TRIMBLE, LARRY ALLEN Remains Returned 21 July 1989, ID'd October 1989 Name: Larry Allen Trimble Rank/Branch: O2/US Air Force, pilot Unit: 421st TFS Date of Birth: 06 March 1947 Home City of Record: Farmington WA Date of Loss: 15 April 1972 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 172530N 1072530N (XE664271) Status (in 1973): Missing in Action Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4E Other Personnel in Incident: Gale A Despiegler (released POW) 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. Date Compiled: 01 January 1990. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK. 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. The F4 was selected for a number of state-of-the-art electronics conversions, which improved radar intercept and computer bombing capabilities enormously. Most pilots considered it one of the "hottest" planes around. Maj. Gale Despiegler and 1Lt. Larry A. Trimble were F4 pilots assigned a mission over North Vietnam on April 15, 1972. From Defense Department data, it appears that 1Lt. Trimble was the pilot of the aircraft, while Maj. Despiegler was the rear seater - the crewmember who operated the technical equipment. At a point over Quang Binh Province about 20 miles northwest of the city of Vinh Binh, Trimble's aircraft went down. Despiegler ejected and was subsequently captured by the North Vietnamese. Trimble, whose last known location is some distance away, was never heard from again. In March 1973, Despiegler was released from Hanoi along with 590 other Americans. Trimble, however, was not among them. The Vietnamese denied any knowledge of the pilot of the aircraft downed on April 15, 1972. In June 1989, the Vietnamese "discovered" the remains of 1Lt. (by then promoted to Captain) Larry A. Trimble and returned them to U.S. control. A positive identification of the remains was announced by the Department of Defense the following October. These two men were among roughly 3000 Americans who were captured, missing, or unaccounted for in the Vietnam War. When 591 prisoners returned in 1973, military experts expressed their "dismay" that hundreds thought to have been captured were not among them. Since the end of the war, nearly 10,000 reports relating to missing Americans in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S. Government which have convinced many authorities that hundreds of Americans remain alive in captivity today. While Larry Trimble's family finally knows his fate, thousands of other families wait, tortured by the thought they their man could be alive in captivity, tortured by the thought that he could be dead. Larry Trimble, alive or dead, was a prisoner of war for over 17 years. Others have been there longer. It's time we brought our men home.