BELCHER, ROBERT ARTHUR Name: Robert Arthur Belcher Rank/Branch: O4/US Air Force Unit: Date of Birth: 11 August 1935 Home City of Record: Baton Rouge LA Date of Loss: 28 March 1969 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 165223N 1064635E (XD892663) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4D Refno: 1417 Other Personnel in Incident: Michael A. Miller (missing) REMARKS: Source: Compiled 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 in 1998. 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. Robert A. Belcher and 1Lt. Michael A. Miller probably felt fortunate to fly the F4. The two were assigned a combat mission on March 28, 1969 in their F4D. When the aircraft was near the city of Bo Ho Su, in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam, about 5 miles from the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), it was shot down, and both Belcher and Miller were thought to have been killed. Belcher and Miller are listed among the missing because their bodies were not recovered to bury in America. Families of those classified Killed/Body Not Recovered, Missing in Action and Prisoner of War consider all the men missing to be prisoners of war - dead or alive. They understand that even the most apparent "death" could have meant survival. They write no American soldier off until there is proof they are dead and their bodies returned. Sadly, there are many who, like Belcher and Miller, appear to have died the day they were lost. Even more tragic are the cases of hundreds who were last known to be alive, or known to be a prisoner of war, or who simply disappeared with no trace. Nearly 10,000 reports have been received by the U.S. Government concerning these Americans who are still missing, including over 1000 eye-witness reports of captive Americans. Many authorities believe that there could be hundreds of Americans still alive in enemy hands today. As long as even one American remains in enemy hands, there can be no honor in the deaths of Belcher and Miller, nor in the deaths of the nearly 60,000 young Americans who died in Vietnam. If Belcher and Miller, by some chance survived, what would they think of their country? It's time we brought our men home.