CLARK, ROBERT ALAN
Lt. Alan "Arlo" Clark
Remains Identified. Burial 01/09/2004 Arlington National Cemetery.
Name: Robert Alan Clark
Rank/Branch: O2/US Navy
Unit: Attack Squadron 115, USS MIDWAY
Date of Birth: 21 September 1946
Home City of Record: North Hollywood CA
Date of Loss: 10 January 1973
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 185948N 1051836E (WG327003)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A6A
Refno: 1979
Other Personnel in Incident: Michael T. McCormick (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: 01 January 1990.
Updated with information provided by Dave Anderson. P.O.W. NETWORK 2004
REMARKS:
SYNOPSIS: Lt. Michael T. McCormick was a pilot and Lt.JG Robert A. Clark a
bombardier/navigator assigned to Attack Squadron 115 onboard the aircraft
carrier USS MIDWAY (CVA-41). On January 10, 1973, 17 days before an
agreement was signed in Paris ending American involvement in the war in
Southeast Asia, McCormick and Clark launched in their A6A "Intruder" attack
aircraft. Together with another A6 aircraft, they were to provide support
for B52 air strikes, and had three targets assigned to them over North
Vietnam.
The weather that day was overcast with a 1500 foot cloud cover. There was
intense surface-to-air (SAM) missile activity in their target area, and an
estimated total of 15 missiles were fired - three at the USS Midway aircraft
and 12 at the B52s. The crew of another aircraft reported that he did not
think the missiles were aimed at him. The boosters of the missiles were
diffused by the overcast, which proved to be very distracting. On egress the
crewman noted additional SAM boosters along with the glow from the B52 bomb
strikes. He coasted out over the coast and planned to orbit there until
McCormick and Clark crossed the coastline to join him.
When McCormick and Clark did not arrive, and there was no radio contact, the
wingman retraced his route at an altitude of 15,000 feet while making
numerous radio calls. No fires were seen and no enemy reaction was noted.
Other aircraft crewmembers thought they heard a 3-4 second transmission that
sounded like an ECM (emergency transmission), but Search and Rescue (SAR)
missions were flown in the area with no contact and no crash location or
wreckage found.
McCormick and Clark were last known to be over Nghe An Province, about 20
miles west of the city of Phu Dien Chau. Both men were placed in Missing in
Action status. Other than the brief radio signal, no sign of either man was
ever found.
Because of the circumstances surrounding the downing of this aircraft, and
the fact that the area was heavily defended, the U.S. believes there is good
reason to suspect that the Vietnamese know the fates of McCormick and Clark.
The Vietnamese, however, deny any knowledge of them.
Mounting evidence indicates that Americans are being held prisoner in
Southeast Asia today. As long as even one American remains alive, held
unjustly and against his will, we owe him our best effort to bring him home.
McCormick and Clark could be among those thought to be alive. What must they
be thinking of their country?
From - Tue Jul 14 07:11:12 1998
I was a veteran of the air war over North Viet Nam and took an interest in
the POW NET biographies page of your site.
I was acquainted with a number of officers at Naval Air Station Whidbey
Island who manned the A-6A squadrons deployed on Pacific Fleet carriers.  I
deployed with Attack Squadron ONE FOUR FIVE (VA-145) on the USS RANGER just
prior to the start of LINEBACKER II.  I knew, for a time, several men on
the POW/MIA list; Fred Holmes, Harry Mossman, Rod Lester, and Bob Randall.
I lived across the street from Robert (Al) Clark who was lost just weeks
before the cease fire.  He left behind a son that he never saw.  It is
known by many in Naval Aviation that Al had a distant connection with the
basis for the opening scene in the movie, "Flight of the Intruder."  Al's
pilot on the night they were shot down was Mike McCormick.  Several months
before being lost, Mike had flown a mission with LCDR Ray Donnelly.  Ray
died from a round from a large automatic weapon that struck the cockpit and
hit him.   Mike brought him back to the USS MIDWAY for what must have been
the hardest night landing in Naval Aviation history.
Sometimes it seems that the absolute best amongst us didn't come home.
Dave Anderson
July 1998
=======================
No. 014-04
IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan 09, 2004
(703)697-5131(media)
(703)428-0711(public/industry)
Servicemen Missing from Vietnam War Identified
     Two servicemen missing in action from the Vietnam War have been
identified and returned to their families for burial.
     They are Navy Lt. j.g. Robert A. Clark of North Hollywood, Calif., and
another officer whose name will not be released at the request of his
family.
     On Jan. 10, 1973, the two took off in an A-6A aircraft from *USS
Midway* on a mission to suppress surface-to-air missiles in North Vietnam.
Near the target area in Nghe An Province in North Vietnam, aircrew reported
an estimated 15 surface-to-air missiles fired, as well as numerous
antiaircraft rounds. Clark's A-6A was not seen again.
     Attempts to contact the crew for four days through radio and visual
searches were unsuccessful.
     In July 1991, U.S. researchers discovered in a Vietnamese military
museum a data plate which correlated to the downed aircraft.  Later, in
another museum, they discovered photos of a crash site which also correlated
to the missing aircraft. U.S. researchers examined Vietnamese wartime
records which confirmed the downing of that aircraft in Nghe An Province in
January 1973.
     Between 1993 and 2002, U.S. researchers and joint U.S.-Vietnam teams
conducted four field investigations and one excavation.  During one of their
field visits, a witness to the 1973 crash turned over remains he claimed to
have recovered at the site.  During the excavation in 2002, additional
remains were recovered.
     The remains were identified in 2003 by the Central Identification
Laboratory [http://www.cilhi.army.mil/] through skeletal analysis and
mitochondrial DNA.  Of the 88,000 Americans missing in action from all
conflicts, 1,871 are from the Vietnam War.
========================
http://www.heraldnet.com/Stories/04/2/21/18218247.cfm
Published: Saturday, February 21, 2004
DNA brings closure
Tonya Clark of Lynnwood lost her husband in Vietnam in 1973. Recently she
could finally put him to rest.
By Pamela Brice
Herald Writer
LYNNWOOD -- Tonya Clark wondered for more than 30 years what had happened to
her husband, Alan, who never returned from Vietnam.