The symbol next to Ralph's name on the Wall was changed from a cross (MIA)
to a star (KIA) April 30, 1994. Remains were identified 12 JAN 93.
Name: Ralph Eugene Foulks, Jr.
Rank/Branch: O2/US Navy
Unit: Attack Squadron 163, USS ORISKANY (CVA-34)
Date of Birth: 21 July 1943
Home City of Record: Ridgecrest CA
Date of Loss: 05 January 1968
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 200600N 1060400E (XH167227)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 4
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A4E
Refno: 0968
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project with the assistance of one or more
of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources,
correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviewsd: 01
January 1990. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 1998.
SYNOPSIS: Lt. Ralph E. Foulks, Jr. was a pilot assigned to Attack Squadron
163 onboard the aircraft carrier USS ORISKANY (CVA-34). On January 5, 1968,
he launched in his A4E "Skyhawk" attack aircraft as the wingman on a
two-plane night armed reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam.
Shortly after crossing the coast, the flight leader took a column of trucks
under attack. Lt. Foulks acknowledged that he had the bomb impacts of his
flight leader in sight. The time was 6:10 a.m. and that was the last
communication received from him. At that time, Foulks was located at Phat
Diem in Ninh Binh Province, North Vietnam.
No crash was observed, nor were ejection or parachute seen. If Foulks
radioed or transmitted emergency signals, they were not heard. All Search
and Rescue efforts were unsuccessful in locating Lt. Foulks. Both Da Nang
and Chu Lai airfields, the two designated emergency locations, were
contacted with no results. Lt. Ralph E. Foulks, Jr. was placed in Missing in
Action status.
When the last American troops left Southeast Asia in 1975, some 2500
Americans were unaccounted for. Reports received by the U.S. Government
since that time build a strong case for belief that hundreds of these
"unaccounted for" Americans are still alive and in captivity. "Unaccounted
for" is a term that should apply to numbers, not men. We, as a nation, owe
these men our best effort to find them and bring them home. Until the fates
of men like Foulks are known, their families will wonder if they are dead or
alive - and why they were deserted.