Remains Returned 13 July 1988 - ID'D October 1988

Name: Charles Edward Franklin
Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force
Unit:  421st Tactical Fighter Squadron
Date of Birth: 14 September 1934
Home City of Record: Youngstown OH
Date of Loss: 14 August 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 214800N 1055000E (WK850110)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F105
Refno: 0431
Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing)

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.
Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 2020.


SYNOPSIS: Chuck Franklin was the pilot of an F105 aircraft on a bombing run
over the mail link to China in North Vietnam on August 14, 1966. Also on the
run were two other pilots, each with his own plane. Seventy miles north of
Hanoi the three aircraft ran into heavy surface to air missile (SAM) fire.
Chuck instructed the other 2 men to try and get out while he drew fire. The
other two planes were able to escape, but Chuck was not. He radioed that he
had been hit, headed for the hills and ejected.

There was every reason to suspect Franklin may have survived, and he was
listed Missing in Action. His family waited for the war to end and the POWs
to come home. However, in the spring of 1973, when 591 Americans were
released from Hanoi, Franklin was not among them. The Vietnamese denied any
knowledge of him.

Then in July 1988, the Vietnamese discovered the remains of Charles E.
Franklin and turned them over to Presidential Envoy General John Vessey.
Franklin had been a prisoner, living or dead, for 22 years.

Nearly 2500 Americans did not return from the war in Vietnam. Thousands of
reports have been received indicating that some hundreds are alive today.
As in the case of Chuck Franklin, Vietnam and her allies can account for
most of them.

In the total view of the issue of the missing, however, the return of
remains signals NO progress. In the early 1980's the very credible
Congressional testimony of a Vietnamese mortician indicated that the
Vietnamese are in possession of over 400 sets of remains. In 10 years, they
have returned barely half of them. More importantly, the same credible
witness, whose testimony is believed throughout Congress, stated that he had
seen live Americans held at the same location where the remains were stored.

As long as even one American remains alive in captivity in Southeast Asia,
the only issue is that living man. We must bring them home before there are
only remains to negotiate for.

Charles E. Franklin was promoted to the rank of Colonel during the period he
was maintained Missing in Action.




Return to Service Member Profiles

On October 17, 1998, the Central Identification Lab-Hawaii (CILHI, now DPAA) identified the remains of Colonel Charles Edward Franklin, missing from the Vietnam War.

Colonel Franklin, who joined the U.S. Air Force from Ohio, served with the 421st Tactical Fighter Squadron. On August 14, 1966, he piloted an F-105F Thunderchief (serial number 61-197) on a bombing mission against enemy communications infrastructure in North Vietnam. During the mission, the Thunderchief was shot down and Col Franklin was killed. Hostile presence in the area inhibited search efforts during the war and his remains could not be recovered at the time. In 1988, the Vietnamese government repatriated remains which were later identified as those of Col Franklin.

Col Franklin 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.