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Maj Joseph Ygnacio Echanis Sr.

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Maj Joseph Ygnacio Echanis Sr.

Birth
Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, USA
Death
1975 (aged 37–38)
Laos
Burial
Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot
Memorial Section H
Memorial ID
24338117 View Source

Captain Joseph Ygnacio 'Joe' Echanis was a Weapons Systems Operator, Navigator, flying an F-4D  assigned to the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron, "Night Owl", at Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand.

At 0303 hours on November 5, 1969, Captain Douglas Paul LeFever and Captain Joseph Ygnacio 'Joe' Echanis departed Ubon in F-4D, sn 66-7748, as a Night Owl Forward Air Controller with the call sign of Owl 15.

The following excerpt was extracted from Task Force Omega:

They proceeded to rendezvous with an airborne tanker before initiating their mission to direct the first of four flights of Navy aircraft against a pre-briefed target located approximately 7 miles southwest of Mu Gia Pass. The ordnance carried on this mission included flares for  illuminating and flares for marking targets of opportunity on the route structures in eastern Laos. The weather conditions in the target area consisted of 10,000-foot high broken to overcast clouds with their base at 4,000 feet. Visibility was 5 to 7 miles below the clouds with possible light turbulence due to strong winds. There was an open area in the clouds where the mission was taking place.

At approximately 0515 hours, after another refueling, the last of the Navy's 2-aircraft flights, call sign Street Car 302 and 304, arrived on station. They were told to hold high at 16,000 feet until they finished working the third pair of aircraft, call sign Raygun.

After Raygun flight departed the area, Owl 15 told Lieutenant Commander Tom Vosseller, the pilot of Street Car 302; and his wingman, Lt. McClelland, Street Car 304; that he wanted to work them one at a time and Street Car 304 was told to hold high. Street Car 302 proceeded with lights out to about 12,000 feet while Owl 15 dropped several flares then proceeded to mark the target from an altitude of 9,500 feet. Owl 15 told Street Car 302 to stay above his altitude. Lt. Cmdr. Vosseller observed Owl 15 pass underneath him and then pass through a layer of clouds at approximately 10,000 feet.

At 0536 hours, Vosseller was looking to his left waiting for Owl 15's white phosphorus smoke rocket to impact the target area when he heard a Mayday call just before seeing an explosion directly beneath him and slightly to his right. Two other aircraft operating nearby also heard the Mayday call.

Lt. McClelland, Street Car 304, radioed his leader saying, "Tom, did you see that?" and Street Car 302 replied, "Affirmative, Mac." Lt. Cmdr. Vosseller attempted to contact Owl 15, but received no reply from either Captain LeFever or Captain Echanis. Believing that Owl 15 crashed, Street Car 302 radioed Invert, the ground radar control center, for Search and Rescue (SAR) aircraft to initiate a formal search, then both Street Car aircraft began making runs underneath the clouds in an effort to identify the location of the crash site.

During their search effort, Street Car flight found no wreckage or fires on the ground. They also saw no parachutes and heard no emergency beepers. In addition, they observed no hostile ground fire before, during or after the loss of Owl 15 although there were known 23mm, 37mm, and 57mm gun sites in the area. At about 0545 hours, the first Search and Rescue aircraft to arrive in site was Candlestick 43, a flare ship capable of illuminating the area for the other aircraft. Candlestick 43 immediately assumed operational control of the SAR operation allowing Street Car 302 and 304, who where both running low in fuel, to return to the USS Coral Sea.

Formal SAR operations continued throughout the day. After finding no trace of Captain LeFever, Captain Echanis, or their aircraft the SAR efforts were terminated at 1800 hours the same day.

Both Le Fever and Echanis were classified as Missing in Action and both were later promoted to Major. The Secretary of the Air Force approved Presumptive Findings of death for Major Douglas Paul LeFever, Arcanum, Ohio on June 29, 1978.

Panel 16W - Line 33

See additional memorials at The Virtual Wall and Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Return to Ubon RTABF Losses 1969

Captain Joseph Ygnacio 'Joe' Echanis was a Weapons Systems Operator, Navigator, flying an F-4D  assigned to the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron, "Night Owl", at Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand.

At 0303 hours on November 5, 1969, Captain Douglas Paul LeFever and Captain Joseph Ygnacio 'Joe' Echanis departed Ubon in F-4D, sn 66-7748, as a Night Owl Forward Air Controller with the call sign of Owl 15.

The following excerpt was extracted from Task Force Omega:

They proceeded to rendezvous with an airborne tanker before initiating their mission to direct the first of four flights of Navy aircraft against a pre-briefed target located approximately 7 miles southwest of Mu Gia Pass. The ordnance carried on this mission included flares for  illuminating and flares for marking targets of opportunity on the route structures in eastern Laos. The weather conditions in the target area consisted of 10,000-foot high broken to overcast clouds with their base at 4,000 feet. Visibility was 5 to 7 miles below the clouds with possible light turbulence due to strong winds. There was an open area in the clouds where the mission was taking place.

At approximately 0515 hours, after another refueling, the last of the Navy's 2-aircraft flights, call sign Street Car 302 and 304, arrived on station. They were told to hold high at 16,000 feet until they finished working the third pair of aircraft, call sign Raygun.

After Raygun flight departed the area, Owl 15 told Lieutenant Commander Tom Vosseller, the pilot of Street Car 302; and his wingman, Lt. McClelland, Street Car 304; that he wanted to work them one at a time and Street Car 304 was told to hold high. Street Car 302 proceeded with lights out to about 12,000 feet while Owl 15 dropped several flares then proceeded to mark the target from an altitude of 9,500 feet. Owl 15 told Street Car 302 to stay above his altitude. Lt. Cmdr. Vosseller observed Owl 15 pass underneath him and then pass through a layer of clouds at approximately 10,000 feet.

At 0536 hours, Vosseller was looking to his left waiting for Owl 15's white phosphorus smoke rocket to impact the target area when he heard a Mayday call just before seeing an explosion directly beneath him and slightly to his right. Two other aircraft operating nearby also heard the Mayday call.

Lt. McClelland, Street Car 304, radioed his leader saying, "Tom, did you see that?" and Street Car 302 replied, "Affirmative, Mac." Lt. Cmdr. Vosseller attempted to contact Owl 15, but received no reply from either Captain LeFever or Captain Echanis. Believing that Owl 15 crashed, Street Car 302 radioed Invert, the ground radar control center, for Search and Rescue (SAR) aircraft to initiate a formal search, then both Street Car aircraft began making runs underneath the clouds in an effort to identify the location of the crash site.

During their search effort, Street Car flight found no wreckage or fires on the ground. They also saw no parachutes and heard no emergency beepers. In addition, they observed no hostile ground fire before, during or after the loss of Owl 15 although there were known 23mm, 37mm, and 57mm gun sites in the area. At about 0545 hours, the first Search and Rescue aircraft to arrive in site was Candlestick 43, a flare ship capable of illuminating the area for the other aircraft. Candlestick 43 immediately assumed operational control of the SAR operation allowing Street Car 302 and 304, who where both running low in fuel, to return to the USS Coral Sea.

Formal SAR operations continued throughout the day. After finding no trace of Captain LeFever, Captain Echanis, or their aircraft the SAR efforts were terminated at 1800 hours the same day.

Both Le Fever and Echanis were classified as Missing in Action and both were later promoted to Major. The Secretary of the Air Force approved Presumptive Findings of death for Major Douglas Paul LeFever, Arcanum, Ohio on June 29, 1978.

Panel 16W - Line 33

See additional memorials at The Virtual Wall and Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Return to Ubon RTABF Losses 1969


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  • Created by: Hope
  • Added: 3 Feb 2008
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 24338117
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/24338117/joseph-ygnacio-echanis: accessed ), memorial page for Maj Joseph Ygnacio Echanis Sr. (6 Oct 1937–1975), Find a Grave Memorial ID 24338117, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA; Maintained by Hope (contributor 46790939).