Remains Returned 3 November 1988

Name: Phillip Spratt Clark, Jr.
Rank/Branch: O3/US Navy
Unit: Attack Squadron 113, USS RANGER
Date of Birth: 06 January 1946 (Phoenix AZ)
Home City of Record: Fairchild AFB WA
Date of Loss: 24 December 1972
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 105000N 1070900E (YJ360170)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A7E
Refno: 1969
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project with the assistance of one or more
of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence
with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews: 15 March 1990
Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 1998.


SYNOPSIS: Lt.Cdr. Phillip S. Clark, Jr. was a pilot assigned to Attack
Squadron 113 onboard the aircraft carrier USS RANGER (CVA-61). On December
24, 1972, he launched in his A7E "Corsair" as the number two aircraft in a
flight of three. Their mission was to mine the Chateau Renaud Channel, Quang
Ninh Province, North Vietnam at a point approximately 1/4 nautical mile off
the northwestern tip of Ile Rousse.

Low ceilings and reduced visibility necessitated individual attacks into the
heavily defended target area. On making individual runs into the target area
the number three aircraft saw a parachute floating down through the clouds
and heard an emergency radio beeper just prior to bomb release. A momentary
emergency radio transmission was heard saying, "I'm in the water with two
A-6s passing overhead". This was followed by 2-3 unintelligible
transmissions and then then one-way radio contact was lost.

Search and Rescue (SAR) efforts were initiated immediately but were severely
hampered by bad weather conditions and approaching darkness. Numerous
fishing boats were seen in the general loss location. SAR efforts were
terminated on the third day with negative results.

By the end of the next month, agreements were signed in Paris by Vietnam and
the U.S. which would end American involvement in the war in Southeast Asia.
By April 1973, 591 Americans had been released from POW camps, but Phillip
S. Clark was not one of them. He remained in Missing in Action status until
September 21, 1978 at which time his case was reviewed and he was
reclassified Presumed Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered, based on no
information to indicate that he was alive.

The Vietnamese have continually denied knowledge of Lt.Cdr. Clark even
though the area in which he was lost was populous and a number of water
craft were in the area that could have picked him up and turned him over to
Vietnamese authority.

Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports have been received by the U.S.
Government relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia. Many authorities
believe there are hundreds of Americans still alive in captivity today. It
is not known what happened to Clark after he successfully ejected from his
crippled aircraft. He might have been killed by nearby fishermen. He may
have been "rescued" and turned over to Vietnamese authorities. He may yet be
alive, wondering why his country has abandoned him.

Alive or dead, Phillip Spratt Clark, Jr. is a prisoner of war. It's time he
was home.

On November 3, 1989, the Vietnamese returned the remains of Phillip S.
Clark, Jr. His family wished no publicity at that time, so the return was
not publicized.

Phillip S. Clark, Jr. graduated the U.S. Naval Academy on June 30, 1968.




Return to Service Member Profiles

On February 17, 1989, the Central Identification Laboratory-Hawaii (CILH, now DPAA) identified the remains of Lieutenant Commander Philip Spratt Clark Jr., missing from the Vietnam War.

Lieutenant Commander Clark joined the U.S. Navy from Washington and was a member of Attack Squadron 113, embarked aboard the USS Ranger. On December 24, 1972, he piloted an A-7 Corsair on a mine laying mission over the Renaud Channel off the North Vietnamese coast. Lieutenant Commander Clark's Corsair went down during the mission, and he died in the incident. Search and rescue attempts for LCDR Clark were unsuccessful. In February 1989, the Vietnamese government repatriated a set of remains that U.S. analysts identified as those of LCDR Clark. 

If you are a family member of this serviceman, you may contact your casualty office representative to learn more about your service member.