HICKMAN, VINCENT JOSEPH
Name: Vincent Joseph Hickman Rank/Branch: O3/United States Air Force Unit: 1st Air Commando Squadron Date of Birth: 20 March 1933 Home City of Record: New York NY Date of Loss: 14 January 1964 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 110853 North 1070030 East Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: B26 B Tail # 44-35566 Missions: Other Personnel in Incident: Carl Berg Mitchell, missing
Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews, Library of Congress
REMARKS: ACFT CRASH - EXPL-BURN-J
Major Carl Berg Mitchell and Capt Vincent Joseph Hickman were assigned to the 1st Air Commando Squadron, arriving in-country to South Vietnam in November 1963.
Maj Mitchell, pilot, Capt Hickman, navigator and 10 year Air Force veteran, and a Vietnamese Air Force observer took off in a B-26B aircraft (tail number 44-35566) out of Bien Hoa Air Base, SVN at 1800 on 14 Jan 1964 on a combat support mission. After completion of the first napalm drop on the target, their aircraft was observed to crash and burn at around 1815. Their wingman later confirmed they were shot down by ground fire. (This is according to a squadron mate) There was no immediate evidence of survivors after the crash. A medical evacuation helicopter was immediately dispatched to the scene (Grid coordinates YT193330, approx 30 km northeast of Bien Hoa. 7 km north of Cau Tri An, Dong Nai Province.) The medevac was unable to approach the crash site initially because of heavy hostile action in the crash area and ground troops could not secure the area until 19 Jan 64. They searched the crash site and found no evidence of survivors. From statements by eyewitnesses to the crash, it was believed that the crew was killed at the time of the crash. Status of Maj Mitchell and Capt Hickman was changed from missing to deceased on 21 Jan 64.
Interesting note: Because there was not a formal declaration of war by Congress, Mitchell and Hickman were listed by the Defense Department as non-combat deaths. At the time, Air Force personnel in Vietnam were there in the role of advisors (explaining the need for a Vietnamese observer on the aircraft).