FOULKS, RALPH EUGENE JR.
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.