KLUGG, JOSEPH RUSSELL Name: Joseph Russell Klugg Rank/Branch: O3/US Navy Unit: Light Photographic Squadron 63, Detachment 34, USS ORISKANY Date of Birth: 30 July 1943 Home City of Record: Okemos MI Date of Loss: 14 November 1970 Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Over Water Loss Coordinates: 170958N 1090458E (BU961988) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 5 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: RF8G Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing) Refno: 1676 Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project with the assistance of one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews: 15 March 1990. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 1998. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: The Vought F8 "Crusader" saw action early in U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia. Its fighter models participated both in the first Gulf of Tonkin reprisal in August 1964 and in the myriad attacks against North Vietnam during Operation Rolling Thunder. The Crusader was used exclusively by the Navy and Marine air wings and represented half or more of the carrier fighters in the Gulf of Tonkin during the first four years of the war. The aircraft was credited with nearly 53% of MiG kills in Vietnam. The most frequently used fighter versions of the Crusader in Vietnam were the C, D, and E models although the H and J were also used. The Charlie carried only Sidewinders on fuselage racks, and were assigned such missions as CAP (Combat Air Patrol), flying at higher altitudes. The Echo model had a heavier reinforced wing able to carry extra Sidewinders or bombs, and were used to attack ground targets, giving it increased vulnerability. The Echo version launched with less fuel, to accommodate the larger bomb store, and frequently arrived back at ship low on fuel. The RF models were equipped for photo reconnaissance. The combat attrition rate of the Crusader was comparable to similar fighters. Between 1964 to 1972, eighty-three Crusaders were either lost or destroyed by enemy fire. Another 109 required major rebuilding. 145 Crusader pilots were recovered; 57 were not. Twenty of these pilots were captured and released. The other 43 remained missing at the end of the war. The breakdown of those not recovered is as follows: A/C Total Number Number MIA/Released by Year Model Lost MIA/RLSD 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 F8E 28 18/10 --- 4/3 5/3 6/3 4/0 --- --- --- --- F8C 7 4/3 --- --- 1/0 3/3 --- --- --- --- --- F8D 6 5/1 --- 5/1 --- --- --- --- --- --- --- F8J 4 4/0 --- --- --- --- --- --- 1/0 1/0 1/1 F8H 2 2/0 --- --- --- --- 1/0 1/0 --- --- --- RF8A 8 5/3 1/1 4/0 0/2 --- --- --- --- --- --- RF8G 8 5/3 --- --- 1/0 1/1 1/1 1/0 1/0 --- 0/1 Lt. Joseph R. Klugg was a pilot assigned to Light Photographic Squadron 63, Detachment 34, onboard the aircraft carrier USS ORISKANY (CVA 34). At 3:03 p.m. on November 14, 1970, Lt. Klugg was preparing to launch in his RF8G Crusader. During the catapult launch, the aircraft's right tire blew and the starboard main landing gear collapsed, causing the aircraft to roll to the right and skid off the end of the carrier. Lt. Klugg had the presence of mind to initiate a seat ejection from the aircraft as it rolled off the deck, but he did not have enough height to separate from the ejection seat prior to impacting the water. Either the weight of the ejection seat took him down too quickly for him to recover or he sustained injuries rendering him unable to surface. No trace of Klugg was recovered. Lt. Klugg is listed with honor among the missing in Southeast Asia because his remains were never recovered. His carrier was over 100 miles offshore, just north of the DMZ, and this death is not considered battle-related. For Klugg's family, some peace can be had from the fact that his death was witnessed. For many others who are missing, however, final answers are not so simple. Many were known to have been alive at the time they disappeared. Some were actually photographed in captivity, only to disappear. Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports have been received relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia. Many authorities believe there are hundreds of Americans still alive today in captivity. Tragically, these men willingly served their country honorably and faithfully, and were abandoned by the country they served. It's time we brought our men home.