives of the Americans we left behind. Some of them are still alive. What must they be thinking of us?

MAJ - O4 - Air Force - Regular
34 year old Married, Caucasian, Male
Born on Mar 18, 1935
Length of service 12 years.
His tour of duty began on Jul 08, 1969 Casualty was on Jul 08, 1969
Hostile, died while missing FIXED WING - CREW
AIR LOSS, CRASH ON LAND Body was not recovered
Panel 21W - - Line 80



They left the jungles red with blood, the Daves, the Johns, the Jims.
Boarded the Freedom Bird, they were going home again.
Behind them were the horrors, the agony and the fears.
The memories they brought with them,to dim not ore the years.

Anxious hearts were beating fast, as the Freedon Bird touched down.
Home at last or so they thought, but shocked at what they found.
Some came off the plane walking, some on strechers and wheel chairs.
Nothing had prepared them for the jeers and hate filled stares.

What had they done they thought, as some bowed their head in shame?
They had fought for God and Country, so for what did come this blame.
Incoming spit and rotten eggs hurt worse than wounds their bodies bore.
And all thoughts of Freedom faded as they stepped back on U.S. soil.

Families could not understand why they were not the same.
Some wouldn't even listen, when he would try to explain.
No Welcome Home parades, for the town's people turned away.
For him there was not to be a real Homecoming Day.

They went in all directions, and coped the best they could.
Carrying more guilt and shame than any Veteran should.
They built walls and bunkers inside so they could be touched no more.
And each night they dreamed and cried and fought a raging war.

For thirty some odd years have passed and wonder where they are?
Some are walking the homeless streets, some in VA mental wards.
Many have died from illness contracted in the Nam.
Some just quit fighting, some picked up a gun.

But by the Grace of God, some found the courage to step out.
"I am a Vietnam Veteran, I got the right to be proud"
Turn away if you must or listen if you will.
I've bore all you threw at me and I am standing still.

Although my steps are weary and my soul is oh so sore,
You can take your blame and guilt, I won't carry it no more.
I'll reach out to my brothers that are still standing all alone
And by God you can't stop us.. One by One We're Coming home.
Dedicated to Jimmie,  Dave and John .. "Welcome Home"
by  Lois Adams

Other pages by Eve:

{Outhouse Wire}{Kerouac Kills}{Combat Rawk}{The Void}{Moon Dawg}

Other links" (one the best POW/MIA pages on the net today. Very Informative. Also where I found the great poem featured above)

A Change is Needed (Veterans for a Change - building partnerships between veterans and school children.
A unique educational program created in 1992 by teachers in Lincoln, Illinois)

US Gov't Research POW/MIA database