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Capt. William Tod Potter - MIA

William Tod Potter
Grand Forks, ND
County: Grand Forks
Vietnam - MIA
Date of Disappearance: February 5, 1968 / Age: 32
Branch of Service: Air Force
Company/Division: 14 Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing

Hostile, Khammouan Province, Laos, died while missing, FIXED WING - CREW

Body has not been recovered.

On February 5, 1968, 1st Lt. William T. Potter and 1st Lt. Robert D. Edgar were crew members aboard an RF-4C reconnaissance aircraft.

Robert Edgar was the navigator of the RF-4C aircraft which departed Udorn Airfield,Thailand, on a photo reconnaissance mission over Laos. Upon arrival in the area, which was under control of the North Vietnamese, the pilot, William Potter contacted a controller for a specific target assignment. After being advised on weather and terrain, the pilot notified the controller that they were under the clouds and had located the target.

He advised that he would position for photos and depart to the Northwest. While orbiting in the area, the controller saw an explosion and immediate attempts to contact the RF-4C brought no response.

The aircraft crashed on Phakap mountain, four kilometers south of Bau Phanup, and about 2.5 kilometers east of Napank Village, Khammouan Province, Laos.

Search and Rescue forces saw no parachutes nor heard any electronic beacon signals. Resistance fighters in the area gave reports of investigating the crash site, only to find the aircraft had burned and the skeletal remains of the pilot were still inside.

Robert Edgar's missing status was changed at a presumptive finding of death hearing to Dead/Body Not Recovered.

On May 28, 1987, The Joint Casualty Resolution Center passed on to Mrs. Edgar, information that was received from a former RLA Sergeant and then Resistance Fighter refugee who had departed Laos in 1976 that seemingly confirmed the crash and burn of the RF-4C on the mountain, and the finding of the pilot's skeletal remains still inside.
William T. Potter's remains have not been turned over to the United States Government.