CROSSMAN, GREGORY JOHN
Name: Gregory John Crossman
Rank/Branch: O2/US Air Force
Unit: 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Ubon Airbase, Thailand
Date of Birth: 09 August 1941
Home City of Record: Sturgis MI
Date of Loss: 25 April 1968
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 173400N 1061800E (XE371435)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel In Incident: Albert C. Mitchell (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: Gregory Crossman believed there was a purpose in going to Vietnam.
After graduating from Western Michigan University, he entered the Air Force,
and subsequently received pilot training and his wings.
Crossman began a distinguished flying career. In January 1968, he was cited
for "superior airmanship and devotion to duty" for knocking out a supply
route and destroying a truck convoy near North Vietnam's Mu Gia Pass without
benefit of flares or moonlight.
In February, 1968, Crossman was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for
what the Air Force called one of the most important air strikes in a
high-risk area of North Vietnam.
On April 25, 1968 the plane on which he was "back seater" to Col. Albert
Mitchell when the two departed Ubon Airbase in Thailand on a daring radar
raid over one of the most active surface to air missile (SAM) sites in North
Vietnam, dodging heavy anti-aircraft fire as they partially knocked out a
Soviet fighter plane base along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
The aircraft disappeared without a trace when it broke formation to veer
over a truck convoy heading for the key North Vietnamese supply route.
Although there is strong indication that the Vietnamese know what happened
to Mitchell and Crossman, they deny knowledge of their fates. The last known
location of the aircraft was about 5 miles northwest of the city of Dong Ha
in Quang Binh Province, North Vietnam.
Mounting evidence indicates that Americans are still alive being held
prisoner of war in Southeast Asia. The Vietnamese pledged to return all
prisoners of war and provide the fullest possible accounting of the missing
in the peace accords signed in 1973. They have not done either.
The United States government pledged that the POW/MIA issue is of "highest
national priority" but has not achieved results indicative of such a
priority. Crossman, Mitchell and the nearly 2500 Americans who remain
unaccounted for in Southeast Asia deserve our best efforts to bring them
home, not our empty words.