HILL, RICHARD DALE

Name: Richard Dale Hill
Rank/Branch: E3/US Air Force
Unit: 21st Armament & Electronics Maintenance Squadron
Date of Birth: 03 December 1942
Home City of Record: Houston TX
Date of Loss: 06 December 1963
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 101411N 1064617E (XS940320)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 5
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: B26B
Refno: 0025
Other Personnel in Incident: Thomas F. Gorton (missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 September 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 Douglas B26 was a twin-engine attack bomber with World War II
service. In Vietnam, it served the French in the 1950's and also the U.S. in
the early years of American involvement in Southeast Asia. As the legend
goes, the B26 was renamed "A26" in the early years of because the U.S. did
not want to admit using bombers in Southeast Asia.

Capt. Thomas F. Gorton and Airman 2nd Class Richard D. Hill were crewmembers
onboard a B26B which went down in South Vietnam in the early years. The
aircraft had been on a photo reconnaissance mission near the coast of Kien
Hoa Province. Hill was an aerial photographer while Gorton was part of the
flight crew.

The aircraft crash site was located about 40 miles south-southeast of Saigon
near the mouth of the Mekong River in about five feet of water. No personnel
were aboard. The remains of the pilot and navigator were subsequently
located which indicated that these men had tried to swim away after the
crash. Hill and Gorton could not be found. The two were first classified
Missing in Action but their status was later changed to Killed in
Action/Body Not Recovered.

Gorton and Hill are listed among the missing because their remains were
never found to send home to the country he served. For other who are
missing, however, the evidence leads not to death, but to survival. Since
the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports received relating to Americans still
held captive in Indochina have convinced experts that hundreds of men are
still alive, waiting for their country to rescue them. The notion that
Americans are dying without hope in the hands of a long-ago enemy belies the
idea that we left Vietnam with honor. It also signals that tens of thousands
of lost lives were a frivolous waste of our best men.