FALLON, PATRICK MARTIN Name: Patrick Martin Fallon Rank/Branch: O6/US Aif Force Unit: Vice Commander, 56th Special Operations Wing, Nakhon Phanom RAFB, Thailand Date of Birth: 12 November 1921 Home City of Record: Pittsburgh PA (family in GA) Date of Loss: 04 July 1969 Country of Loss: Laos Loss Coordinates: 191700N 1030600E (UG004331) Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 2 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: A1H Refno: 1463 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. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: Patrick Fallon was born in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania November 12, 1921. He attended West Point, but dropped out in 1944 to serve in World War II. In Korea, he flew 125 combat missions, and as a forward air controller, parachuted behind enemy lines. He came home with a chest full of medals. In 1968, Colonel Fallon elected to go to Vietnam, and departed for Nakhon Phanom, Thailand in September 1969, to assume the position of Vice Commander of the 56th Special Operations Wing. His wife and two daughters waited in Florida for his return. On July 4, 1969, Fallon and another A1 pilot were ordered to check out enemy activity near the town of Xiangkhoang at the edge of the Plain of Jars in Northern Laos. The flight was led by Col. Fallon, call sign Firefly 26, his wingman, Firefly 27. Fallon took his plane down low to observe the Pathet Lao positions, circled and came in for another pass. His plane was hit by enemy fire at 200 feet, and Fallon bailed out. Fallon reached the ground safely between two 4500 foot ridges. Pathet Lao troops and machine gun emplacements were on both ridges. Fallon's wingman called for assistance and rescue teams immediately. Firefly 27 was hit, but continued to lay protective fire until he was forced to leave the area. He subsequently made a crash landing in Thailand. Fallon maintained radio contact with the planes above him, but they were unable to rescue him because of the enemy presence. His last transmission advised them, "Put it all around me, I'm hit". When the Air Force came to Mrs. Fallon's door to inform her that her husband had been shot down, she was packed and ready to meet Pat on leave in Hawaii. When his personal effects were shipped home, she discovered he had flown over 100 combat missions from NKP, received a Purple Heart and a Distinguished Flying Cross. He had never told her. Through the years, reports have surfaced concerning Colonel Fallon as a prisoner of war in Laos. Mrs. Fallon has never given up her search for information on her husband's fate. He is one of nearly 600 Americans lost in the "secret war" in Laos. When the U.S. signed peace agreements, Laos was not included and no American prisoners held by the Lao were released. Although the U.S. Government has received nearly 10,000 reports concerning Americans still missing in Southeast Asia, convincing many authorities that hundreds are still alive, the U.S. has been unable to find a way to free those men captured in Laos. One of them could be Colonel Patrick Fallon. It's time our men came home.