ELKINS, FRANK CALLIHAN Remains Returned - ID Announced March 1990 Name: Frank Callihan Elkins Rank/Branch: O3/US Navy Unit: Attack Squadron 164, USS ORISKANY Date of Birth: 25 May 1939 Home City of Record: Bladenboro NC Date of Loss: 12 October 1966 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 190500N 1053600E (WG631099) Status (in 1973): Missing in Action Category: 4 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A4E Refno: 0492 Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 March 1991 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, including "Alpha Strike Vietnam" by Jeffrey L. Levinson, personal interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 1998. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: The USS ORISKANY was a World War II-era carrier on duty in Vietnam as early as 1964. The ORISKANY's 1966 tour was undoubtedly one of the most tragic deployments of the Vietnam conflict. This cruise saw eight VA 164 "Ghostriders" lost; four in the onboard fire, one in an aerial refueling mishap, and another three in the operational arena. On July 28, 1966, Ensign George P. McSwain, Jr. was flying an A4E Skyhawk in a strike mission near the city of Vinh, Nghe An Province, North Vietnam, when his aircraft was hit by a surface-to-air missile (SAM). McSwain successfully ejected and reached the ground safely, but was captured by the North Vietnamese. He was released in Operation Homecoming on March 4, 1973. On August 26, 1966, LTJG William H. Bullard launched from the decks of the ORISKANY in his A4E Skyhawk on a night combat mission. Mechanical problems caused Bullard's aircraft to go down near the carrier and he was never found. Bullard was listed Killed, Body Not Recovered. On October 12, 1966 still another Ghostrider was shot down. LT Frank C. Elkins was on a strike mission near the city of Tho Trang, about five miles from the coast of Nghe An Province, when his aircraft went down. His A4E Skyhawk had been damaged by SAM. It was not known what happened to Elkins after the crash of his aircraft, and he was classified Missing in Action. In March 1990, the Vietnamese "discovered" the mortal remains of Elkins and returned them to U.S. control. When the war ended, 591 Americans were released from POW camps. Military authorities at the time were shocked that hundreds more known or suspected to be held captive were not released. Since the war ended, over 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing, prisoner or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S. Government. Many authorities who have examined this largely classified information are convinced that hundreds of Americans are still held captive today. These reports are the source of serious distress to many returned American prisoners. They had a code that no one could honorably return unless all of the prisoners returned. Not only that code of honor, but the honor of our country is at stake as long as even one man remains unjustly held. It's time we brought our men home. Frank C. Elkins was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander during the period he was listed missing.