Name: Edwin James Fickler
Branch/Rank: United States Marine Corps/O3
Unit: HAMS 11 MAG 11
Date of Birth: 04 May 1943
Home City of Record: KEWASKUM WI
Date of Loss: 17 January 1969
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 160700 North  1072100 East
Status (in 1973): Presumptive Finding of Death
Category: 4
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A6A #152586
Other Personnel in Incident: Robert Kuhlman, missing
Refno: 1362

Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw
data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA
families, published sources, interviews and CACCF = Combined Action
Combat Casualty File, Department of the Navy. 2020



On the evening of 17 January 1969 the crew of an A6A Intruder conducting
direct air support and armed reconnaissance missions in the vicinity of the
A Shau Valley, Republic of Vietnam.  The A Shau Valley parallels the
Vietnam/Laos border and is approximately 30 miles southwest of the city of
Hue.  The aircraft departed Da Nang Air Base at 8:43pm, and arrived in the A
Shau Valley area at approximately 8:50pm  Upon arriving in the area, the
Bombardier/Navigator, Robert Kuhlman, contacted the Forward Air Controller
for assignment of missions.  At 9:25pm the Forward Air Controller passed a
target to the aircraft which appeared in the northern portion of the Valley.
The Controller of the mission attempted to contact the aircraft at 9:45pm to
assign another target; this attempt was met with negative results.  Further
attempts were made to make contact but in each instance the results were

Search operations were initiated at 10:25pm and continued throughout the
night.  The following day visual, electronic and photographic searches
were conducted until 12:30pm on 22 January 1969.  All searches failed
to reveal any sign of the aircraft.

The possibility that the aircraft crashed in the target area can only be
presumed. The airborne controller did observe what appeared to be an
explosion, which he assumed at that time was a bomb cluster followed by a
secondary explosion.  It was known that the enemy possessed antiaircraft
weapons in the vicinity of the A Shau Valley.




Return to Service Member Profiles

On January 17, 1969, an A-6A Intruder (bureau number 152586) with two crew members departed Da Nang Air Base for a direct air support/armed reconnaissance mission over the A Shau Valley. The crew made radio contact with their forward air controller (FAC) during the flight, and several minutes later the FAC saw several explosions near one of the Intruder's targets. After the explosions, the FAC attempted but was unable to reestablish contact with the Intruder, and search and rescue operations were initiated. Searches continued for several weeks but found no evidence of the missing aircraft or crew. 

Captain Edwin James Fickler entered the U.S. Marine Corps from Wisconsin and served in Headquarters & Maintenance Squadron 11, Marine Air Group 11, 1st Marine Air Wing. He was the pilot of the Intruder when it went missing and his remains were not recovered. Today, Captain Fickler is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. 

Based on all information available, DPAA assessed the individual's case to be in the analytical category of Active Pursuit.

If you are a family member of this serviceman, DPAA can provide you with additional information and analysis of your case. Please contact your casualty office representative.

Service member profile discrepancy? Please help us ensure the accuracy of each profile by submitting documentation about a service member profile.