BULLARD, WILLIAM HARRY Name: William Harry Bullard Rank/Branch: O2/US Navy Unit: Attack Squadron 164, USS ORISKANY Date of Birth: 03 August 1942 Home City of Record: Elsinore CA Date of Loss: 25 August 1966 Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Over Water Loss Coordinates: 182036N 1073608E (YF750300) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 5 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A4E Refno: 0437 Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 May 1990 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, including "Alpha Strike Vietnam" by Jeffrey L. Levinson, personal interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 1998. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: The USS ORISKANY was a World War II-era carrier on duty in Vietnam as early as 1964. The ORISKANY at one time carried the RF8A (number 144608) flown by Maj. John H. Glenn, the famous Marine astronaut (and later Senator) flew in his 1957 transcontinental flight. In October, 1966 the ORISKANY endured a tragic fire which killed 44 men onboard, but was soon back on station. In 1972, the ORISKANY had an at-sea accident which resulted in the loss of one of its aircraft elevators, and later lost a screw that put the carrier into drydock in Yokosuka, Japan for major repairs, thus delaying its involvement until the late months of the war. The ORISKANY's 1966 tour was undoubtedly one of the most tragic deployments of the Vietnam conflict. This cruise saw eight VA 164 "Ghostriders" lost; four in the onboard fire, one in an aerial refueling mishap, and another three in the operational arena. On July 28, 1966, Ensign George P. McSwain, Jr. was flying an A4E Skyhawk in a strike mission near the city of Vinh, Nghe An Province, North Vietnam, when his aircraft was hit by a surface-to-air missile (SAM). McSwain successfully ejected and reached the ground safely, but rescue was not possible because of the hostile area in which he landed. McSwain was captured by the North Vietnamese and for the next six and one-half years, was a prisoner of war. He was released in Operation Homecoming on March 4, 1973. (NOTE: Even though on page 30 of "Alpha Strike Vietnam" it is stated that McSwain was killed on this mission, he was a released POW. Probably this information was given the author by a shipmate who had not learned McSwain had been captured.) On August 26, 1966, LTJG William H. Bullard launched from the decks of the ORISKANY in his A4E Skyhawk on a night combat mission. Mechanical problems were encountered during the launch, and Bullard's aircraft went down near the carrier. Bullard was never found, and was listed Killed, Body Not Recovered. He is listed among those still prisoner and missing in Southeast Asia because his remains were never found. The ORISKANY was on station in the Gulf of Tonkin about 110 miles east of the city of Ha Tinh at that time. On October 12, 1966 still another Ghostrider was shot down. LT Frank C. Elkins was on a strike mission near the city of Tho Trang, about five miles from the coast of Nghe An Province, when his aircraft went down. His A4E Skyhawk had been damaged by SAM. It was not known what happened to Elkins after the crash of his aircraft, and he was classified Missing in Action. In March 1990, the Vietnamese "discovered" the mortal remains of Elkins and returned them to U.S. control. When the war ended, 591 Americans were released from POW camps. Military authorities at the time were shocked that hundreds more known or suspected to be held captive were not released. 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. These reports are the source of serious distress to many returned American prisoners. They had a code that no one could honorably return unless all of the prisoners returned. Not only that code of honor, but the honor of our country is at stake as long as even one man remains unjustly held. It's time we brought our men home. George P. McSwain Jr. was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant during the period he was a prisoner of war. Frank C. Elkins was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander during the bperiod he was listed missing.