WOLOSZYK, DONALD JOSEPH Name: Donald Joseph Woloszyk Rank/Branch: O2/US Navy Unit: Attack Squadron 55, USS RANGER (CVA 61) Date of Birth: 19 January 1942 Home City of Record: Alpena MI Date of Loss: 01 March 1966 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 181300N 1060700E Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 2 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: A4E Refno: 0259 Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 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: LTJG Donald J. Woloszyk was the pilot of an A4E aircraft assigned to Attack Squadron 55 onboard the USS RANGER. On March 1, 1966, Woloszyk launched as the number two aircraft in a flight of four on an armed reconnaissance mission 35 nautical miles southeast of the city of Vinh in Ha Tinh Province, North Vietnam. The flight leader was engaged in a seried of moderately hard turns in order to visually inspect the winding road for targets of opportunity. At approximately 4:15 p.m. local time, LTJG Woloszyk reported that he had lost visual contact with his flight leader. He was about six mautical miles inland from the coast. He said he had sighted another section of A4 aircraft and would join them. This was the last radio contact received from Woloszyk. No hostile fire was noted by any of the members of the flight, but anti-aircraft positions had previously been reported in the area. The other section of A4 aircraft that Woloszyk stated he would join had not ssen him. His aircraft disappeared and none of the pilots had any information about him. Woloszyk's Skyhawk, a bomber regularly used to escape detection by flying below radar range, was believed hit by ground fire and is thought to have crashed in a mountainous region about six miles inland from the South China Sea. Several hours after his disappearance, an extensive search of the sea and air was initiated. Due to storms and darkness, the search aircraft were unable to cover all of the area, but were able to search from the coastline to five miles offshore. The search failed to locate either the plane or its pilot. U.S. ships also searched the coast, and a crew spotted a bright strobe light and flare on the beach, which led to speculation that Woloszyk successfully ejected his aircraft, but rescuers were thwarted by enemy fire and could not reach the area in which the flare was spotted. It was not determined whether the light was generated by Woloszyk or possibly the enemy using the same type of survival devices. On March 2, 1966 the aircraft were able to search both land and sea areas with 100 percent coverage. They did encounter sporadic fire from small arms over land. On March 3, 1966, aircraft from the USS RANGER again flew over the area to search and try to locate any recent crash scene. All efforts produced negative results. Donald's brother Kenneth was assigned that day to post names of those pilots who returned. He was one of the first to learn that his brother was missing. Woloszyk was not among the prisoners of war that were released in 1973 by the Vietnamese. The Vietnamese deny any knowledge of him, though there is strong reason to suspect they know his fate. Alarmingly, evidence continues to mount that Americans were left as priosoners in Southeast Asia and continue to be held today. Unlike "MIAs" from other wars, most of the nearly 2500 men and women who remain missing in Southeast Asia can be accounted for. If even one was left alive (and many authorities estimate the numbers to be in the hundreds), we have failed as a nation until and unless we do everything possible to secure his freedom and bring him home. Donald J. Woloszyk was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander during the period he was maintained as missing.