Skip to comments.Servicemen Missing from Vietnam War Identified
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. Clarks 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.
I'm sorry - didn't mean to dredge it up again. It's just that I was weepy and I don't even know them.
For The FallenLaurence Robert Binyon, 1869-1943
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
They mingle not with laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.
Very true... and also the life Alan and Tonya could have enjoyed together.
He and I weren't what you might call "close" - he had his friends and I had mine - but still we were roomies and did things together all the time.
I keep thinking of the movie "Flight of the Intruder", where Morg was killed by a fluke shot. It was just so damn pointless...
Anyway, thanks for the poem (a great one which I had not read before), and all of your kind thoughts.
I really need to rummage through my basement and find the picture of Alan with his arm around Tonya sitting in the back of my Datsun pickup. We were all heading out to the sand dunes at Hazard Beach (South of Morro Bay, CA) for a picnic or something.
The weather is suppose to start clearing up beginning mid Tuesday and hold till at least Sunday.
Clark, 32, who is assigned to the 52nd Fighter Wings 52nd Operations Support Squadron, said he has wanted to join the team since childhood. He will serve as the teams advance pilot and air demonstration coordinator. He also will be the voice of the Thunderbirds during air shows as the narrator.Robert Alan Clark is smiling down from heaven right about now.
Im really just totally excited, he said. This is a lifelong dream. I feel really blessed that Ive been afforded the opportunity to really represent everyone else thats wearing the uniform whether in the States, overseas, or deployed.
Clark, 32, who is assigned to the 52nd Fighter Wings 52nd Operations Support Squadron, said he has wanted to join the team since childhood. He will serve as the teams advance pilot and air demonstration coordinator. He also will be the voice of the Thunderbirds during air shows as the narrator.
Well, I'm very happy to see you!
Kathy: Canteen Ping.
Thanks for the ping!