March 23, 1961 : U.S. plane shot down over Laos

Introduction

One of the first American casualties in Southeast Asia, an intelligence-gathering plane en route from Laos to Saigon is shot down over the Plain of Jars in central Laos. The mission was flown in an attempt to determine the extent of the Soviet support being provided to the communist Pathet Lao guerrillas in Laos. The guerrillas had been waging a war against the Royal Lao government since 1959. In a television news conference, President John F. Kennedy warned of communist expansion in Laos and said that a cease-fire must precede the start of negotiations to establish a neutral and independent nation.

Article Details:

March 23, 1961 : U.S. plane shot down over Laos

  • Author

    History.com Staff

  • Website Name

    History.com

  • Year Published

    2009

  • Title

    March 23, 1961 : U.S. plane shot down over Laos

  • URL

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/u-s-plane-shot-down-over-laos

  • Access Date

    November 18, 2017

  • Publisher

    A+E Networks