Name: Victor Patrick Buckley
Rank/Branch: O3/US Navy
Date of Birth: 04 August 1944
Home City of Record: Falls Church VA
Date of Loss: 16 December 1969
Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 173758N 1073857E (YE811514)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Aircraft/Veicle/Ground: RF8G
Refno: 1537
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 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.
SYNOPSIS: The Vought F8 "Crusader" saw action early in U.S. involvement in
Southeast Asia. Its fighter models participated both in the first Gulf of
Tonkin reprisal in August 1964 and in the myriad attacks against North
Vietnam during Operation Rolling Thunder. The Crusader was used exclusively
by the Navy and Marine air wings (although there is one U.S. Air Force pilot
reported shot down on an F8) and represented half or more of the carrier
fighters in the Gulf of Tonkin during the first four years of the war. The
aircraft was credited with nearly 53% of MiG kills in Vietnam.
The most frequently used fighter versions of the Crusader in Vietnam were
the C, D, and E models although the H and J were also used. The Charlie
carried only Sidewinders on fuselage racks, and were assigned such missions
as CAP (Combat Air Patrol), flying at higher altitudes. The Echo model had a
heavier reinforced wing able to carry extra Sidewinders or bombs, and were
used to attack ground targets, giving it increased vulnerability. The Echo
version launched with less fuel, to accommodate the larger bomb store, and
frequently arrived back at ship low on fuel. The RF-A models were equipped
for photo reconnaissance. The RF-G were also photographic versions, but with
additional cameras and navigational equipment.
The combat attrition rate of the Crusader was comparable to similar
fighters. Between 1964 to 1972, eighty-three Crusaders were either lost or
destroyed by enemy fire. Another 109 required major rebuilding. 145 Crusader
pilots were recovered; 57 were not. Twenty of these pilots were captured and
released. The other 43 remained missing at the end of the war. In addition,
there were 16 pilots who went down on photographic versions of the aircraft.
Of these 16, seven were captured (six were released, one died in captivity).
Lt. Victor P. Buckley was the pilot of an RF8A on a combat mission in North
Vietnam on December 16, 1969. His aircraft was hit by enemy fire, and he
evidently headed out to sea for easier rescue, as the site where his
aircraft is recorded to have crashed is about 75 miles offshore east of the
city of Quang Khe in the Gulf of Tonkin. It was felt that there was little
or no hope that he survived, and Buckley was declared Killed/Body Not
The Defense Intelligence Agency further expanded Buckley's classification to
include an enemy knowledge ranking of 2. Category 2 indicates "suspect
knowledge" and includes personnel who may have been involved in loss
incidents with individuals reported in Category 1 (confirmed knowledge), or
who were lost in areas or under conditions that they may reasonably be
expected to be known by the enemy; who were connected with an incident which
was discussed but not identified by names in enemy news media; or identified
(by elimination, but not 100% positively) through analysis of all-source
Buckley is listed among the missing because his remains were never located
to return home. He is among over 2300 still prisoner, missing, or otherwise
unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.
Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing,
prisoner or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S.
Government. Many authorities who have examined this largely classified
information are convinced that hundreds of Americans are still held captive
today. Fighter pilots in Vietnam were called upon to fly in many dangerous
circumstances, and were prepared to be wounded, killed, or captured. It
probably never occurred to them that some of them could be abandoned by the
country they proudly served.
From: "russell"
To: <info@pownetwork.org>
Subject: bio information
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2007 21:25:49 -0700

my brother is listed on your website. thank you for remembering him. we have
arranged a "burial"/memorial service for him at arlington on july 3rd. as a
result, i was doing some reflecting and found your website. i was surprised
to read that his aircraft was "hit by enemy fire". that was not mentioned in
any of the correspondence and message traffic that i read in the year or so
following the date he was reported missing (dec 16, 1969). i don't know why
the family was not made aware of that information? i am now curious to know
if it is true. can you tell me any more about the source of the information
so that i can do some research of my own? i would certainly appreciate it it
you can. russell buckley (brother).
If you flew with Victor, or were part of the S&R team please contact the
NETWORK so we can get you in touch with family.