San Dewayne Francisco was born in Buckland Missouri in 1944. His family soon moved to Burbank Washington, where he grew up. San attended Kennewick High School where he was three sport athlete He graduated from Kennewick High School in 1962. 1962. From 1962 to 1966 San attended Central Washington State College (now Central Washington University) in Ellensburg. While at Central, San played football and wrestled while working three jobs to support his wife and son.
After graduating from Central and completing his Air Force ROTC training, San was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force in 1964. He then went to Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas to complete advanced pilot training. He was a member of the 555 (triple nickel) Tactical Fighter Squadron and flew the F-4D Phantom fighter jet. In 1968 San was sent to Vietnam where he completed his required number of missions and was scheduled to meet his wife for R&R in December, but on November 25, 1968 another pilot was ill and San volunteered to fly one more mission.
Major San Dewayne Francisco was shot down over North Vietnam on November 25,1968. He and the other pilot both ejected and landed near a North Vietnamese encampment. He established radio contact with search and rescue but had broken his legs and was soon captured by the enemy. He was laid in a field as an attempt to ambush the search and rescue, but was able to signal that it was a trap keeping another aircraft from being shot down. He was killed by shrapnel from a following bombing run. The North Vietnamese buried his body in the bomb crater. A few days later his remains were disinterred and used for propaganda photographs as the 2000th American pilot shot down. His remain were reinterred nearby, and there is an ongoing effort to find his remains.
The documents in this collection were collected by Terri Francisco-Farrell, San’s sister. This collection records her brother’s life and her efforts to have her brother’s remains returned to the United States. Air Force ROTC cadets, library students, and library faculty scanned the collection and it is presented here for continued education and awareness of the many men and women who remain missing from the Vietnam conflict.