CLARK, PHILLIP SPRATT JR. Remains Returned 3 November 1988 Name: Phillip Spratt Clark, Jr. Rank/Branch: O3/US Navy Unit: Attack Squadron 113, USS RANGER Date of Birth: 06 January 1946 (Phoenix AZ) Home City of Record: Fairchild AFB WA Date of Loss: 24 December 1972 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 105000N 1070900E (YJ360170) Status (in 1973): Missing in Action Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A7E Refno: 1969 Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 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: 15 March 1990 Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 1998. REMARKS: GOOD CHUTE & VOICE SYNOPSIS: Lt.Cdr. Phillip S. Clark, Jr. was a pilot assigned to Attack Squadron 113 onboard the aircraft carrier USS RANGER (CVA-61). On December 24, 1972, he launched in his A7E "Corsair" as the number two aircraft in a flight of three. Their mission was to mine the Chateau Renaud Channel, Quang Ninh Province, North Vietnam at a point approximately 1/4 nautical mile off the northwestern tip of Ile Rousse. Low ceilings and reduced visibility necessitated individual attacks into the heavily defended target area. On making individual runs into the target area the number three aircraft saw a parachute floating down through the clouds and heard an emergency radio beeper just prior to bomb release. A momentary emergency radio transmission was heard saying, "I'm in the water with two A-6s passing overhead". This was followed by 2-3 unintelligible transmissions and then then one-way radio contact was lost. Search and Rescue (SAR) efforts were initiated immediately but were severely hampered by bad weather conditions and approaching darkness. Numerous fishing boats were seen in the general loss location. SAR efforts were terminated on the third day with negative results. By the end of the next month, agreements were signed in Paris by Vietnam and the U.S. which would end American involvement in the war in Southeast Asia. By April 1973, 591 Americans had been released from POW camps, but Phillip S. Clark was not one of them. He remained in Missing in Action status until September 21, 1978 at which time his case was reviewed and he was reclassified Presumed Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered, based on no information to indicate that he was alive. The Vietnamese have continually denied knowledge of Lt.Cdr. Clark even though the area in which he was lost was populous and a number of water craft were in the area that could have picked him up and turned him over to Vietnamese authority. Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports have been received by the U.S. Government relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia. Many authorities believe there are hundreds of Americans still alive in captivity today. It is not known what happened to Clark after he successfully ejected from his crippled aircraft. He might have been killed by nearby fishermen. He may have been "rescued" and turned over to Vietnamese authorities. He may yet be alive, wondering why his country has abandoned him. Alive or dead, Phillip Spratt Clark, Jr. is a prisoner of war. It's time he was home. On November 3, 1989, the Vietnamese returned the remains of Phillip S. Clark, Jr. His family wished no publicity at that time, so the return was not publicized. Phillip S. Clark, Jr. graduated the U.S. Naval Academy on June 30, 1968.