CONLEY, EUGENE OGDEN
Remains Returned 06/22/89  ID 07/15/2002
Name: Eugene Ogden Conley
Rank/Branch: O5/US Air Force
Unit: 354th Tactical Fighter Squadron
Date of Birth: 24 October 1927
Home City of Record: Akron OH
Date of Loss: 21 January 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 213059N 1054659E (WJ794812)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F105D
Refno: 0579
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
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 2002.
REMARKS:
SYNOPSIS: The F105 Thunderchief (or "Thud") performed yoeman service on many
diversified missions in Southeast Asia. F105s flew more combat missions over
North Vietnam than any other USAF aircraft and consequently suffered the
heaviest losses in action. They dropped bombs by day and occasionally by
night from high or low altitude and some later versions (F105D in Wild
Weasel guise) attacked SAM sites with their radar tracking air-to-ground
missiles. This versatile aircraft was also credited with downing 25 Russian
MiGs.
LtCol. Eugene O. Conley was the pilot of an F105D which was on a combat
mission over North Vietnam on January 21, 1967. About 5 miles from Thai
Nguyen in Bac Thai Province, Conley's aircraft encountered hostile ground
fire and was observed to exit a large fireball, go into a dive and impact
the ground in a near-vertical attitude. Observers saw to parachute and no
beeper was heard.
For Conley, death seems a certainty. For hundreds of others, however, simple
answers are not possible. Adding to the torment of over 10,000 reports
relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia is the certain knowledge
that some Americans who were known to be prisoners of war were not released
at the end of the war. Others were suspected to be prisoners, and still
others were in radio contact with would-be rescuers when last seen alive.
Many were known to have survived their loss incidents, only to disappear
without a trace.
The problem of Americans still missing torments not only the families of
those who are missing, but the men who fought by their sides, and those in
the general public who realize the full implication of leaving men
unaccounted for at the end of a war.
Tragically, many authorities believe there are hundreds of Americans still
alive in captivity in Southeast Asia today. What must they be thinking of
us? What will our next generation say if called to fight if we are unable to
bring these men home from Southeast Asia?