FOBAIR, ROSCOE HENRY Remains Identified 02/2001
Name: Roscoe Henry Fobair Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force Unit: 47th TFS Date of Birth: 30 September 1935 Home City of Record: Oxnard CA Date of Loss: 24 July 1965 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 210657N 1050857E (WJ155348) Status (in 1973): Missing in Action Category: 2 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F4C
Other Personnel in Incident: Richard P. Keirn (released POW)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 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: AC TOLD DEAD BY VIETNAMESE
SYNOPSIS: The Phantom, used by Air Force, Marine and Navy air wings, served a multitude of functions including fighter-bomber and interceptor, photo and electronic surveillance. The two man aircraft was extremely fast (Mach 2), and had a long range (900 - 2300 miles, depending on stores and mission type). The F4 was also extremely maneuverable and handled well at low and high altitudes. Most pilots considered it one of the "hottest" planes around.
Capt. Roscoe H. Fobair was the pilot and Capt. Richard P. Keirn the weapons/systems operator on an F4C sent on a combat mission near Hanoi on July 24, 1965. About 40 miles east-northeast of Hanoi, in Vinh Phu Province, the aircraft was shot down.
Roscoe Fobair was captured by the North Vietnamese, but Fobair's fate remained unclear. Sometime in late 1972 or early 1973, the North Vietnamese announced that Fobair had died, failing to say when, or if he had been a captive. Fobair remained classified Missing in Action.
Keirn spent the next 7 1/2 years as a prisoner of war. Like other Americans, he endured torture and deprivation at the hands of the Vietnamese. Then on February 12, 1973, he was released in Operation Homecoming.
Since the war ended, over 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing, prisoner or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S. Government. Many authorities who have examined this largely classified information are convinced that hundreds of Americans are still held captive today. These reports are the source of serious distress to many returned American prisoners. They had a code that no one could honorably return unless all of the prisoners returned. Not only that code of honor, but the honor of our country is at stake as long as even one man remains unjustly held. It's time we brought our men home.
Roscoe H. Fobair was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel during the period he was maintained missing.
============================= UPDATE LINE: February 6, 2001
Thank you for calling the National League of Families Update Line. This message is being recorded on Tuesday, February 6th. According to the Department of Defense, the number of Americans missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War is now 1,990.
The Department of Defense announced last week that LtCol Roscoe Fobair, USAF, is now accounted for. Missing since July 24th, 1965, LtCol Fobair's remains, jointly recovered in Vietnam, were repatriated on January 16, 1998. The League extends understanding to the relatives and friends of LtCol Fobair, confident that the accounting for him brings long awaited peace of mind. This brings the number still missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War to 1,990. Of these losses, 1497 are in Vietnam, 418 are in Laos, 67 are in Cambodia and 8 are in the territorial waters of the PRC, though over 90% of all losses from the Vietnam War occurred in areas under Vietnamese wartime control.
Los Angeles Times Sunday, April 1, 2001
VALLEY NEWS MIA Mystery Solved Search: After 34 years of waiting, a family will hold a memorial service for missing Air Force pilot whose remains were found in Vietnam.
DAVID PIERSON Times Staff Writer
...Ross Fobair was his nephew's all-American hero. He looked like a knight in his flight suit. And then he was shot down, 45 miles northeast of Hanoi in 1965, the first American pilot claimed by a SAM surface-to-air missile in the Vietnam War.....