Remains Returned November 3, 1988

Name: Frederick John Fortner
Rank/Branch: O2/US Navy Reserves
Unit: Attack Squadron 155, USS CORAL SEA (CVA-43)
Date of Birth: 15 May 1943 (Upland CA)
Home City of Record: Pomona CA
Date of Loss: 17 October 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 210700N 1072800E (YJ562350)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A4E
Refno: 0868
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)

Source: Compiled 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 in 1998.


SYNOPSIS: LtCdr. Frederick Fortner was a pilot assigned to Attack Squadron
155 onboard the aircraft carrier USS CORAL SEA (CVA-43). On October 17,
1967, LtCdr. Fortner launched in his A4E "Skyhawk" on an attack mission over
North Vietnam.

After firing his rockets at a target, Fortner's aircraft was seen to be
streaming smoke or fuel and his wingman radioed for him to clear the area
and begin heading for the open sea. Fortner called that his flight controls
were locked and no further transmissions were received from him. No ejection
or parachute was seen and it was uncertain that he survived the air crash in
the thick jungle terrain. Fortner was categorized as Missing in Action.

When the war ended, Fortner's family thought it would be possible that he
had been captured, and that he would be released with other American POWs,
but he was not. The Vietnamese denied having any knowledge of him.

Following the war, refugees fled Vietnam, bringing with them reports of
American aircraft crash sites, dog tags they had found, and shockingly,
reports of Americans still alive in captivity in Southeast Asia. By the end
of 1988, the U.S. had received over 8,000 such reports.

On November 3, 1988, the Vietnamese discovered the remains of LtCdr.
Frederick Fortner and returned them to U.S. control. Fortner's family
finally knows that he is dead, and no is longer haunted by the continual
flow of reports of Americans still in Vietnam.

For nearly 2500 other American families, however, life goes on in agonizing
uncertainty. For the hundreds of American POWs thought to be still alive,
another day of abandonment passes.