COMPTON, FRANK RAY Name: Frank Ray Compton Rank/Branch: O3/US Navy Unit: USS Enterprise Date of Birth: 11 January 1936 Home City of Record: Chatham VA Date of Loss: 21 March 1966 Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Over Water Loss Coordinates: 175859N 1064258E Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 5 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: A4C Refno: 0285 Other Personnel In Incident: John M. Tiderman (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 1998. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: When nuclear powered USS ENTERPRISE arrived on Yankee Station on December 2, 1965, she was the largest warship ever built. She brought with her not only an imposing physical presence, but also an impressive component of warplanes and the newest technology. By the end of her first week of combat operations, the ENTERPRISE had set a record of 165 combat sorties in a single day. By the end of her first combat cruise, her air wing had flown over 13,000 combat sorties. The record had not been achieved without cost. One of the aircraft onboard the ENTERPRISE was the Douglas Aircraft A4 Skyhawk. This aircraft was created to provide the Navy and Marine Corps with an inexpensive, lightweight attack and ground support aircraft. The design emphasized low-speed control and stability during take-off and landing as well as strength enough for catapult launch and carrier landings. The aircraft was small, but in spite of its diminutive size, the A4 packed a devastating punch and performed well where speed and maneuverability were essential. Lt. Frank R. Compton and LCdr. John M. Tiderman comprised the crew of an A4 which launched from the USS ENTERPRISE on March 21, 1966 on a mission over North Vietnam as part of the intensive bombing campaign, Rolling Thunder. At about 75 miles east of the city of Ron in North Vietnam, Compton and Tiderman went down over the ocean. Searches did not yield their remains, and both were classified as killed/body not recovered. Compton and Tiderman are among nearly 2500 Americans who remain unaccounted for in Vietnam. Some cases, like theirs, seem clear. It is improbable that Compton and Tiderman survived the crash of their aircraft. Others, however, were alive and well and in radio contact with search teams as they described imminent capture. Some were seen in propaganda photographs or heard on radio broadcasts. Mounting evidence indicates that hundreds of these Americans are still alive, held captive by a long-ago enemy. While Compton and Tiderman may not be among them, one can imagine them proudly launching in their "Scooter" for one more mission to help bring them home. How can we abandon our best men?