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Servicemen Missing from Vietnam War Identified
United States Department of Defense ^ | January 9, 2004 | DoD Media Release

Posted on 01/09/2004 12:41:07 PM PST by Calpernia

Two servicemen missing in action from the Vietnam War have been identified and returned to their families for burial.

They are Navy Lt. j.g. Robert A. Clark of North Hollywood, Calif., and another officer whose name will not be released at the request of his family.

On Jan. 10, 1973, the two took off in an A-6A aircraft from USS Midway on a mission to suppress surface-to-air missiles in North Vietnam. Near the target area in Nghe An Province in North Vietnam, aircrew reported an estimated 15 surface-to-air missiles fired, as well as numerous antiaircraft rounds. Clark’s A-6A was not seen again.

Attempts to contact the crew for four days through radio and visual searches were unsuccessful.

In July 1991, U.S. researchers discovered in a Vietnamese military museum a data plate which correlated to the downed aircraft. Later, in another museum, they discovered photos of a crash site which also correlated to the missing aircraft. U.S. researchers examined Vietnamese wartime records which confirmed the downing of that aircraft in Nghe An Province in January 1973.

Between 1993 and 2002, U.S. researchers and joint U.S.-Vietnam teams conducted four field investigations and one excavation. During one of their field visits, a witness to the 1973 crash turned over remains he claimed to have recovered at the site. During the excavation in 2002, additional remains were recovered.

The remains were identified in 2003 by the Central Identification Laboratory through skeletal analysis and mitochondrial DNA. Of the 88,000 Americans missing in action from all conflicts, 1,871 are from the Vietnam War.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: a6a; cil; dna; ltclark; mia; nghe; ussmidway; vietnam; welcomehome
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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1 posted on 01/09/2004 12:41:09 PM PST by Calpernia
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To: MJY1288; Calpernia; Grampa Dave; anniegetyourgun; Ernest_at_the_Beach; BOBTHENAILER; ...
Two servicemen missing in action from the Vietnam War have been identified and returned to their families for burial


2 posted on 01/09/2004 12:42:19 PM PST by Calpernia (Innocence seldom utters outraged shrieks. Guilt does.)
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To: Calpernia
How long did these families have to wait for this news while the fine Dean family was getting word that brother Dean the draft dodger and anti-war nut was being IDed as killed in one of his beloved communist countries in SE Asia?
3 posted on 01/09/2004 12:43:34 PM PST by RetiredArmy (We'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American Way! Toby Keith)
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To: All
Rank Location Receipts Donors/Avg Freepers/Avg Monthlies
42 Oklahoma 101.00
5
20.20
199
0.51
126.00
9

Thanks for donating to Free Republic!

Move your locale up the leaderboard!

4 posted on 01/09/2004 12:45:22 PM PST by Support Free Republic (Happy New Year)
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To: Calpernia
May they finally rest in peace.
5 posted on 01/09/2004 12:46:19 PM PST by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: Calpernia
I am glad they are both back home again.
6 posted on 01/09/2004 12:49:10 PM PST by Donna Lee Nardo
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To: Calpernia; RetiredArmy
Welcome Home, Brothers.

I doubt, RA, that Dean got any priority in the process.

7 posted on 01/09/2004 12:55:44 PM PST by onedoug
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To: RetiredArmy
For the folks that weren't in Vietnam in 1972 and 1973, they just have no idea.
8 posted on 01/09/2004 1:04:27 PM PST by U S Army EOD (When the EOD technician screws up, he is always the first to notice.)
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To: Calpernia
Thanks Calpernia. Two more warriors come home.
9 posted on 01/09/2004 1:06:45 PM PST by SAMWolf (Ted Kennedy's Bumper Sticker: My other car is underwater.)
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To: onedoug
Yes he did. A couple or three weeks or more ago, there were several stories out about how Dean's brother's remains had been moved to the front of the line to ID. Jumped over many that have been there for quite some time. The soldiers there were required to salute his remains as they were covered with a US flag. He never was in the military and did not deserve that salute or flag on his coffin. He was in SE Asia on a commie love fest, anti-US in Nam quest and the very people he was there to love, killed him.
10 posted on 01/09/2004 1:36:16 PM PST by RetiredArmy (We'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American Way! Toby Keith)
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To: RetiredArmy
I surely agree with the latter part of your post, but am unaware of the first aspects.

If true, it stinks. I'd suspect some State Department fifth column schist.

Thanks for your service. Best always.

11 posted on 01/09/2004 1:44:29 PM PST by onedoug
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To: Calpernia
Servicemen Missing from Vietnam War Identified ~ Bump!
12 posted on 01/09/2004 1:47:59 PM PST by blackie
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To: Calpernia
These two Servicemen are to be honored by all.
Welcome home, sleep well.
Although he is most certainly not returning I proudly wear a POW/MIA Bracelet since Thanksgiving of 1971. It has not been off my wrist since. LCDR Charles Marik, shot down in June of 1966. Should it ever break I will wear it like dogtags. A man is still with us as long as he is remembered. To all others still missing Well Done, you have paid the untimate price for our Freedom.
13 posted on 01/09/2004 1:58:56 PM PST by YOMO
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To: blackie
Servicemen Missing from Vietnam War Identified ~ Bump!

ditto BUMP

14 posted on 01/09/2004 2:01:15 PM PST by ZinGirl
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To: ZinGirl
I enjoy your dots ~ Bump! :)
15 posted on 01/09/2004 2:16:48 PM PST by blackie
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To: Calpernia
Bump!
16 posted on 01/09/2004 2:37:32 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Calpernia
My roomate in college was Alan Clark. He shot down over SE Asia and listed as MIA ever since. God, I wonder if that was him.
17 posted on 01/09/2004 3:14:20 PM PST by snopercod (Wishing y'all a prosperous, happy, and FREE new year!)
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To: Calpernia
They are Navy Lt. j.g. Robert A. Clark of North Hollywood, Calif., and another officer whose name will not be released at the request of his family.

On Jan. 10, 1973, the two took off in an A-6A aircraft from USS Midway on a mission to suppress surface-to-air missiles in North Vietnam. Near the target area in Nghe An Province in North Vietnam, aircrew reported an estimated 15 surface-to-air missiles fired, as well as numerous antiaircraft rounds. Clark’s A-6A was not seen again.

Name: Robert Alan Clark
Rank/Branch: O2/US Navy
Unit: Attack Squadron 115, USS MIDWAY
Date of Birth: 21 September 1946
Home City of Record: North Hollywood CA
Date of Loss: 10 January 1973
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 185948N 1051836E (WG327003)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A6A
Refno: 1979
Other Personnel in Incident: Michael T. McCormick (missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project with the assistance of one or more
of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence
with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews: 01 January 1990.
Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 1998 with information provided by Dave
Anderson.


SYNOPSIS: Lt. Michael T. McCormick was a pilot and Lt.JG Robert A. Clark a bombardier/navigator assigned to Attack Squadron 115 onboard the aircraft
carrier USS MIDWAY (CVA-41). On January 10, 1973, 17 days before an agreement was signed in Paris ending American involvement in the war in Southeast Asia, McCormick and Clark launched in their A6A "Intruder" attack aircraft.
Together with another A6 aircraft, they were to provide support for B52 air strikes, and had three targets assigned to them over North Vietnam.

The weather that day was overcast with a 1500 foot cloud cover. There was intense surface-to-air (SAM) missile activity in their target area, and an estimated total of 15 missiles were fired - three at the USS Midway aircraft
and 12 at the B52s.
The crew of another aircraft reported that he did not
think the missiles were aimed at him.
The boosters of the missiles were
diffused by the overcast, which proved to be very distracting. On egress the crewman noted additional SAM boosters along with the glow from the B52 bomb
strikes.
He coasted out over the coast and planned to orbit there until McCormick and Clark crossed the coastline to join him.

When McCormick and Clark did not arrive, and there was no radio contact, the wingman retraced his route at an altitude of 15,000 feet while making
numerous radio calls. No fires were seen and no enemy reaction was noted. Other aircraft crewmembers thought they heard a 3-4 second transmission that
sounded like an ECM (emergency transmission), but Search and Rescue (SAR) missions were flown in the area with no contact and no crash location or
wreckage found.

McCormick and Clark were last known to be over Nghe An Province, about 20 miles west of the city of Phu Dien Chau. Both men were placed in Missing in Action status. Other than the brief radio signal, no sign of either man was ever found.
http://www.scopesys.com/cgi/bio2.cgi?bio=C174



Name: Michael Timothy McCormick
Rank/Branch: O3/US Navy
Unit: Attack Squadron 115, USS MIDWAY
Date of Birth: 08 July 1946
Home City of Record: Honolulu HI
Date of Loss: 10 January 1973
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 185948N 1051836E (WG327003)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A6A
Other Personnel in Incident: Robert A. Clark (missing)
Refno: 1979

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project with the assistance of one or more
of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources,
correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews: 01
January 1990. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 1998 with information proved by
Dave Anderson.



SYNOPSIS: Lt. Michael T. McCormick was a pilot and Lt.JG Robert A. Clark a bombardier/navigator assigned to Attack Squadron 115 onboard the aircraft carrier USS MIDWAY (CVA-41).
On January 10, 1973, 17 days before an agreement was signed in Paris ending American involvement in the war in
Southeast Asia, McCormick and Clark launched in their A6A "Intruder" attack aircraft. Together with another A6 aircraft, they were to provide support for B52 air strikes, and had three targets assigned to them over North
Vietnam.

The weather that day was overcast with a 1500 foot cloud cover. There was intense surface-to-air (SAM) missile activity in their target area, and an
estimated total of 15 missiles were fired - three at the USS Midway aircraft and 12 at the B52s. The crew of another aircraft reported that he did not think the missiles were aimed at him.
The boosters of the missiles were diffused by the overcast, which proved to be very distracting. On egress the
crewman noted additional SAM boosters along with the glow from the B52 bomb strikes. He coasted out over the coast and planned to orbit there until McCormick and Clark crossed the coastline to join him.

When McCormick and Clark did not arrive, and there was no radio contact, the wingman retraced his route at an altitude of 15,000 feet while making
numerous radio calls. No fires were seen and no enemy reaction was noted.
Other aircraft crewmembers thought they heard a 3-4 second transmission that sounded like an ECM (emergency transmission), but Search and Rescue (SAR)
missions were flown in the area with no contact and no crash location or wreckage found.

McCormick and Clark were last known to be over Nghe An Province, about 20 miles west of the city of Phu Dien Chau. Both men were placed in Missing in Action status. Other than the brief radio signal, no sign of either man was
ever found.

Because of the circumstances surrounding the downing of this aircraft, and the fact that the area was heavily defended, the U.S. believes there is good
reason to suspect that the Vietnamese know the fates of McCormick and Clark.
The Vietnamese, however, deny any knowledge of them.
http://www.scopesys.com/cgi/bio2.cgi?bio=M192
18 posted on 01/09/2004 8:58:03 PM PST by Valin (We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.)
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To: RetiredArmy; onedoug
I ,too, was offended that "Howard Dean's brother's remains" were given full honors.I googled and found out why.It was a precautionary event,in case the remains were of a US military person and not Dean.I googled the statement in quotes.I hope this helps.

May the famililies of the Navy pilots be comforted .I honor their sacrifice.May they rest in peace.
19 posted on 01/10/2004 1:01:06 AM PST by MEG33 (We Got Him!)
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To: Calpernia; SAMWolf; snippy_about_it
It's confirmed. Clark was my college roommate. Must go now...

Robert Alan Clark

20 posted on 01/10/2004 12:09:04 PM PST by snopercod (You can't choose how or when you're going to die.. You can only decide how you're going to live.)
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To: snopercod
I'm glad they are both home now. May they rest in peace.

Please accept my condolences. Thank you for the link to the page about Robert, his son looks just like him.
21 posted on 01/10/2004 12:18:44 PM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: Valin
"His plane was the last Navy jet lost in Vietnam."

I knew his wife Tonya, too.

22 posted on 01/10/2004 12:23:21 PM PST by snopercod (You can't choose how or when you're going to die.. You can only decide how you're going to live.)
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To: snippy_about_it
My other roommate and I have lost track of his wife Tonya. Last we heard, she lived in Seattle. She was a real sweetheart. Good singing voice, too.

We are attempting to locate her once again. I would like to go the memorial service if one is going to be held.

I'm not sure why I am crying so much over this...hell, it's been 35 years since I've seen him.

23 posted on 01/10/2004 12:29:19 PM PST by snopercod (You can't choose how or when you're going to die.. You can only decide how you're going to live.)
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To: snopercod
Accept my condolences Snopercod. Robert can finally Rest is Peace.
24 posted on 01/10/2004 12:36:27 PM PST by SAMWolf (Ted Kennedy's Bumper Sticker: My other car is underwater.)
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To: SAMWolf
Thanks Sam. This is going to be tough on his wife and son. I'm pretty sure that Tonya remarried.

If I can find any old photos of him and Tonya from '68, I'll post them. (We went to Cal Poly, SLO together).

25 posted on 01/10/2004 1:26:06 PM PST by snopercod (You can't choose how or when you're going to die.. You can only decide how you're going to live.)
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To: snopercod
I hope this doesn't open old wounds for Tonya. Hopefully she'll be able to lay this part of her life to rest. please convey my condolences and my thanks for the sacrifice she's made.
26 posted on 01/10/2004 1:48:05 PM PST by SAMWolf (Ted Kennedy's Bumper Sticker: My other car is underwater.)
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To: Calpernia
The remains were identified in 2003 by the Central Identification Laboratory through skeletal analysis and mitochondrial DNA. Of the 88,000 Americans missing in action from all conflicts, 1,871 are from the Vietnam War.

Welcome home American warriors.
Thank You, for the ultimate sacrifice.
Rest In Peace.

27 posted on 01/10/2004 2:04:49 PM PST by JoeSixPack1 (POW/MIA Bring 'em Home, Or Send us Back!! Semper Fi)
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To: snopercod
I'm not sure why I am crying so much over this...

I imagine bringing Robert home finally brings home the reality to you again, no matter how many years have past. I'm sorry for your loss. I hope you can go to the memorial and locate his wife.

28 posted on 01/10/2004 2:10:54 PM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: snippy_about_it; DB
We're trying to locate Tonya via his son Tad. Tad's stationed over in Okinawa or Korea we think. The military is very cautious about releasing personal information (Linda Tripp excepted).

Alan (nobody ever called him Robert) built this "dune buggy" thing out of a stripped down Buick or Oldsmobile or something - just a frame with a powertrain. V-8 with straight stacks, and loud as hell. Really cool.

We used to drive that thing all over the dunes at Hazard Beach, just South of Morro Bay. It had no brakes in reverse, as we learned when we couldn't make it up "suicide hill" and had to careen back down at 30 MPH backwards. Thought we were gonna' die on that one...just missed a huge rock at the bottom.

He was one of those serious students - always studying so he could make something of himself.

Last Navy plane to be shot down in the Viet Nam war. What a waste of a good life. (Somebody stop me before my anti-war sentiments from the 60s reassert themselves!)

29 posted on 01/10/2004 2:40:34 PM PST by snopercod (You can't choose how or when you're going to die.. You can only decide how you're going to live.)
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To: snopercod
Keep your eye on the news about this so you can find out about the service if possible. Good luck finding Alan's son and Tonya.
30 posted on 01/10/2004 2:45:56 PM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: snopercod
I'm sorry to hear about this. It sounds like he lived a full life while he was here.

Reminds me of some of the stupid things I did with friends in cars in my teenage years... In a similar contraption flying through a plowed field the battery fell into the engine fan... It “the car” had no hood or windshield… The acid spray went in our faces… We bailed out an ran for water… We had red faces for awhile…

What would life be without those experiences? ;-)

And what would we do now if we saw our kids doing similar things???
31 posted on 01/10/2004 5:13:46 PM PST by DB ()
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To: snopercod
Six degrees of separation, must be true.
32 posted on 01/10/2004 8:23:42 PM PST by Valin (We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.)
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To: Calpernia; snippy_about_it
First to Calpernia: Thank you so much for posting this thread. I would never have know that Alan was found, otherwise.

Secondly: Alan's other roommate and I located Tonya and Tad both, but we were too late for the service.

The Internet really wasn't all that much help. I got a list of Tonya Clarks from people.yahoo.com, and called about 10 of them (with the right middle initial) with no luck.

My friend called Kunsan Air Base in Korea (ouch!), and was told that Tad was now in Spangdahlem, Germany. I did manage to find an after-hours phone number on the Internet for the 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs. My friend called there (ouch! again), told them his story, and left his phone number.

Tad had just gotten back from the burial service in Washington State four hours prior, and called my friend.

33 posted on 01/11/2004 1:41:27 PM PST by snopercod (Trying to get to the moon again will be like getting pecked to death by ducks.)
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To: snopercod
I offer my condolences...

take care my friend,

Jim

34 posted on 01/11/2004 1:53:27 PM PST by in the Arena (1st Lt. James W. Herrick, Jr., - MIA - Laos - 27 October 69 "Fire Fly 33")
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To: ALOHA RONNIE
ping to a homecoming for two more heros...
35 posted on 01/11/2004 1:59:39 PM PST by in the Arena (1st Lt. James W. Herrick, Jr., - MIA - Laos - 27 October 69 "Fire Fly 33")
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To: snopercod
I'm glad you found them, and sorry you missed the service. Thanks for letting me know.
36 posted on 01/11/2004 2:06:05 PM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: in the Arena
Thanks. Love your home page.
37 posted on 01/11/2004 4:10:36 PM PST by snopercod (Trying to get to the moon again will be like getting pecked to death by ducks.)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; in the Arena; Calpernia; joanie-f
E-mail from my friend last night:
About 2 hours after you and I talked last, Tonya called me. Tad had called her.

She said that immediately after they found Alan's remains,,, one of the guys on his squadron started emailing everyone he could,,, and so like 85% of the squadron was at the services which were on Friday evening and Sat morning [at Arlington National Cemetary]. She said there were senators and congressmen there and a governor of some state too....a BUNCH of high big wigs.

She was heartbroken that you and I couldn't be there.....she said that all kinds of things are happening.........remember just the other day when you and I talked???? When I asked you how you found that particular post on FR?? And you said you don't usually go to that section but you did?? It seems like a bunch of things like that are happening. IE, Tad explained to me that due to the time difference between here and Nam,,, it was exactly 31 years almost to the hour between Clark getting shot down and the services beginning in DC. And Tonya and Tad are both Christians and Tonya was just amazed at how all this happened so fast and about how you and I tried so desperately to find her/Tad and she was cryin' on the phone,,, too.

[snip]

Anyway,,, Tonya said she did get remarried but that it didn't last and she still goes by Clark. Clark's sis is still around but his parents are gone....they were pretty old when Clark was young, already. She teaches voice and piano!!! up there near Seattle. It was weird,,,Sharon and I were sittin' out in the front yard in the sun havin' a beer and the phone rang and I ran in to get it and Tonya says' 'this is Tonya Clark',,, so I just immediately went 'la la laaaaaa'. She got it. I told her you have a tape somewhere you're trying to find of her singing that. THAT needs to be on an audio file,,, huh....post it everywhere.

So, thanks again. I did find a couple pics you took....of Clark and Tonya in the back of your Datsun parked at Foothill Gardens,,,,that's the ONLY pic I've found of those days. Also one of him shakin' hands with some navy captain or something.....I thought sure I had more,,, I gotta go through ALL my negatives.


38 posted on 01/12/2004 3:40:57 AM PST by snopercod (Trying to get to the moon again will be like getting pecked to death by ducks.)
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To: snopercod
Thanks snopercod. Your homepage has you in NC. Not to far at all to take a drive to Arlington. ;-)

Thanks for sharing the e-mail. I'm so very glad they were able to bring Alan home and that they chose to bury him in Arlington, it's such a humbling and beautiful place to visit.
39 posted on 01/12/2004 4:03:52 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: snopercod
Thanks for sharing a little of Tonya with us snopercod.

I'm glad a lot of his old Squadron mates made it to the service. Sounds like Tonya is doing ok and she'll be finally be able to lay Alan to Rest. I wish her well. I know the feeling about the pictures, I could have sworn I had more of a friend of mine. It's amazing how many boxes and albums of photographs you accumulate over the years. Good luck in your hunt, each one will you find will renew a memory of a different time and place.
40 posted on 01/12/2004 7:20:37 AM PST by SAMWolf (Meddle not in the affairs of wizards, for <>...ribbit.)
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To: snopercod
Thanks for sharing that personal note...
41 posted on 01/12/2004 9:30:50 AM PST by in the Arena (1st Lt. James W. Herrick, Jr., - MIA - Laos - 27 October 69 "Fire Fly 33")
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To: snopercod; SAMWolf
Update on this story.

DNA brings closure
Tonya Clark of Lynnwood lost her husband in Vietnam in 1973. Recently she could finally put him to rest.

By Pamela Brice
Herald Writer

LYNNWOOD -- Tonya Clark wondered for more than 30 years what had happened to her husband, Alan, who never returned from Vietnam.

Finally, thanks to DNA identification, she now knows.

His remains were finally found, and last month, on the 31st anniversary of his disappearance, Clark and 85 percent of his squadron (150 people) attended his memorial at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Clark's home is accented with framed prayers and military insignia, in memory of her late husband and in honor of her son, who is following in his footsteps.

Lt. Alan "Arlo" Clark, a Navy bombardier-navigator, was stationed at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station when in spring 1972 he was called to war. His wife was pregnant with their first child.

Alan Clark's roommate on the USS Midway was pilot Jim Horsley.

"When we were deployed, Tonya and my wife were both pregnant, and we had a farewell dinner in San Francisco before the ship sailed," said Horsley, of Lake Forest Park.

Their jobs were to fly combat missions over North Vietnam, suppressing surface-to-air missiles. Clark flew more than 200 missions.

In the early hours of Jan. 10, 1973, just a few weeks before the war ended, Clark and his pilot launched their A-6 Intruder on a single-plane strike against a surface-to-air missile site 20 miles north of Vinh, North Vietnam.

"My navigator had given them our map, because we had flown that target the night before," Horsley said.

"They didn't come back."

Horsley was scheduled for a 5 a.m. mission that day. It quickly became a search-and-rescue mission.

"We launched at sunrise, but it was so clouded and the weather was so bad, we flew over the target, but got no range of the (emergency radio) beacon," he said.

John Koch of Edmonds was a bombardier-navigator like Alan Clark. He remembers flying search missions that day.

"It was devastating to us," Koch said. "This was the first airplane I could remember that we lost -- the first combat loss, where someone went out and never came back."

Horsley said the crews could only guess what happened.

"We had flown there, and with all the anti-aircraft and missile glows racing past the airplane, it's like a psychedelic effect and very disorienting. Based on that, and the weather, our sense at the time was that maybe they had flown into the ground."

Back on Whidbey Island, Tonya Clark remembers attending a memorial for a crew member when she went into labor with her son, Tad, on Oct. 31, 1972.

"During that memorial service, I felt so bad for the wife who lost her husband," she said, not knowing she would soon suffer the same fate.

A few months later, she received a visit from the chaplain and the commanding officer's wife.

"They said he was missing in action," she said, adding she was 25 at the time. "I felt shock, disbelief, all of these feelings at the same time. You know in the back of your mind this could happen, because your husband's in the military, for goodness sakes. But you can't imagine it's true."

Clark said her religious faith and her new role as mother helped her deal with the tragedy.

"You have a baby to take care of, so you can't just focus on your woes. You have a human life to concentrate on," she said.

Years went by, and Clark raised her son, who decided at an early age he wanted to be a fighter pilot.

"His father has always been his hero. I was thrilled he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps," she said.

Tad Clark went to King's High School in Shoreline before graduating from the Air Force Academy in 1996. He is now a captain and flies F-16s in Germany.

Meanwhile, Clark never lost hope that her husband would be found.

Recently, he was.

U.S. researchers found photos of a crash scene in a Hanoi museum that provided clues to locate an excavation site. Remains were found.

"It was pretty remarkable," she said. "I was amazed they were able to locate him, and also by the perseverance of our government to try to find those who have fallen in war."

Last month, she, her son and members of Clark's squadron attended his long-awaited memorial.

"It was very moving for all of us all, because it put closure on our lives," said Koch, who also took his oldest son and wife.

The memorial became a reunion for the squadron.

"When we got back from the war, everyone scattered," Horsley said. "Arlington was an amazing experience. This was the first time in 31 years the whole group came together."

Tad Clark read a poem he had written about his father, and "there wasn't a dry eye in the chapel," Koch said.

Walking behind the casket to the grave site was memorable as well.

"Arlington National Cemetery is huge, and we walked all the way. The snow was gently falling, and we noticed how quiet it was, like a piece of God hovering over that service. It was just beautiful," Clark said.

Then, the folding of the flag, a 21-gun salute, taps ... "The military really knows how to honor him. It was done so beautifully. And it meant so much," she said.



42 posted on 02/22/2004 3:01:37 PM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: snippy_about_it
Thanks for the update to this story Snopercod and Snippy.
43 posted on 02/22/2004 3:03:23 PM PST by SAMWolf (Contrary to popular belief Hamas has nothing to do with ham. If you throw ham at them they get angry)
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To: SAMWolf; snopercod
I forgot the link. Here it is and there are pictures there.
44 posted on 02/22/2004 3:04:38 PM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: Calpernia

Now...for the other 1871...it's time they came home!


45 posted on 01/10/2005 6:57:22 AM PST by StarCMC (It's God's job to forgive Bin Laden; it's our job to arrange the meeting.)
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To: snopercod
I'm not sure why I am crying so much over this...hell, it's been 35 years since I've seen him.

BEcause he was your friend. HUGS.

46 posted on 01/10/2005 7:02:20 AM PST by StarCMC (It's God's job to forgive Bin Laden; it's our job to arrange the meeting.)
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To: StarCMC

Wow. Has a year really past since this post? It feels like yesterday. I remember posting it like it was yesterday.

chilling.


47 posted on 01/10/2005 7:04:53 AM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: Calpernia

Valin linked to it this morning and I went and looked...and bawled.


48 posted on 01/10/2005 7:07:44 AM PST by StarCMC (It's God's job to forgive Bin Laden; it's our job to arrange the meeting.)
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To: Calpernia

Welcome home...


49 posted on 01/10/2005 7:15:13 AM PST by in the Arena (James Wayne Herrick, Jr. Captain/US Air Force - MIA - Laos - 27 October 1969)
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To: StarCMC
Great, now I'm getting weepy again...

My other roommate actually drove from LA up to Seattle last year to visit Tonya. She still looks good - just like I remembered her.

This photo is of Tonya, Tad, and Tad's fiance, and was taken at the funeral. I'll leave it up for a day or two..


50 posted on 01/10/2005 7:30:09 AM PST by snopercod (Due to the graphic nature of this tagline, viewer discretion is advised.)
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