PARKER, THOMAS AQUINAS

Name: Thomas Aquinas Parker
Rank/Branch: E6/US Navy
Unit: Marine Air Group 36, 1st Medical Battalion, 1st Marine Division
Date of Birth: 31 December 1937 (Huntington IN)
Home City of Record: Oxford IN
Date of Loss: 05 April 1967
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 142841N 1985454E (BS753015)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1E
Refno: 2021
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 30 June 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: Hospital Corpsman First Class Petty Officer Thomas A. Parker was a
Navy corpsman assigned to Marine Air Group 36, 1st Medical Battalion, 1st
Marine Division.

On April 5, 1967, Petty Officer Parker was assigned to a UH1E "Huey" medical
evacuation helicopter supporting Operation DeSoto south east of Nui Dang
Hill, Quang Ngai Province, South Vietnam. While in a hover over a landing
zone, the Huey on which Parker was riding was hit by enemy fire and
exploded.

[NOTE: Some Defense Department lists state that Parker's helicopter was lost
over water. DOD loss coordinates are in Binh Binh Province, about 25 miles
northwest of Phu Cat, and about 15 miles from the nearest point of Quang
Ngai Province. No reason for these discrepancies can be determined.]

According to witnesses, Petty Officer Parker died of wounds sustained in the
explosion of the aircraft. One Navy account states that because of heavy
enemy fire, his body could not be recovered. Another Navy account states
that an extensive search of the area was made and remains could not be
recovered. Parker is the only American missing on April 5, 1967, and the
U.S. Navy account of the incident does not tell the fate of the crew of the
helicopter or any of its other passengers (if any).

Parker was listed as killed, body not recovered. He is among nearly 2500
Americans who remain unaccounted for from the Vietnam war. The cases of some
seem clear - that they perished and cannot be recovered. As some accounts
vary in content, like Parker's, it is not possible to determine the fates of
some. Others, however, are complicated. Many were alive and well when last
seen awaiting rescue. Others were known to have been captured by the enemy.
Unfortunately, mounting evidence indicates that hundreds of Americans are
still captive, waiting for the country they proudly served to secure their
freedom.

In our haste to leave an unpopular war, it now appears we abandoned some of
our best men. In our haste to heal the wounds of this same war, will we sign
their death warrants? Or will we do what we can to bring them home?