PATTILLO, RALPH NATHAN

Name: Ralph Nathan Pattillo
Rank/Branch: O4/US Air Force
Unit: 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Ubon AB Thailand
Date of Birth: 26 December 1934
Home City of Record: Hartselle AL
Date of Loss: 16 February 1971
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 150500N 1070700E (YB279869)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F4D
Refno: 1704

Other Personnel In Incident: Charles L. Hoskins (missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1991 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 Phantom, used by Air Force, Marine and Navy air wings, served
a multitude of functions including fighter-bomber and interceptor, photo and
electronic surveillance. The two man aircraft was extremely fast (Mach 2),
and had a long range (900 - 2300 miles, depending on stores and mission
type). The F4 was also extremely maneuverable and handled well at low and
high altitudes. Most pilots considered it one of the "hottest" planes
around.

Maj. Ralph N. Pattillo was the pilot and 1Lt. Charles L. Hoskins the
weapons/systems officer of an F4D fighter bomber from the 497th Tactical
Fighter Squadron based at Ubon Airbase, Thailand. At 1930 hours on February
16, 1971, the two were sent on a combat mission over Laos.

During the mission, the aircraft was shot down less than a mile from Ban
Dakyon, Laos, an area which was then under control of North Vietnamese
forces. Because of heavy enemy forces on the ground, ground search was
impossible. Air search efforts failed to produce evidence of the downed
plane or the two officers, and the search was terminated.

A report given to his parents stated that it was possible that either
Hoskins or Pattillo may have been able to successfully eject from the plane
in the darkness, and that it was possible that one or both could have been
captured.

Hoskins' parents, Charles and Margaret say, "We as parents cannot and will
not give up hope. To do so we must have some definite and tangible evidence
to the contrary. We strongly believe there are LIVE men over there in
captivity and urge our government to concentrate on pursuing the release of
each and every one of them and on the repatriation of all remains. Please
help bring Capt. Hoskins home as well as all those still listed as POW and
MIA."

Charles Hoskins was promoted to the rank of Captain and Ralph Pattillo to
the rank of Lieutenant Colonel during the period they were maintained
missing.