CRAIG, PHILLIP CHARLES Remains Returned 26 November 1985 Name: Phillip Charles "P.C." Craig Rank/Branch: O3/US Navy Unit: Attack Squadron 15, USS INTREPID (CVA 11) Date of Birth: 13 July 1940 Home City of Record: Oneida NY Date of Loss: 04 July 1967 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 203700N 1063800E Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 4 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: A4C Refno: 0751 Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 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. NETWORK 1998. REMARKS: POSS DEAD FIR 317/09072-73 SYNOPSIS: Lt. Phillip C. Craig was a pilot assigned to Attack Squadron 15 onboard the aircraft carrier USS INTREPID. On July 4, 1967 he launched in his A4C Skyhawk attack aircraft with others from his squadron on a combat mission over North Vietnam. "P.C." was on his second tour of duty and had flown over 100 missions on his first tour. Craig was flying an A4 bearing the side number 208 on a bombing raid at the railroad yard at Hai Duong. The aircraft was last observed visually in a dive-bombing attack on the tartet. Enroute to the target, Craig maintained a loose wing position on the other aircraft and was at all times visible in the mirrors. Upon arrival in the target area, anti-aircraft fire of light to medium intensity was encountered. The division leader commenced his attack, and the other aircraft in the flight rolled in almost simultaneously. Lt. Craig failed to make the scheduled recovery, and search and rescue (SAR) forces were alerted. A thorough visual and electronic search was initiated. Two radio transmissions indicated the aircraft was crossing the coast line and was over water. However, later attempts to contact the aircraft were unsuccessful. Reports of debris and an oil slick in the water were thoroughly investigated by search aircraft, but revealed nothing ssignificant. There were no emergency beeper signals and no radio transmissions from Craig to indicate that he was having trouble in the target area. The communists later announced that two U.S. planes had been shot down later that day, but no further information surfaced directly relating to Craig. Phillip C. Craig was placed in a casualty status of Missing in Action. During the time he was maintained in this status, he was promoted to the rank of Commander. In 1973, 591 American prisoners of war were released from Vietnam. Craig was not among them. Like over 2500 others, he did not come home. Military authorities at the time were horrified that hundreds who had been expected or suspected to come home did not. There were about 100 who had been known prisoners and were not released. The Vietnamese denied knowledge of these men. Scores of others were alive and well when last heard from, some describing their imminent capture. In 1978, based on no evidence to prove he was alive, Commander Craig was presumptively declared Killed in Action. In late 1985, the Vietnamese "discovered" and returned to U.S control the remains of Phillip C. Craig. According the Peace agreement signed in Paris in 1973, the Vietnamese would release all American prisoners of war and account for the missing. They have not done so. The U.S. Government has termed the return and accounting of Americans "highest national priority", yet advocates for the missing have had to fight for position among countless "high priority" concerns. Evidence continues to mount that some of the nearly 2500 Americans left behind in Southeast Asia are alive, in captivity, awaiting their country to come to their rescue. The Americans who remain missing in Southeast Asia deserve the full effort of their country to bring them home.