Remains returned 1984 -  disputed
Remains returned again 1991 - disputed

Name:  Hugh Michael Fanning
Rank/Branch: O3/US Marine Corps
Unit: 1st Marine Air Wing, Da Nang
Date of Birth: 12 July 1941 (Washington DC)
Home City of Record: Ft. Worth TX (family in OK)
Date of Loss: 31 October 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 205000N 1061200E (XJ248040)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: A6A

Other Personnel in Incident: Stephen Kott (remains returned)

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. Update
by the P.O.W. NETWORK with information provided by Kathyrn Fanning June
1997.  2020


SYNOPSIS: Hugh M. Fanning was born in Washington D.C. July 12, 1941. He
lived in New York, where his parents later made their home, and attended
college and lived in Irving, Texas. Hugh and his wife, Kathryn, attended the
University of Dallas in Irving and moved to Fort Worth after Hugh graduated.
They then attended Texas Christian University where Hugh was working on his
Masters; Kathryn was continuing her B.A. (which she finished after his plane
went down.) In 1964, Hugh taught math at Fort Worth's Trinity Valley Boys
School, before joining the Marine Corps. His wife and children lived in
Alameda, CA when he went to Vietnam as a Marine pilot with the First Marine
Air Wing based at Da Nang, South Vietnam. Fanning flew the A6A Intruder, an
all-weather, low-altitude attack plane.

On October 31, 1967, Capt. Fanning and bombardier/navigator Capt. Stephen J.
Kott were sent on a mission over North Vietnam as number two in a flight of
two aircraft on a night electronics support mission. Their radio code name
was "Oatmeal." At about 1:50 a.m., Fanning indicated he was approaching the
target. At 2:02 a.m., the leader observed a bright orange flash in the
vicinity of the target area and in the estimated position of Fanning's
aircraft which he estimated to be about 15 miles east of Hanoi at an
altitude of 100-500 feet.

It was believed that Fanning and Kott could have survived the crash of the
aircraft, and the two were classified Missing in Action. The U.S. believed
that the Vietnamese could account for them.

Several reports surfaced concerning the crash of Fanning's and Kott's plane
in the ensuing years, including one account that Kott was killed in the
crash, but Fanning was captured and taken away by jeep. The accuracy of
these reports is uncertain.

In August, 1984, remains were returned by the Vietnamese proported to be
those of Fanning and Kott. Mrs. Fanning was glad the years of waiting had
finally ended. Her casualty assistance officer assured her that existing
dental records of her husband's matched those of the remains, an important
means of identification. Moreover, he assured her that her husband had not
been wounded in the skull, the focus of a recurring dream that had plagued
her for years. The remains were buried with full military honors in Oklahoma

It was not until 11 months later, in July of 1985, when she was first
allowed access to her husband's forensic file, that Mrs. Fanning learned
that there had been NO skull and NO teeth in the remains proported to be
Hugh Fanning. Mrs. Fanning states " It wasn't just because I discovered I
had buried only 15-20% of a skeleton (no skull and teeth as discussed with
my Casualty Assistance Officer)...the main reason I exhumed the grave was
discovering (that day in July, 85 at the National League of Families
Meeting) pages and pages of live sighting reports on microfiche in my
husband's records. You see, the Marines had consistently maintained there
was no indication at all what might have happened to my husband. NO MENTION
of live sighting reports or their own recommendation that his status be
changed from MIA to POW based on an identification of his photo by North
Vietnam ralliers -- along with accurate accounts of his rank, description,
time of incident, etc. Hugh's plane was the only one that went down on Oct.
31, 1967 (in any branch of the service), so it makes the incident easier to

Mrs. Fanning arranged for the remains to be exhumed and examined
independently. The examiner concluded that the alleged remains of Hugh
Fanning could not have been scientifically identified as his ... or anyone
else's. The official identification of the set of remains as Hugh Fanning
was recinded.

The Kott family has accepted the positive identification of the remains said
to be those of Stephen Jay Kott. He has been buried with full military

Whether Hugh Fanning died on October 31, 1967 in the crash of his plane or
was taken prisoner is not known. It can only be known with certainty when
proof is obtained of his death, or Major Fanning himself is brought home
alive. Meanwhile, Mrs. Fanning says, "My husband may be dead. However, until
positive proof is given to me, I must entertain the possibility that he may
be alive. Regardless of my husband's chances, I do believe that live
Americans still remain in Southeast Asia. I will continue to search for the

Hugh Michael Fanning and Stephen Jay Kott were promoted to the rank of Major
during the period they were maintained missing.

Kathryn returned to Texas to finish her college degree after Hugh's crash.
She moved back to her hometown of Oklahoma City in 1976 after completing a
second college degree at the University of Arkansas. Although the supposed
remains of Hugh Fanning were sent home, his wedding ring, personal effects,
or crash-site artifacts have never been recovered.

U.S. Veteran News and Report
July 1991
Tom Cartwright


The U.S. Marine Corp, was caught in an indefensible effort to inter at
Arlington National Cemetery on July 15 'unidentifiable' remains, returned by
Hanoi, as those of a Marine officer on the  list of approximately 2,300
Americans still missing in action from the Vietnam War.

The burial was to be made without any notification given to the serviceman's
wife, the primary next of kin in the case.

The disgusting episode was halted due to the efforts of Sen. Bob Smith
(R-NH), who has been a leader in Congress in the POW-MIA movement to account
for America's missing servicemen.

Smith, having learned about the plans for the burial while  Congress was in
recess for the July 4 holiday, notified the Marines on July 12 that there
would not be any burial of remains at Arlington, passing them off as those
of Marine Major Hugh M. Fanning of Oklahoma City,. He became missing on
Oct.31, 1967, when his A-6 aircraft was shot down over North Vietnam.

The Marine Corps brass spent the night of July 12 and early morning hours of
July 13 attempting to get other members of Fanning's family to approve of
the burial.

Smith interceded again  on behalf of Major Fanning's wife, Kathryn, and the
Marine Corps dropped their plans for the burial.

Smith has initiated a detailed investigation of the disgusting episode.


Sources have told the U.S. VETERAN  that an announcement of the July 12
burial ceremony was to be featured during the  annual meeting of the
National League  of POW-MIA Families,  which was held in Washington from
July 11 to 14.

Mrs. Fanning found out from her husband's father, William J. Fanning, Jr.,
that the Marines had attempted to obtain his approval for the burial, which
would include his acceptance of the remains as his son.  He refused but told
Mrs. Fanning that the Marines had not stopped at that  point but had
contacted the  Marine officer's mother in Canada and talked her into
approving the burial and accepting the remains.  The elderly Fannings are

For her assistance in facilitating the burial process Major Fanning's mother
was promised airline tickets  to attend the funeral ceremony.

Actually, such an effort by the Marines is unprecedented, since Kathryn, as
the wife of the MIA, is primary next of kin.

Nevertheless, the effort by the Marines to bury "unidentifiable remains" as
Major Fanning without her knowledge is not the first trick that the Pentagon
has attempted to pull on her, in its endeavors to remove her husband from
the government's list of Americans still POW or MIA in Southeast Asia. Mrs.
Fanning and her three children buried what they were led to believe were the
remains of Major Fanning at Rose Hill , Burial Park in Oklahoma City in
August, 1984.

The  skeletal remains, that they contended were her husband's, are among
those that have been returned by Hanoi over the past several years, a few
sets at a time, although the Pentagon is fully aware that the Vietnamese
have at least 400 sets of remains in a warehouse in Hanoi.

Mrs. Fanning stated that she was told prior to the August, 1984,  burial
ceremony that the remains had been identified, beyond all doubt, since they
included teeth, which had been matched with Major Fanning's dental  records.

Mrs.  Fanning later learned, however, that the remains did not even include
a skull, let alone identifiable teeth. They consisted of 30 bone fragments
from an arm, hand, leg, ankle and foot.


About a year had passed when Mrs. Fanning obtained a court order to have the
remains exhumed and examined by two of America's leading forensic

Dr. Clyde Collins Snow, a consultant forensic anthropologist for the
Oklahoma state medical examiner's office, in a 30 page report on his
exhumation of the skeletal remains concluded that "available osteological
evidence is not sufficient to positively identify the remains as those of
Major Fanning."

Upon examining the "paper work" of the U.S. Army Central Identification
Laboratory in Honolulu, Hawaii, where all POW-MIA remains are identified ,
including those of Major Fanning, Dr. Michael Charney, director of the
Center of Human Identification at Colorado State University, reported:

"It is not possible to positively, individually, make an identification of
the skeletal remains as shown in the reports as that of Major Fanning.  In
none of the submitted reports  is there any statements as to how such an
identification was  made.  Further claims made on Form  DD 892 and another
form (no number) as to the sex, race, age, height, dexterity, musculature
cannot be scientifically supported for the race, age and dexterity or
handedness [right or left handed].  With  race undetermined this leaves the
estimate of height in question. The skull or pertinent portions of such are
required for this determination. This was not on hand. The age indicated on
the report, 25 to 30, would only have been possible to ascertain if the
pubic sym-physical face was present.  It was not. If the scapula body was
intact,  a trans-illumination might have also sufficed assuming the the bone
had not weathered badly in the intervening 17 years, but this  was also
missing. Again, this age might have been made if an osteon analysis of a
cross section of the tibia had been made. There is no indication that such
was done. One can say that these bones are those of a person over the age of
19 or 20."

Dr. Snow, who was one of the forensic anthropologists called upon to
identify the remains of Nazi death camp doctor, Josef Mengele, said the
remains did bear the physical characteristics of Major Fanning along with
about 80 percent  'of all of  the  U.S. pilots who had flown missions in
Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.

Following the exhumation and critical reports issued by  Drs. Snow and
Charney, the Marine Corps  issued a memorandum on August 7, 1987, which
acknowledged  that 'On 18 May 1987 ASGRO [Armed Services Graves Registration
Office] convened a board which reviewed all findings relating to the
identification of Major Fanning's remains and determined that  insufficient
evidence existed to support the original identification' and that further
evaluation should be conducted by the Central Identification Laboratories,

"Since then, I guess you can say they have been bullying me  to try to get
me to accept the remains," Mrs. Fanning reportedly told a Washington, D.C.

Mrs. Fanning returned the remains to the Marines  in July, 1987, in a cool
ceremony held at Colorado State University.

Currently, the Pentagon has ordered a DNA examination of the skeletal
remains, which will compare their DNA characteristics with those of Maj.
Fanning's children.

Wed Dec 10 1997
From: Joe Schlatter
Subject: Fanning, Hugh, MAJ, USMC

There is a glaring omission in your pow info page regarding Major Hugh

The remains that had been identified as Fanning and exhumed later at his
wife's request were subjected to mitochondrial DNA testing.  The DNA
extracted from those remains matched precisely with DNA from MAJ
Fanning's mother and sister.  The remains are those of Major Fanning.

Contact the Armed Forces DNA Identification Lab for confirmation.


NVVC Veteran Journal
July-August 1994


The Remains Game, Continued

Kathryn Fanning ... sought to have (her husband's) remains subjected to a
DNA test in 1992 - which ... was finally ordered by the Marine Corps. The
tests were publicly declared to be positive, Fanning said, but notes to the
file on intenal documents indicate inconclusive results.

Each of the bones that were eventually returned to Fanning, she said, had
been completely drilled out to remove any marrow which she might use for an
independent DNA test. (Fort Worth StarTelegram, Jan. 9, 1994, Tommy Denton

                       PRESS RELEASE -JUNE 12, 1995
Contact Persons: Arnold L. Beizer Tel. 203-524-1776
                Walter "Radar" O'Reilly Tel. 813-843-0431

...    FANNING/KOTT - Captain Hugh Michael Fanning was a Marine pilot on
October 31, 1967 who was accompanied by Captain Stephen Kott, navigator on
an A6A flying a mission 15 miles east of Hanoi.  Witnesses indicate that the
plane was hit and later reports indicated that Captain Kott was killed but
that Fanning had survived and was taken away in a Jeep.  In August, 1984 the
Vietnamese returned remains purported to be those of Fanning and Kott.
Fanning's remains were buried in Oklahoma City.  Mrs. Fanning had been told
by her casualty assistance officer that Hugh Fanning was positively
identified from dental records. Yet ten months later when she finally gained
access to her husband's forensic file, there was no skull nor teeth in the
remains.  His remains were exhumed by the family and an expert has testified
that the remains were unidentifiable.  While the photograph provided
herewith from a Vietnamese newspaper taken contemporaneously with the shoot
down seems to indicate that one pilot was dead, there were no pictures of
Fanning.  He may have been wounded and captured, but he has not returned.
Whether Hugh Fanning died on October 31, 1967 in the crash of his plane or
was taken prisoner is not known.  But it certainly appears we can know.
"Ask and it shall be given unto you.  Seek and you shall find". ...


Carl Davis
fellow soldier
El Paso, TX 79936 USA

To set the record straight. Capt Hugh Michael Fanning did not die while missing. In my job as an Army level POW (NVA/VC)Interrogator, I confirmed that Cpt (at that time) Fanning was captured in North Vietnam. His status was supposed to be changed from missing to captured. My verification came from an NVA prisoner who witnessed his capture and picked out photos of Cpt Fanning from a table full of photos. He picked all of the 4 or 5 photos we had of Cpt Fanning out of some 20 or 30 photos on the table. The POW confirmed that Cpt Fanning was captured alive and in good health. He also stated that Cpt Fanning resisted capture and actually hit one of his captors during his capture by local militia. No doubt his attitude contributed to his death while in captivity. I can remember feeling very proud of him at the time and submitted a formal interrogation report verifying that he had been captured alive. The NVA POW was given "Chieu Hoi" status and financial rewards for providing the information. Evidently Cpt Fanning's status was never changed. I can only hope that his family was notified. His fellow pilots on the mission saw his aircraft hit, but due to cloud cover could not see his aircraft's impact or his ejection from the aircraft. The POW's identification was extremely positive. He even gave an accurate physical description prior to picking out Cpt Fanning's photos. Cpt Fanning was indeed a hero and a fighter even after being captured. His family and fellow vietnam vets can be proud of him. Thanks Cpt Fanning.
Friday, January 08, 1999

Distributed 12/11/2010 by Bill Bell

Wife Exhumes Alleged Remains of MIA for More Tests

The remains identified as those of Maj. Hugh Fanning, a Vietnam War casualty, were exhumed from a grave in Rose Hill Cemetery on Friday, slightly more than a year after they were buried.

Kathryn Fanning, the Marine Corps pilot's widow, obtained a court order earlier this month to exhume the remains after she developed doubts they had been accurately identified by a military forensics laboratory....

....Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col. Keith P. Schneider told the Star-Telegram the board
found insufficient evidence to support the original identification as Fanning and asked for
further study.....

Wife, Marines Clash Over Whose Bones Are in Coffin : Vietnam: Woman accidentally
discovered husband was reportedly seen alive. His parents think heís dead.


Today at Arlington National Cemetery, the Marines are planning to bury Maj. Hugh Michael Fanning for the second time. At least, thatís whose body the military says is in the coffin.

Fanningís father and mother will be there. His wife, Kathryn, will not.....

After 17 years of waiting, Kathryn Fanning also believed it. Remains identified as her husbandís by U.S. officials were shipped back from Vietnam in 1984 and buried with full military honors at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Oklahoma City, where she lives....

                                                                                                        [ 02/24/96]

[NETWORK NOTE: This document was scanned and retyped to make it an ASCII file.
The Block format of a USG document was altered to just "text")


NUMBER NN8937 597, BY  RB1VSW, DATE 1/23/96

Note: This Document contains information affecting the national defense of the
United States within the meaning of the espionage laws. Title 18, U.S.C., Sec
793 and 794. The transmission or revelation of its contents in any manner to an
unauthorized person is prohibited by law.


This report contains unprocessed information. Plans and/or policies should not
be evolved or modified solely on the basis of this report.
1.  COUNTRY:  VN,HAI HUNG Province     8. REPORT NUMBER:  6 029 0846 71

2.  SUBJECT:  (U)  US PW Sighting in   9. DATE OF REPORT: 9 Aug 71
             HAI HUNG Province, NVN                 (handwritten-W31437)

                                      10.NO. OF PAGES:  9

3. ISC NUMBER: 723.600                 11.REFERENCES: DIRM:  6G3
                                                     BRIGHT LIGHT

                          18 Jul 71
                                      13. PREPARED BY: CARL K. DAVIS
                                                        SF5, USA
7. SOURCE:  Returnee Interrogation    14. APPROVING AUTHORITY:  (SIGNED)
                                                     PAUL G. SPERO
                                                     LTC, USA
                                                     US Elm, CMIC

   (C) This report contains information concerning the sighting of a US PW
   pilot in HAI HUNG Province, NVN, to include circimstances of sight-
   ing, description of the PW, description of aircraft, evacuation
   precedures, and a positive photo identification of CPT MICHAEL HUGH
   1. (C) Background Information:


       b. Rank:  SGT

       c. Position and Unit of Assignment:  Asst Chief; Military Personnel
       Section, J-95 Regt, Rear Service Office, T-7

       d. DPOB:  Sep 45; THANG HONG Village, THANH HA District, HAI HUNG
       Province, NVN

   DIA                    1 cy
   DIRNSA                 1 cy
   SAC                    1 cy
   CINPAC                 1 cy
   CINPAC AF              2 cys
   CINCUSARPAC            2 cys
   COMUSMACTHAI           1 cy
   MACJ212-2              2 cys
   MACJ213-1              1 cy
   MACJ23                 1 cy
   MACJ231               10 cys



Page 2 of 9
   e. Parents' Names: Father, NGUYEN DUY BAT (NGUYEENX, ZUY BATV), deceased;

   f. Circumstances of Return. Source submitted an application to go to an
officer school, but he was turned down. The cadre suspected him of wanting to
desert the unit to rally. On 29 Dec 70, the cadre sent out security guards,
when Source was discovered missing. One of the security guards caught up with
Source, and an argument occurred. Source killed the guard and rallied at the
DAC CAI Post, PRUONG LAM Village, DINH QUAN District, LONG KHANH Province,
   g. Significant  Activities:
   (1) DOB to 2 Jan 68. From 1953 to 1957, Source attended his village school
and then attended the THANH CUONG Village School, THANH HA District, HAI HUNG
Province, NVN, from 1957 to 1961. From 1961 to 1964, he continued his studies
at the TU KY District School, HAI HUNG  Province. He then worked as a
carpenter at his POB until he was  drafted into the NVA in Sep 65. Source was
assigned to the 15th Co, 9th Bn, 8th Regt, 320th Div, located in a jungle area
of CHI LINH District, HAI HUNG Province. He worked as a clerk for the 15th Co,
and during this period of time, he received basic infantry training three to
four hours a day. Source then attended the administration training course for
noncommissioned officers given by the cadre of the 320th Div in CHI LINH
District, for 25 days. After the completion of this course, he was assigned as
a clerk in the headquarters of the 9th Bn, 8th Regt, 320th Div. His work
consisted of maintaining a list of the personnel and weapons of the battalion
and submitting weekly and monthly reports to the Military Personnel Section,
8th Regt, 320th Div. He did this work until 2 Jan 68.
   (2) 2 Jan 68 to Apr 69. On 2 Jan 68, the 9th Bn, 8th Regt, 320th Div, was
designated the 297th Infiltration Group and, with an approximate strength of
600 men, left the jungle area of CHI LINH  District, HAI HUNG Province, on
foot. The group arrived in the KATUM area, CAMBODIA, in Jul 68. Source
contracted malaria and was sent to the K-20  Hospital and then the K-30
Hospital, both located in the KATUM area. In Sep 68, he was released from the
X-30 Hospital and assigned to the 3d Bn, A-57 Regt, R, located in the KATUM
area. Source worked as a clerk in the 3d Bn Hq, where he maintained lists of
the personnel and equipment of the battalion. In Oct 68, the A-57 Regt moved
to PHUOC LONG Province, and conducted operations in this province until Dec
68, when the A-57 Regt moved to the BAO BINH area, PHUOC TUY Province. In Apr
69, Source was sent to the regimental dispensary, where he was treated for
jaundice until Jun 69.
   (3) Jun 69 to DOR.  In Jun 69, Source was released from the A-57 Regiment
Dispensary and was sent to the 801 Convalescent Group, 84th Rear Service,
located along the DONG NAI River, LONG KHANH Province, where he rested for 20
days. He then worked as a clerk in the headquarters of the 80A Convalescent
Group until Jan 70. Source was then assigned as the third assistant of the
Military Personnel
Page 3 of 9
   Section, A-57 Regt, R, located on    ONG Mountain, BINH  TUY Province.
Source maintained records of the personnel and equipment of the entire
regiment, and held this position  until May 70. In May 70, while Source was on
a rice-procurement mission, his group hit a Claymore mine.  Source was taken
to the A-57 Regiment Dispensary, where he  was treated for shock for 17 days.
In Jun 70, Source was sent to the 400th Convalescent Station located along
the DA  QUAY  River, DINH QUAN District, LONG KHANH Province,  where he
rested for 15 days. He was then assigned as assistant chief of the
Personnel Section, J-95 Regt, Rear Service Office, T-7, located near the DA
HOUAI River, DINH QUAN District, LONG KHANH Province. The mission of the
J-95 Regt was to provide supplies to the units subordinate to T-7. Source
worked in the Personnel Section until he  rallied on 29 Dec 70.
      h. Additional References: CMIC PW/Rallier  Exploitation Guide; 525 MI
Gp PW Photo Album, dtd 10 Nov 68; MACV JPRC PW Photo Album; Department of the
Army FM 44-30, Visual Aircraft Recognition, dtd Mar 69; Map: VIETNAM, AMS
Series L7014, Sheet 6250 I, Edition 1, dtd 1965, Scale 1:50,000
   2. (C) US PW  Sighting in HAI HUNG Province, NVN. The following
information is based on SICR D-6C2-26423 (PW Information, NVN):
   a. Circumstances of Sighting;
           (1) Crash Sighting. In Sep or Oct 67, Source was assigned as a
clerk in the headquarters section of the 9th Bn, 8th Regt, 320th Div. The 9th
Bn Hq was located in a jungle area at (vic XJ434219), in CHI LINH District,
HAI HUNG Province, NVN. During the above period, Source was given leave and
was on his way home, when he observed a US PW pilot (exact day and month
unknown). Source lived in TIEN KIEU Hamlet (vic XJ538036), THANH HONG Village,
THANH  HA District, HAI HUNG Province, NVN. Source had Just crossed Highway 5
at (vic XJ44212193,  and was walking south. When he reached a location 10
meters south of Highway 5 at (vic XJ443193), he saw a US jet aircraft pass
just to the south of HAI DUONG City, HAI HUNG Province, moving from the
southwest to the northeast. The aircraft did not fire at the city of HAI
DUONG but did fire at the PHU LUONG Bridge, which spanned the THAI BINH
River at (vic XJ412162), east of HAI DUONG City. Both bombs and gun fire
were directed at the bridge. While the aircraft was attacking the bridge,
Source heard and observed antiaircraft fire being directed at the aircraft
from four locations at vicinities XJ408175, XJ425183, XJ428153  and XJ405146).
Source was unable to provide the type of antiaircraft weapons or unit
designations. Source saw no smoke or fire come from the aircraft, but stated
that it simply lost altitude and crashed into a rice field, burying its nose
in the  mud.
           (2) US PW Sighting. After observing the crash of the aircraft,
Source then started walking south, along the small road which followed a
levee, toward the aircraft. While walking south, he observed a man and
parachute land approximately one kilometer northwest of the downed
Page 4 of 9
aircraft's location at (vic XJ445151).  The man was immediately surrounded by
local civilians. Source was too far away to observe everything that happened,
but was very sure that the pilot did not resist capture. Source continued
walking south and came to within ten meters of the downed aircraft. He was
prevented from getting any closer by a local militia soldier who was guarding
the aircraft. The aircraft was located at (vic XJ445151), approximately five
to seven meters northwest of the levee road. Through conversation with the
guard, Source learned that the pilot was an American captain and was 27 years
old. Source then returned north along the levee road to Highway 5, where there
was a military station; the pilot had been taken there by the local civilians.
This station was located on the north side of Highway 5 at (vic XJ441194)
(unit designation unknown,. There were many local civilians gathered near the
military station. Source observed the pilot for approximately 15 minutes at a
distance of three meters. The pilot was taken by vehicle to HAI DUONG  City by
way of Highway 5. Source did not see the US PW pilot again. Although Source
was not sure of the exact day and month, he knew it was either Sep or Oct
because it was toward the end of the rainy season. The time of day was late
morning and the weather was cloudy. The entire incident lasted between 60 and
90 minutes. (See page 8 for an overlay of the capture/crash area)
   b. Description of PW:

           (1) Identification:

                   (a) Name: Unknown

                   (b) Rank and Branch of Service: CPT (hearsay); Unknown

                   (c) Nationality: American (hearsay)

                   (d) Physical Description:

                        1 Height: 1.70m

                        2 Weight: 70kg

                        3 Color of Hair and Eyes: Blond; Blue

                        4 Race: Caucasian

                        5 Complexion: Light

                        6 Hair Length: The PW's hair was medium length, with
a small lock of hair which fell down the center of his forehead; (See page 7
for sketch of the PW).
                        7 Nose: Medium

                        8 Scars: None visible
   Page 5 of 9

                        9 Tattoos: None visible

                       10 Birthmarks: None visible

                       11 Build: Medium

                       12 Age: 27 (hearsay)

                       13 Glasses Worn:  None
                       14 Rings/watches: Source observed none, but was told
by the people in the area that the PW's  shirt, watch, and rings had been
taken by his captors (NFI).

          (2) Clothing Worn by PW. At the time Source observed the pilot
at the military station, he was wearing a white T-shirt, dark green pants with
long zipper pockets on the outside of each leg, and black, leather boots. He
wore nothing around his neck, had no belt, and was not wearing a hat. Source
observed a helmet which was in the captors' possession, which he assumed was
taken from the pilot. The helmet was dark green in color, had two enlarged
areas on each side where the ears would be, and had a clear plastic visor over
the front and a chin strap. The helmet was made of an unknown type of hard
material (NFI). Source saw no rank or unit insignia, since the PW  wore no
shirt at the time.
           (3) Physical Condition. The PW was uninjured and required no
medical attention.
           (4) Personal Information. Source was unable to provide any
personal information concerning this PW.
           (5) Capture Data. The PW  was captured in Sep or Oct of 1967, late
in the morning after ejection from his crippled aircraft. He was captured by
local civilians and offered no resistance. The location of capture was at (vic
XJ445181),  CHI LINH District, HAI HUNG Province, NVN. Source saw no evidence
of mistreatment at the time of capture.
   c. Description of the Aircraft. Source observed the aircraft while in
flight at a distance of approximately three to five kilometers and at a
distance of 10 meters after crashing into the rice field. He described the
aircraft as being silver in color (except for the underside of the tail and
nose which  were painted black), and having single, backswept tapered wings.
There was a large,cigar-shaped tank mounted on the underside of each wing
close to the fuselage. (See page 9 for sketch of the aircraft) Source
identified the aircraft from photographs as the F4H Phantom II.
   d. Evacuation Procedures. The PW was taken directly to the military
station located on Highway 5 by the local civilians. There, he waited until a
vehicle arrived from HAI DUONG  City. This vehicle took
Page 6 of 9
the PW,  one NVA guard with an AK-47, and one man in civilian clothes south
along Highway 5 to HAI DUONG City. The driver  and man in civilian clothes
rode in front, and the PW and a guard rode in back. The vehicle was a dark
green Jeep with a canvas top (type unknown). Source assumed that the man in
civilian clothes was at least a Major because NVA policy stated that a PW
must be escorted by a higher ranking officer if possible. The PW's hands
were tied before getting into the Jeep; he was not blindfolded. While the PW
wan attempting to get into the Jeep, one of the NVA guards pushed him by the
back of his head. This angered the US PW,and he turned around and kicked the
NVA,  indicating that he was a captain and was not to be mistreated. The NVA
was about to retaliate when an NVA cadre stopped him. The cadre then very
loudly informed the NVA guard (so that all could hear) that the NVA does not
mistreat PW. They all then mounted the jeep and departed. Source only knew
that they were going to HAI DUONG City, since the cadre member had mentioned
to the crowd that they were taking the PW across the same bridge he had tried
to destroy. Source knew of no PW camps in HAI DUONG City.
   e. Biographical Correlation. The date of capture, location of capture,
rank of PW, and type of aircraft as provided by Source were cross-referenced
with corresponding information in the MACV IDHS PW Biographical File. It was
discovered that CPT MICHAEL HUGH FANNING, USMC, JPRC Number 422, is currently
carried as MIA in the same location and time frame. The rank of CPT, as
provided by Source, proved to be accurate, and the type of aircraft described
by Source was very similar to the actual aircraft flown by CPT  FANNING.
    f. Photo Identification. Source was shown the 525th MI Gp PW Photo Album
and was unable to make an identification. He stated that he would know his
face, but that the album did not contain his photo. He then offered to draw a
sketch of the US pilot. (See page 7 for a reproduction of this sketch) MACV
JPRC was contacted concerning the correlation made in paragraph 2. e., and
they sent a  representative to CMIC with several photos of CPT FANNING. These
photos were mixed with several other photos of US pilots lost  over NVN.
Source  was able to separate all photos of CPT FANNING and give a positive
identification. Upon further correlation of information in CPT FANNING's
file and information provided by  Source, it was discovered that the pilot's
actual age and the  weather conditions also corresponded. The sketch provided
by Source was also very similar to the photos of CPT FANNING.

(U) COMMENTS:  Source was very cooperative throughout the interrogation and
was of above average intelligence. His answers to  control questions were
Page 7 of 9
Sketch of US PW pilot captured in HAI HUNG Province, NVN, as provided by
returnee, NGUYEN DUY BINH,  CMIC 0312-71 (DOI: Sep  or Oct 67 )
               [NETWORK NOTE: a copy of the 6" x 9" SKETCH OF US PW PILOT
               is available - call or write using the file number 0846 71.]

Page 8 of 9

Overlay of the capture/crash area of US PW  pilot, as provided by returnee,
NGUYEN DUY BINH, CMIC 0312-71 (DOI: Sep or Oct 67)

Map: VIETNAM, AMS Series L7014, Sheet 6250 I, Edition 1, dtd 1965, Scale

               [NETWORK NOTE: a copy of the 6" x 9" MAP is available -
               call or write using the file number 0846 71.]

           Antiaircraft sites
       a   Source's location on initial sighting
       b   location of downed aircraft
       c   Source's location while observing downed aircraft
       d   PW's  location of capture
       e   Military station
       --->    Flight path of aircraft
       ====    Highway 5
       _______ Levee road
Page 9 of 9

Sketch of aircraft downed in HAI HUNG Province, as  provided by returnee,
NGUYEN DUY BINH, CMIC 0312- 71 (DOI: Sep or Oct 67) (Not to Scale)

               [NETWORK NOTE: a copy of the 6" x 9" SKETCH OF THE DOWNED
               AIRCRAFT is available - call or write using the file number
               0846 71.]

wing tanks
clear plastic
English lettering




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On December 20, 1990, the Central Identification Laboratory-Hawaii (CILH, now DPAA) identified the remains of Major Hugh Michael Fanning, missing from the Vietnam War.

Major Fanning joined the U.S. Marine Corps from Texas and was a member of Marine All Weather Attack Squadron 242. On October 31, 1967, he piloted an A-6A Intruder on a night electronic support mission over enemy territory in Vietnam. The Intruder was shot down during the mission, and Maj Fanning was killed in the incident. Enemy control of the area of the crash prevented search and rescue efforts. In July 1984, the Vietnamese government returned a set of remains they had associated with Maj Fanning to U.S. custody. In 19990, forensic analysis confirmed that the remains were those of Maj Fanning.

Major Fanning is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. 

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