KIENTZLER, PHILLIP ALLEN RIP 2/2/2005
Name: Phillip Allen Kientzler Rank/Branch: O4/US Navy, Unit: Fighter Squadron 143, USS ENTERPRISE (CV-65) Date of Birth: Home City of Record: Poway CA Date of Loss: 27 January 1973 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 165129N 1071023E (YO345650) Status (in 1973): Prisoner of War Category: 1 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F4J Missions: 500+ Other Personnel In Incident: Harley H. Hall (captured), pilot
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 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 2012.
REMARKS: 730328 RELSD BY DRV
Al Kientzler flew four combat cruises in the F4B and F4J. He flew approximately 500 combat missions with 300 over North Vietnam, and another 200 missions in Laos and SVN. He survived being shot down (or aircraft lost) five times in four cruises. Few Naval Aviators can equal that record of service. Al and his Commanding Officer, Cdr. Harley Hall (formerly, CO of the Blue Angels) were shot down on their third pass at the same target when hit by a surface to air missile.
CDR Harley H. Hall was the commanding officer of Fighter Squadron 143 onboard the aircraft carrier USS ENTERPRISE. On January 27, 1973 he and his Radar Intercept Officer (RIO), LTCDR Philip A. Kientzler, launched in their F4J Phantom fighter aircraft on an attack mission against North Vietnamese supplies and logistic vehicles 15 miles northwest of Quang Tri, South Vietnam. Hall and Kientzler were under the direction of an OV10 Forward Air Controller (FAC).
CDR Hall's aircraft came under intense anti-aircraft fire while attacking several trucks and was hit. He made an attempt to fly back out to the safety of the sea, but minutes later the aircraft caught fire on the port wing and fuselage.
Both Hall and his co-pilot, LCDR Philip A. Kintzler ejected at 4,000 feet and were seen to land 100 feet apart near a village on an island in the Dam Cho Chua and Cua Viet Rivers. CDR Hall was seen moving about on the ground, discarding his parachute. No voice contact was made with the men, and the probability of immediate capture was considered very high.
Numerous aircraft made several passes over the area for the next several hours and were unsuccessful in observing either of the downed crewmen. Several emergency beepers were heard intermittently the remainder of the afternoon and throughout the night, however, no voice contact was established. Active, organized search and rescue efforts were subsequently terminated.
Only Kientzler was released at Operation Homecoming in 1973. He reported that during parachute descent they received heavy ground fire, at which time he was hit in the leg. He last saw CDR Hall as they touched the ground. When he asked his guards about his pilot, he was told that he was killed by another.
No other returned POW reported having knowledge of Harley Hall, yet the Pentagon maintained him in POW status for over 6 years, and documents were obtained that indicated that he was indeed captured. The Hanoi government claims to have no knowledge of CDR Harley Hall. This former member of the famed Blue Angels flight team remains missing.
Harley Hall was shot down on the last day of the war and was the last Navy air casualty of the Vietnam War. He was the last American to be classified Prisoner of War in the Vietnam War.
Harley H. Hall was promoted to the rank of Captain during the period he was maintained as a prisoner.
.... Al (K9) passed in his sleep Wednesday morning, Feb 2nd. He had heart surgery 9 years ago and had a mechanical mitral valve. He retired from SLAC (Stanford University Linear Accelerator) five years ago and he and Nyla moved from California to Sag Harbor NY, which is where he spent his summers growing up. He bought a boat and spent his time fishing, clamming and enjoying the Hampton beaches. Three years ago, he then suffered from a blockage which damaged the heart muscle. Fishing and boating was more difficult, but he could still get out and fill his bucket with clams.
Al is survived by his wife, daughter, son and grandaughter. A Memorial Service will be held in April.