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1LT James B. McGovern, Jr
Birth: Feb. 4, 1922, USA
Death: May 6, 1954, Laos

World War II Fighter Pilot and CIA Operative. The swashbuckling McGovern was one of the first two Americans to die in combat with the North Vietnamese, seven years before the United States' official entry in the Vietnam War. He was known as "Earthquake McGoon" after a character in the "Li'l Abner" comic strip because of his imposing stature. During World War II McGovern was a fighter pilot in the 14th Air Force's "Tiger Shark" squadron, and was credited with shooting down four Japanese Zero fighter planes and destroying five on the ground; before that he had damaged or destroyed at least 10 Japanese warplanes as one of the "Flying Tigers". After the war he flew covert missions over Vietnam as a civilian for the CIA-owned Civil Air Transport, which aided the French in their fight against the communists. McGovern was flying a secret mission to transport supplies during the battle of Dien Bien Phu, when his C-119 transport plane was struck by enemy fire. He maneuvered the crippled plane for 75 miles before it crashed and exploded in northern Laos. The crash claimed the lives of McGovern and his co-pilot, Wallace A. Buford. Dien Bien Phu fell to the communists the following day. McGovern's remains were discovered in an unmarked grave in 2002 and positively identified in September 2006.  (bio by: Elizabeth Reed) 
 
Burial:
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington
Arlington County
Virginia, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Elizabeth Reed
Record added: Oct 19, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 16246376
1LT James B. McGovern, Jr
Added by: Elizabeth Reed
 
1LT James B. McGovern, Jr
Added by: Edward (Ted) Tyler
 
1LT James B. McGovern, Jr
Added by: Edward (Ted) Tyler
 
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- sjm
 Added: May. 6, 2016

- bob tarte
 Added: May. 6, 2016

- Sheila Cole Deinhart
 Added: May. 4, 2016
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