STRONG, HENRY HOOKER JR. Name: Henry Hooker Strong, Jr. Rank/Branch: O5/United States Navy Unit: Date of Birth: 27 February 1933 Home City of Record: North Wales PA Date of Loss: May 25, 1972 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 183700N 1054200E (WF733607) Status (in 1973): Missing in Action Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A4F, Tail # 155045 Refno: 1866 Other Personnel in Incident: none Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 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 2016. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: When Douglas Aircraft created the A4 Skyhawk the intent was to provide the Navy and Marine Corps with an inexpensive, lightweight attack and ground support aircraft. The design emphasized low-speed control and stability during take-off and landing as well as strength enough for catapult launch and carrier landings. The plane was so compact that it did not need folding wings for aboardship storage and handling. In spite of its diminutive size, the A4 packed a devastating punch and performed well where speed and maneuverability were essential. Commander Henry H. Strong, Jr. was a Skyhawk pilot who participated in a strike on a target near the city of Vinh on May 25, 1972. During this mission, Strong's aircraft was shot down by enemy fire and he was declared Missing in Action. The Defense Intelligence Agency further expanded Strong's classification to include an enemy knowledge ranking of 2. Category 2 indicates "suspect knowledge" and includes personnel who were lost under conditions that they may reasonably be expected to be known by the enemy, or who were connected with an incident discussed in enemy news media; or who were identified (by elimination) through analysis of all-source intelligence. When 591 Americans were released from POW camps in 1973, Henry Strong was not among them. The Vietnamese have denied any knowledge of him. Through the years his family has continually sought information about him. His two children, still very much a "military family" have found it frustrating and difficult to get answers to their questions. Intelligence reports surfacing over the years during the war and following build a strong case for a well-organized second prison system, and a well orchestrated plan to keep prisoners within systems from intermingling. As it is widely believed that the Vietnamese withheld the release of many prisoners until peace agreement terms were met (specifically reconstruction aid), it is logical to assume that one prison system's inmates were released while another were held back for possible release at a later date. It is also logical to assume that the scenario might be played to its fullest, including convincing each man in a two man crew that had been separated, that the other was dead. Whether Henry Strong survived to be captured is not known. But as reports continue to mount, the awful truth that we abandoned men to the enemy becomes more and more apparent. It's time we brought our men home. Henry H. Strong, Jr. was promoted to the rank of Captain during the period he was maintained missing.
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