Name: Robert Arthur Belcher
Rank/Branch: O4/US Air Force
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)


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 2020.

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.




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On March 28, 1969, an F-4D Phantom II (serial number 66-8764) with two crew members took off from Da Nang Airbase, South Vietnam, to participate in a strike mission against enemy targets near Lang Cam, Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. While making a pass over the target area at low altitude, the aircraft crashed for unknown reasons. The other aircraft on the mission saw no parachutes and detected no rescue beacon signals after the crash. A search and rescue mission located the crash site, but saw no sign of survivors, and a ground search team was unable to reach the crash site due to hostile forces in the area. Subsequent efforts to locate the remains of the crew members have been unsuccessful. 

Major Robert Arthur Belcher, who entered the U.S. Air Force from Louisiana, served with the 389th Tactical Fighter Squadron and was the aircraft commander of this F-4D at the time of its crash on March 28, 1969. He remains unaccounted-for. Today, Major Belcher is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Based on all information available, DPAA assessed the individual's case to be in the analytical category of Active Pursuit.

If you are a family member of this serviceman, DPAA can provide you with additional information and analysis of your case. Please contact your casualty office representative.

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