CUSHMAN, CLIFTON EMMET
Name: Clifton Emmet Cushman Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force Unit: Date of Birth: 02 June 1938 Home City of Record: Grand Forks ND Date of Loss: 25 September 1966 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 213800N 1062600E (XJ501927) Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 2 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F105D Refno: 0471 Others in Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 October 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 2001 with information from Senate Select Committee hearings in 1993. Update 2013.
SYNOPSIS: The F105 Thunderchief (or "Thud") performed yoeman service on many diversified missions in Southeast Asia. F105s flew more combat missions over North Vietnam than any other USAF aircraft and consequently suffered the heaviest losses in action. They dropped bombs by day and occasionally by night from high or low altitude and some later versions (F105D in Wild Weasel guise) attacked SAM sites with their radar tracking air-to-ground missiles. This versatile aircraft was also credited with downing 25 Russian MiGs.
Capt. Clifton E. Cushman was the pilot of an F105D which embarked on a bombing mission over the Haiphong area of North Vietnam on September 25, 1966. He never returned from the mission, but was downed about 45 miles southwest of the harbor. Although the U.S. believes that the Vietnamese could account for Cushman, they have denied knowledge of his fate.
When 591 American prisoners of war were released from Hanoi in the spring of 1973, Clifton Cushman was not among them. He, like nearly 2500 others, remain missing. The majority of these men, unlike "MIA's" from other wars, can be accounted for.
Since the end of American involvement in Indochina, over 10,000 reports have been received concerning Americans held captive. Over 100 of the cases are still actively researched today. Collectively, the reports make a compelling case that Americans are still held prisoner in Southeast Asia, yet the U.S. has been unable to secure their freedom.
Whether Clifton Cushman died the day his plane went down or survived to be held prisoner today is not known. What seems certain, however, is that someone knows his fate. It's time we got answers.
Clifton E. Cushman was promoted to the rank of Major during the period he was maintained Missing in Action.
=============================================================== Senate Select Committee Hearings
North Vietnam Clifton E. Cushman (0471)
On September 25, 1966, Captain Cushman was the pilot of an F-105 in a flight of three aircraft on a mission over North Vietnam. His aircraft was hit by hostile fire and broke into pieces. His ejection seat appeared to come out of the debris and a beeper was heard but no chute was seen.
In April 1972 a U.S. Air Force interrogator debriefed a former member of the Vietnam People's Army who stated that he saw a pilot land in the area where Cushman was reported to have landed. The airman was bleeding heavily from a head wound. He later died and his body was buried by villagers. This report was initially correlated by the Defense Intelligence Agency to a different incident but in August 1981 was reevaluated and correlated to a sighting of Captain Cushman. Information was received by the U.S. Government that a French news agency had specifically referenced Cushman by name as having been killed but no news article with such information could ever be located.
Captain Cushman was initially reported missing in action and later declared dead/body not recovered. He was not seen alive in the northern Vietnamese prison system by returning U.S. POWs.
In November 1989 Vietnamese officials stated that Cushman died in the crash of his aircraft. In April 1992 the Joint Casualty Resolution Center heard from witnesses in Lang Son Province that Cushman died of a bullet wound after landing. His remains were buried and the burial site was later washed away.
A story from 1964
Published September 24 2009 http://www.grandforksherald.eom/event/article/id/l 34705/
Published September 24 2009
Cliff Cushman's POW-MIA bracelet to be given to widow
Grand Forks Herald
She was delighted to hear about Evie Struwe's desire to present her bracelet to the family. The POW-MIA bracelet “was a wonderful idea,” she said.
Who was Major Clifton Cushman? June 30 2013
And, occasionally, someone from somewhere in America sends a query: “I have this POW bracelet. I've worn it for many years. Who was Maj. Clifton Cushman? What happened to him?” Last year, it was Evie Struwe, 82, who lived near Madison, S.D. She ...