HATTORI, MASAKI Name: Masaki Hattori Rank/Branch: O4/US Army Unit: 224th Aviation Co., 164th Aviation Group, 1st Aviation Brigade Date of Birth: 21 November 1936 Home City of Record: Stockton CA Date of Loss: 23 March 1968 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 100245N 1054752E (WS874105) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 4 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: OV1C Refno: 1102 Other Personnel In Incident: Ian J. Franks (missing) 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 1998. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: On March 23, 1968 Major Masaki Hattori, the pilot, and SP4 Ian Franks, observer, were flying an OV1C (tail #603756) when their aircraft, in an effort to avoid a mid-air collision with two U.S. Navy helicopters, crashed into the Hau Giang River near Can Tho, South Vietnam. Eyewitnesses to the crash confirmed that neither crewmember bailed out. After a extensive 4-day search, some aircraft wreckage was found, along with 2 shattered flight helmets with bits of hair and tissue attached. A medical analyst examined the helmets and concluded that no one could have survived the crash. Leaflets were distributed along the river banks, but no additional leads or information was forthcoming. Franks and Hattori were classified as killed, but as their remains were not found, they are listed among the missing. Nearly 2500 Americans are missing in Southeast Asia. Franks and Hattori are two of the few whose cases seem clear. For many families, the memory that their man's photo appeared in a communist paper shortly after capture emotes bitter resentment and great sadness. Other men were in radio contact with search and rescue teams who were trying to get to them before the enemy did. Some simply vanished. In recent years, evidence has poured in regarding Americans still alive in Southeast Asia, held captive by a long-ago enemy. One can only guess what they must be thinking of the country they went to serve.