MARTIN, LARRY EUGENE

Remains Returned - ID Announced 891108

Name: Larry Eugene Martin
Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force
Unit: 44th Tactical Fighter Squadron
Date of Birth: 11 February 1940
Home City of Record: Wakefield KS
Date of Loss: 15 Jul 1968
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 173208N 1063030E (XE601393)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F105F

Other Personnel in Incident: Gobel D. James (released POW)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1990 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. Updated
by the P.O.W. NETWORK

REMARKS:

SYNOPSIS: The F105 Thunderchief ("Thud"), in its various versions, flew more
missions against North Vietnam than any other U.S. aircraft. It also suffered
more losses, partially due to its vulnerability, which was constantly under
revision. Between 1965 and 1971, the aircraft was equipped with armor plate, a
secondary flight control system, an improved pilot ejection seat, a more precise
navigation system, better blind bombing capability and ECM pods for the wings.
While the D version was a single-place aircraft, the F model carried a second
crewman which made it well suited for the role of suppressing North Vietnam's
missile defenses.

On July 15, 1968, Major Gobel D. James, pilot; and Capt. Larry E. Martin,
co-pilot; were assigned a mission over North Vietnam in their F105F
Thunderchief. At a point about 5 miles northwest of the city of Dong Hoi in
Quang Binh Province, North Vietnam, the aircraft was shot down. Major James, at
least, successfully ejected from the aircraft and was captured. The fate of
Capt. Martin was unknown.

On March 14, 1973, Major James was released from prison camps in Hanoi. He was
one of 591 Americans to be released that spring. At the time, military
officials were horrified that "hundreds" of Americans suspected to be prisoner
of war were not released -- and Vietnam denied knowledge of them. Larry E.
Martin was one who did not come home.

Since American involvement in the war ended in 1975, nearly 10,000 reports have
been received by the U.S. Government relating to Americans missing, prisoner,
or otherwise unaccounted for in Southeast Asia. A Pentagon panel determined in
1986 that at least 100 were still alive at that time. Their report remains
classified.

Through the years, the U.S. has requested information on Capt. Larry E. Martin,
as well as others whose fates should be known to the Vietnamese. They have
consistently denied knowledge of them, or worse -- ignored the request.

On November 8, 1989, it was announced that remains returned to U.S. control by
the Vietnamese had been positively identified as being those of Capt. Larry E.
Martin. His family at last knows that he is dead -- and not one of the hundreds
thought to still be alive. For them, peace, mourning, and healing can begin.

For thousands of other families, however, the war continues. They wait. It's
past time all our men were home.