ADAMS, OLEY NEAL Name: Oley Neal Adams Rank/Branch: E5/US Air Force Unit: 12th Armament Electronic Maintenance Squadron Date of Birth: 27 June 1937 Home City of Record: Green City MO Date of Loss: 17 June 1966 Country of Loss: South Vietnam/Over Water Loss Coordinates: 125336N 1093123E (CQ398257) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 5 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: C130E Refno: 0363 Other Personnel in Incident: Ralph B. Cobbs; Jack I. Dempsey; Stanley J. Freng; Edward L. Romig; M.J. Savoy; Donald E. Siegwarth; Curtis D. Collette; Gene K. Hess; Connie M. Gravitte; Robert A. Cairns; Larry E. Washburn (all missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 March 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 REMARKS: EXPLODE AIR & IMPACT SEA - J SYNOPSIS: On June 17, 1966, a C130E "Hercules" aircraft departed Cam Ranh Bay, South Vietnam en route to Kadena Air Base, Okinawa on an operational airlift support mission. Aboard the flight were the crew, consisting of LtCdr. Ralph Cobbs; ADJ2 Curtis D. Collette; YN2 Jack I. Dempsey; ADR2 Stanley Freng; Ltjg. Edward Romig; AN M.J. Savoy; and Ltjg. Donald Siegwarth. All were assigned to the 7th Air Transport Squadron. Also aboard the aircraft were U.S. Air Force personnel SSgt. Robert Cairns; SSgt. Gene Hess; Capt. Connie Gravitte; SSgt. Oley N. Adams; and A1 Larry Washburn, and one other individual. About 30 minutes into the flight, as the aircraft was 43 miles northeast of Nha Trang, the crew of a naval gunboat cruising off the South Vietnam coast observed the C130 explode and crash into the South China Sea. No hostile fire was observed, and the exact cause of the crash could not be determined. The vessel arrived at the crash scene only minutes after the impact and began an immediate search. The accident occurred so swiftly that it was assumed all aboard perished instantly. Some debris and wreckage have been recovered including parts of the aircraft and personal belongings. Only one body was recovered from the crash site. The others are listed as "Dead/Body Not Recovered." Cobbs and Siegworth were pilots, and probably the co-pilots of the aircraft, although this information is not included in public data relating to the loss. Crew positions of the remaining crew members are not available. Inexplicably, Cobbs' loss coordinates place him on the coast of South Vietnam a few miles northeast of Tuy Hoa, while the others aboard are listed as lost northeast of Na Trang. (This is a difference of about 55 miles.) Also, the entire crew of the aircraft has been assigned "Knowledge Category 4", while the passengers are in "Knowledge Category 5". Category 5 includes those individuals whose remains have been determined to be non-recoverable. Category 4 includes individuals whose loss details, such as location and time, are unknown and who do not fit into any of the varying degrees of knowledge other than category 5. No reason for this discrepancy can be determined. The Americans aboard the C130E are listed among the missing because their remains were never found to be returned to their homeland. They are among nearly 2500 Americans who remain unaccounted for from the Vietnam war. The cases of some, like the C130E crew, seem clear - that they perished and will never be recovered, Unfortunately, many of the missing do not have such clear cut cases. Some were known captives; some were photographed in captivity. Some were in radio contact with search teams, while others simply disappeared. Since the war ended, over 250,000 interviews have been conducted with those who claim to know about Americans still alive in Southeast Asia, and several million documents have been studied. U.S. Government experts cannot seem to agree whether Americans are there alive or not. Detractors say it would be far too politically difficult to bring the men they believe to be alive home, and the U.S. is content to negotiate for remains. Over 1000 eye-witness reports of living American prisoners were received by 1989. Most of them are still classified. If, as the U.S. seems to believe, the men are all dead, why the secrecy after so many years? If the men are alive, why are they not home? 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?