ALLEN, THOMAS RAY REMAINS RETURNED 11/03/97 Name: Thomas Ray Allen Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force Unit: 559th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Cam Ranh Bay Date of Birth: 17 January 1941 Home City of Record: Woodward OK Date of Loss: 31 July 1967 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 170900N 1065100E (XD993960) Status (in 1973): Missing in Action Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4C Refno: 0778 Other Personnel in Incident: Ronald L. Packard (missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 March 1990 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. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: The Phantom, used by Air Force, Marine and Navy air wings, served a multitude of functions including fighter-bomber and interceptor, photo and electronic surveillance. The two man aircraft was extremely fast (Mach 2), and had a long range (900 - 2300 miles, depending on stores and mission type). The F4 was also extremely maneuverable and handled well at low and high altitudes. The F4 was selected for a number of state-of-the-art electronics conversions, which improved radar intercept and computer bombing capabilities enormously. Most pilots considered it one of the "hottest" planes around. Capt. Thomas R. Allen was the pilot, and 1Lt. Ronald L. Packard the weapons/systems operator in an F4C aircraft which departed Cam Ranh Bay on a route reconnaissance mission on July 31, 1967 over North Vietnam. Allen's aircraft was the lead aircraft in a flight of two. He rolled in to attack a target and the crew of the number two aircraft observed what appeared to be a secondary explosion on the ground. Radio contact with Allen was unsuccessful. No parachutes were seen and no emergency radio beepers were heard. The flight was near the railroad tracks about 5 miles from the coast of Vietnam, 15 miles north of the city of Vinh Linh in Quang Binh Province. Allen and Packard were declared Missing in Action, and the area of loss and circumstances surrounding it indicated that their was a good possibility that the enemy had information on their fates. In 1973, 591 American Prisoners of War were released, but Allen and Packard were not among them, and the Vietnamese have consistently denied any knowledge of them or their fates. They are among nearly 2800 who were unaccounted for at the end of the war. Since Vietnam fell to communist control in 1975, nearly 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S. Government. Many authorities who have examined this largely classified information have reluctantly reached the conclusion that hundreds of Americans are still alive, held captive by our long-ago enemy. Whether Allen and Packard met their deaths over their target or ejected to be captured is unknown. It is not impossible that they are among those said to be still alive. What is certain, however, is that as long as even a single American remains alive in captivity in Southeast Asia, the war cannot be said to have ended with honor. We must bring our men home. ---------------------- National Alliance of Families Bits N Pieces 11/03/97 Remains Identified -- The following Air Force personnel were declared identified. They are Major Thomas R. Allen of Woodward, Ok.; Capt. Ronald L. Packard of Canon City, Co.; Maj. John C. Clark of Brownfield, Tx.; and Maj. Bobby G. Huggins of Montgomery, Al. According to records, Major Allen and Captain Packard were lost over North Vietnam on July 31, 1967. Major John Clark was lost over Laos on Dec. 5, 1969. His crewmate Patrick Harrold was accounted for and announced in the last Bits 'N' Pieces. At that time we asked what about John Clark. Now we know. Major Bobby Huggins and his crew member were lost over Vietnam on June 4, 1970. No mention was made of the crew member. All remains were accounted for based on mt-DNA testing. To these families, we hold you in our hearts and offer our prayers during this difficult time. We hope you have the answers, you have waited so long for.