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Date: 28 February 1969
Aircraft type: O-2A Skymaster
Serial Number: 67-21412
Military Unit: 23 TASS, 504 TASG
Service: USAF
Home Base: Nakhon Phanom
1Lt Stephen G Long (POW)
SMSgt Douglas W Morrell (Survived)

A Nail FAC from Nakhon Phanom was flying an Igloo White mission near Ban Senphan, south of the Mu Gia Pass, when it was shot down. The aircraft (call sign Nail 77) was flying at 6,000 feet when its port wing was damaged by AAA. The pilot and observer both survived the incident although the pilot, 1Lt Long, suffered a broken left femur and was captured. He spent months in the Laotian jungle until he was transferred to Hanoi. He became one of the very few men to survive captivity in Laos and to be transferred to North Vietnam and repatriated during Operation Homecoming. While he was in Laos he was told that he had been sentenced to “live forever in a cave”. Stephen Long was released from Hanoi on 28 March 1973 and returned to flying, serving in F-4E, F-105G and F-16A squadrons before retiring from the Air Force and flying for an airline. SMSgt Morrell was a photographer and managed to evade capture until he was rescued by a HH-3E captained by Maj Stuart J Silver of the 40th ARRS.

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