CASSELL, ROBIN BERN Name: Robin Bern Cassell Rank/Branch: O2/US Navy Unit: Attack Squadron 152, USS ORISKANY (CVA 34) Date of Birth: 06 December 1941 (Little Rock AR) Home City of Record: Ft. Huachuca AZ Date of Loss: 15 July 1967 Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Over Water Loss Coordinates: 195300N 1060857E (XG203988) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 5 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A1H Refno: 0765 Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 30 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 1998. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: The USS ORISKANY was a World War II-era carrier on duty in Vietnam as early as 1964. The ORISKANY at one time carried the RF8A (number 144608) flown by Maj. John H. Glenn, the famous Marine astronaut (and later Senator) flew in his 1957 transcontinental flight. In October, 1966 the ORISKANY endured a tragic fire which killed 44 men onboard, but was soon back on station. In 1972, the ORISKANY had an at-sea accident which resulted in the loss of one of its aircraft elevators, and later lost a screw that put the carrier into drydock in Yokosuka, Japan for major repairs, thus delaying its involvement until the late months of the war. Lieutenant Junior Grade Robin B. Cassell was a Navy pilot assigned to Attack Squadron 152 onboard the aircraft carrier USS ORISKANY. On July 15, 1967 he launched in his A1H Skyraider aircraft as the fight leader of a section of A1H's on a daytime armed coastal reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. During the mission, Cassell's aircraft was seen to be hit by automatic weapons fire during an attack on water craft near Cua Dai, North Vietnam. (This is in the approximate region of the city of Thanh Hoa.) Cassell radioed, "I'm hit" and shortly thereafter crashed into the sea and exploded on impact. No parachute was seen, and search and rescue efforts turned up negative results. LTJG Robin B. Cassell was listed Killed in Action, Body Not Recovered. He is listed with honor among the missing because his remains were never found to be returned home. Over 3000 Americans remained prisoner, missing, or otherwise unaccounted for at the end of the Vietnam war. The numbers have been reduced since that time with the release of prisoners, and the return of remain until it has reached just over 2300 in early 1990. Since the war ended nearly 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing, prisoner, or otherwise unaccounted for in Indochina have been received by the U.S. Government. Many officials, having examined this largely classified information, have reluctantly concluded that many Americans are still alive today, held captive by our long-ago enemy. Mounting evidence indicates that some Americans are still alive being held prisoner of war in Southeast Asia. In the peace accords signed in 1973, the Vietnamese pledged to return all prisoners of war and provide the fullest possible accounting of the missing. They have not done either. The United States government pledged that the POW/MIA issue is of "highest national priority" but has not achieved results indicative of a priority. The Americans who remain unaccounted for in Southeast Asia deserve our best efforts to bring them home, not our empty words. Robin B. Cassell graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1964.