CREED, BARTON SHELDON
Name: Barton Sheldon Creed Rank/Branch: O3/US Navy Unit: Date of Birth: 03 April 1945 Home City of Record: Peekskill NY Date of Loss: 13 March 1971 Country of Loss: Laos Loss Coordinates: 161210N 1063300E Status (In 1973): Prisoner of War Category: 2 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: A7E Refno: 1724 Other Personnel In Incident:
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 March 1991 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 2001.
REMARKS: MAY HAVE BEEN CAPTURED
SYNOPSIS: The Vought A7 Corsair II was a single-seat attack jet utilized by both the Navy and Air Force in Vietnam. The aircraft was designed to meet the Navy's need for a subsonic attack plane able to carry a greater load of non-nuclear weapons that the A4 Skyhawk. The aircraft's unique design completely freed the wingspace for bomb loading; the Pratt and Whitney jet engine was beneath the fuselage of the aircraft. The Corsair was used primarily for close air support and interdiction, although it was also used for reconnaissance.
Lt. Barton S. Creed was pilot of an A7E aircraft which launched from the USS RANGER on March 13, 1971 for a combat mission. Creed was shot down over the Ho Chi Minh Trail during the mission. He ejected from the aircraft and landed on the ground, breaking an arm and a leg in the process. Forward Air Control (FAC) immediately established his position and marked a false location with a smoke bomb hoping to draw the enemy away from his position. FAC remained in constant radio contact with Creed.
Search and rescue helicopters made three attempts to pick him up. On the first pass the helicopter crew thought they saw movement in the grass about 100 feet from Creed's position, but they decided to attempt the rescue anyway. The helicopter hovered over Creed and a rescue man was let down on a boom within 30 feet of the ground when small arms fire became so intense that the helicopter was hit, injuring some of the crew.
Completely surrounded by the North Vietnamese, Creed's last transmittal was "Pick me up, pick me up now! They are here!"
The search and rescue (SAR) plane made a wide sweep while two helicopters tried to clear the area around Creed's position. About 4 minutes later, a second rescue attempt was made, but small arms fire was even more intense. Both helicopters received disabling fire, and the co-pilot of one was seriously wounded. Neither helicopter made it back to base, but the crew was recovered.
Between the second and third attempts, Creed was moved. The third attempt came from helicopters that had been standing by to the wet of the area and they arrived 15-20 minutes later. They also received heavy ground fire. Creed's parachute had been moved a little, and he could no longer be seen by SAR.
The fourth attempt was made after darkness, and a man was sent down on a jungle penetrator and stayed down for some time. There was no sign of Lt. Creed.
The next morning the original FAC was granted permission to go back and look for Creed again. FAC found that Creed's parachute had been moved about 500 meters and had been spread out. The pilot believed that NVA soldiers had spread the parachute as a decoy for U.S. planes, as no American pilot trying to evade capture would advertise his presence in this manner.
Rescue pilots say Creed was "most certainly alive" when they last saw him. However, Creed's name did not appear on any list of prisoners provided by the North Vietnamese.
One returned POW, who had been captured one week later in the same area, believes he saw Creed's ID card as it was flashed in front of him at his initial interrogation. Another released POW reported to Creed's mother that a prison guard had drawn a picture of an aircraft like the one Creed flew and then pantomimed putting a leg splint on a large American man.
Creed is one of nearly 600 men who were lost in Laos whose freedom was never negotiated for in the peace agreements of 1973. Although the Pathet Lao claimed to have held "tens of tens" of American POWs, not one was ever released.
Since the war ended, the Defense Department has received over 10,000 reports relating to the men still unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, yet concludes that no actionable evidence has been received that would indicate Americans are still alive in Southeast Asia. A recent Senate investigation indicates that most of these reports were dismissed without just cause, and that there is every indication that Americans remained in captivity far after the war ended, and may be alive today.
It's time we learned the truth about our missing and brought them home.
Barton S. Creed was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander during the period he was maintained a prisoner of war. He is unmarried, and his parents still await word about him.
Subject: Regarding LCDR. Barton Sheldon Creed, USN, MIA in 1971 Date: Sat, 17 Feb 2001 11:44:11 EST
It came to my attention that all bios of Bart Creed list him as single. I have corrected that error in information at "virtualwall" through Ken Davis: firstname.lastname@example.org
He recommended I give you the correct information as well. I am perplexed as to why the DoD database holds erroneous information as I get frequent updates and communications from the office that handles pow/mia affairs.
To wit: My name is Susan Page Creed Percy. I was married to Lt.jg. Barton S. Creed on June 8, 1967 in the chapel at USNA, four days after he graduated and was commissioned.
We had two children. Scott Sheldon Creed, just selected to rank of Major in the U.S. Marine Corps is a Marine aviator presently living in Florida with his family, wife Barbara, and two children, Caroline (age 4) and Bart (age 22 mos.). Scott graduated from USNA in 1991.
Our daughter, Judith Page Creed O'Flaherty, graduated from Annapolis in 1992 and served five years with the Navy, the last two as an F-18 maintenance officer with a fleet squadron attached to the carrier Nimitz. After she separated from the Navy she married a naval aviator. They now have two children, a son David (age 19 mos.) and a daughter, Mary Susan (age four months).
Both children have turned out to do great honor to their father's memory.
Bart's mother is still alive at age 90. We all were with her to celebrate her birthday on Feb. 9, 2001 Still vigorous and healthy she was very active in POW/MIA affairs until last year. She is slowing down a bit, but still holds hope we'll have a final resolution of Bart's status.
In 1988 we did have a service for Bart in the section of Arlington that memorializes those whose bodies were not recovered. Mr. Creed was able to attend but passed away a few months later.
In 1996, we learned that the search teams interviewed sources with sketchy knowledge of the incidents surrounding Bart's disappearance. The information indicates that Bart died on the ground from injuries, perhaps from the ejection. He was then, according to best recollections, buried in a bunker nearby. The search for his remains goes on but it is a daunting task as the whole area is covered now in dense jungle.
I remarried a Marine Corps aviator after the war ended. We had a son, David, to join my children by Bart. I'm now a freelance writer, frequently focusing on memories of Bart or advocacy for military families. We live in Virginia, not far from DC, which affords us all the opportunity to visit both Bart's memorial in Arlington and The Wall.
If there are further questions I can answer about Bart, I will be pleased to do the best I can. I am sorry I did not know earlier about the various websites with information pertaining to Bart or I would have made these corrections earlier. Especially for all those strangers who wore his bracelet or wondered about him all these years. Perhaps they will finally be glad to know that though Bart is gone, his legacy lives on through his grandchildren, some of whom definitely bear resemblances to him and one who bears his name.