Name: Frank Eugene Fullerton
Rank/Branch: O4/US Navy
Unit: Attack Squadron 93, USS BON HOMME RICHARD (CVA-31)
Date of Birth: 02 January 1934 (Riverdale GA)
Home City of Record: Jonesboro GA
Date of Loss: 27 July 1968
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 183200N 1054800E (WE970994)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 4
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A4F
Refno: 1238
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project with the assistance of Task Force
Omega from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government
agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources,
interviews: 01 January 1990. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 2020.


SYNOPSIS: Capt. Frank E. Fullerton was a pilot assigned to Attack Squadron
93 onboard the aircraft carrier USS BON HOMME RICHARD (CVA-31). On July 27,
1968, he launched in his A4F "Skyhawk" attack aircraft as the flight leader
of a two-plane section on a night road reconnaissance mission over North

As the flight crossed the coastline, Capt. Fullerton had his wingman placed
in a one to two mile trail position 2000 feet above him. Three to four
minutes after crossing the coastline, Capt. Fullerton spotted a series of
lights on the ground and assessed them to be trucks. He then called to his
wingman saying that he was going to make a bomb run. The wingman saw two
bombs detonate and then observed an orange-red fire ball close to the bomb
hits, which he presumed was a secondary explosion. The second explosion
threw flaming debris high in the air.

The wingman made his bomb run and made his first radio call to form-up on
Capt. Fullerton. There was no contact returned by Capt. Fullerton, and the
air controller aircraft in the area was contact to aid in making contact.
Although an IFF radio mode III squawk was heard, the radar return faded at
20 miles before a positive identification could be made, and no confirmed
contact was ever made with Capt. Fullerton, and he was declared Missing in

Upon review of the information available, it was considered that Capt.
Fullerton either misjudged his bombing run altitude and impacted the ground
after his bomb release (in which case he probably went down with the
aircraft), or the IFF squawk was made by Capt. Fullerton. No solid
information was ever received to determine exactly what happened to Capt.
Frank E. Fullerton.

Fullerton was not among the prisoners of war that were released in 1973.
High ranking U.S. officials admit their dismay that "hundreds" of suspected
American prisoners of war did not return.

Alarmingly, evidence continues to mount that Americans were left as
prisoners in Southeast Asia and continue to be held today. Unlike "MIAs"
from other wars, most of the nearly 2500 men and women who remain missing in
Southeast Asia can be accounted for. Fullerton could be one of them. Isn't
it time we brought our men home?





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Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Frank Eugene Fullerton entered the U.S. Navy from Georgia and served as a member of Attack Squadron 93, Carrier Air Wing 5. On July 27, 1968, he was the pilot of an A-4F Skyhawk (bureau number 154182) that was one of two aircraft that launched from the aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) on a nighttime armed reconnaissance mission near Cape Mui Ron, North Vietnam. LCDR Fullerton reported seeing a series of lights on the ground in the target area, which he determined to be a convoy of trucks. After the first attack run over the target area, the pilot of the other aircraft on the mission lost radio and visual contact with LCDR Fullerton and reported seeing a fireball on the ground near the target, which he concluded may have been LCDR Fullerton's aircraft crashing. An immediate aerial search failed to locate LCDR Fullerton or his aircraft, and they remain unaccounted for. Subsequent to the incident, and while carried in the status of missing in action (MIA), the U.S. Navy promoted LCDR Fullerton to the rank of Captain (CAPT). Today, CAPT Fullerton 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.

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