BUCKLEY, VICTOR PATRICK
Name: Victor Patrick Buckley Rank/Branch: O3/US Navy Unit: Date of Birth: 04 August 1944 Home City of Record: Falls Church VA Date of Loss: 16 December 1969 Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Over Water Loss Coordinates: 173758N 1073857E (YE811514) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 2 Aircraft/Veicle/Ground: RF8G Refno: 1537 Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 April 1990 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 2007.
SYNOPSIS: The Vought F8 "Crusader" saw action early in U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia. Its fighter models participated both in the first Gulf of Tonkin reprisal in August 1964 and in the myriad attacks against North Vietnam during Operation Rolling Thunder. The Crusader was used exclusively by the Navy and Marine air wings (although there is one U.S. Air Force pilot reported shot down on an F8) and represented half or more of the carrier fighters in the Gulf of Tonkin during the first four years of the war. The aircraft was credited with nearly 53% of MiG kills in Vietnam.
The most frequently used fighter versions of the Crusader in Vietnam were the C, D, and E models although the H and J were also used. The Charlie carried only Sidewinders on fuselage racks, and were assigned such missions as CAP (Combat Air Patrol), flying at higher altitudes. The Echo model had a heavier reinforced wing able to carry extra Sidewinders or bombs, and were used to attack ground targets, giving it increased vulnerability. The Echo version launched with less fuel, to accommodate the larger bomb store, and frequently arrived back at ship low on fuel. The RF-A models were equipped for photo reconnaissance. The RF-G were also photographic versions, but with additional cameras and navigational equipment.
The combat attrition rate of the Crusader was comparable to similar fighters. Between 1964 to 1972, eighty-three Crusaders were either lost or destroyed by enemy fire. Another 109 required major rebuilding. 145 Crusader pilots were recovered; 57 were not. Twenty of these pilots were captured and released. The other 43 remained missing at the end of the war. In addition, there were 16 pilots who went down on photographic versions of the aircraft. Of these 16, seven were captured (six were released, one died in captivity).
Lt. Victor P. Buckley was the pilot of an RF8A on a combat mission in North Vietnam on December 16, 1969. His aircraft was hit by enemy fire, and he evidently headed out to sea for easier rescue, as the site where his aircraft is recorded to have crashed is about 75 miles offshore east of the city of Quang Khe in the Gulf of Tonkin. It was felt that there was little or no hope that he survived, and Buckley was declared Killed/Body Not Recovered.
The Defense Intelligence Agency further expanded Buckley's classification to include an enemy knowledge ranking of 2. Category 2 indicates "suspect knowledge" and includes personnel who may have been involved in loss incidents with individuals reported in Category 1 (confirmed knowledge), or who were lost in areas or under conditions that they may reasonably be expected to be known by the enemy; who were connected with an incident which was discussed but not identified by names in enemy news media; or identified (by elimination, but not 100% positively) through analysis of all-source intelligence.
Buckley is listed among the missing because his remains were never located to return home. He is among over 2300 still prisoner, missing, or otherwise unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.
Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing, prisoner or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S. Government. Many authorities who have examined this largely classified information are convinced that hundreds of Americans are still held captive today. Fighter pilots in Vietnam were called upon to fly in many dangerous circumstances, and were prepared to be wounded, killed, or captured. It probably never occurred to them that some of them could be abandoned by the country they proudly served.
From: "russell" To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: bio information Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2007 21:25:49 -0700
my brother is listed on your website. thank you for remembering him. we have arranged a "burial"/memorial service for him at arlington on july 3rd. as a result, i was doing some reflecting and found your website. i was surprised to read that his aircraft was "hit by enemy fire". that was not mentioned in any of the correspondence and message traffic that i read in the year or so following the date he was reported missing (dec 16, 1969). i don't know why the family was not made aware of that information? i am now curious to know if it is true. can you tell me any more about the source of the information so that i can do some research of my own? i would certainly appreciate it it you can. russell buckley (brother).
If you flew with Victor, or were part of the S&R team please contact the NETWORK so we can get you in touch with family.