ANDERSON, ROBERT DALE
ANDERSON, ROBERT DALE Remains identified 10/30/98 [name withheld]
Name: Robert Dale Anderson Rank/Branch: O5/US Air Force Unit: 25th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Ubon Airfield, Thailand Date of Birth: 25 December 1931 Home City of Record: Battle Creek MI Date of Loss: 06 October 1972 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 210525N 1051740E (WJ280360) Status (In 1973): Missing In Action Category: 2 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F4E Other Personnel In Incident: George Latella (Released POW) Refno: 1934
Source: Compiled from 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 in 1998.
SYNOPSIS: LtCol. Robert D. Anderson, pilot and 1Lt. George F. Latella, weapons systems officer comprised an F4E Phantom fighter jet of the 25th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Ubon Airfield, Thailand.
On October 6, 1972, Anderson and Letella were dispatched from Ubon on a mission northwest of Hanoi near the city of Son Tay. This region had been heavily attacked by U.S. aircraft in Operation Rolling Thunder, concentrating on major supply lines to Hanoi. The city of Son Tay had been the site of a late November 1970 rescue attempt of American POWs. The mission, while successful, had not freed any POWs.
Anderson's F4 was hit by hostile fire and he and Latella ejected from the crippled aircraft. A good parachute was observed and voice contact was established on the ground. Anderson and Latella both had landed safely on the ground, although separated by several hundred yards.
LtCol. Anderson radioed, "I have a good parachute, am in good shape and can see no enemy forces on the ground." Latella was immediately taken captive. Radio Hanoi reported that "a number of U.S. pilots" were captured that same day, yet Anderson and Latella's plane was the only one shot down in North Vietnam that day. Latella was released with 590 other American POWs in 1973, but the communist government of Vietnam denies any knowledge of Robert D. Anderson.
Since American involvement in Vietnam ended in 1975, nearly 10,000 reports concerning Americans still missing in Southeast Asia have flowed in to the U.S. Government. A shocking 80% of them have been proven accurate, many relating to Americans who have returned home. Those relating to men still missing have convinced many authorities that hundreds of Americans remain alive today, captives of our long-ago enemy.
LtCol. Anderson may still be alive. He probably doesn't know he has been promoted to the rank of Colonel. He has undoubtedly figured out that he has been abandoned by the country he proudly served. What are we doing to bring these men home?