United States Air Force Aircrew
28 September 1973
Leroy Jason Cornwell III
Born August 5, 1944
Died September 28, 1973
Major Andrew Ivan Jr.
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 September 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 1998.
Captaon Leroy J. Cornwell was the radar intercept
officer aboard an F4D Phantom fighter bomber flown by Captain Andrew Ivan,
Jr. when it was sent on a forward air control mission which took them over
the Plaine des Jarres
When the Phantom and its crew failed to return to Udorn, an intensive air search was initiated. A crash site was located near the village of Ban Ban in Xiangkhoang Province, Laos, and air photos showed what appeared to be the main carriage of an F4 aircraft. No sign was found of either crewmember.
The Plain of Jars region of Laos had only two
months prior been taken over by Lao tribesmen from the communists. The
area had long been controlled by the communist Pathet Lao and a continual
effort had been made by the secret
Because Laos was "neutral", and because the
U.S. continued to state they were not at war with Laos (although we were
regularly bombing North Vietnamese traffic along the border and conducted
assaults against communist strongholds thoughout the country at the behest
of the anti-communist government of Laos), and did not recognize the Pathet
Lao as a government entity, the nearly 600 Americans lost in Laos were
Photo Courtesy of Roxsanne Wells-Layton, August 2006