Name: Ian Jack Franks
Rank/Branch: E4/US Army
Unit: 224th Aviation Co., 164th Aviation Group, 1st Aviation Brigade
Date of Birth: 28 September 1946
Home City of Record: New York NY
Date of Loss: 23 March 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 100245N 1054752E
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 4
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: OV1C
Refno: 1102
Other Personnel In Incident: Masaki Hattori (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 2020.


SYNOPSIS:  On March 23, 1968 Major Masaki Hattori, the pilot, and SP4 Ian
Franks, observer, were flying an OV1C (tail #603756) when their aircraft, in
an effort to avoid a mid-air collision with two U.S. Navy helicopters,
crashed into the Hau Giang River near Can Tho, South Vietnam.

Eyewitnesses to the crash confirmed that neither crewmember bailed out.
After a 4 day extensive search, some aircraft wreckage was found, along with
2 shattered flight helmets with bits of hair and tissue attached.  A medical
analyst examined the helmets and concluded that no one could have survived
the crash.

Leaflets were distributed along the river banks, but no additional leads or
information was forthcoming.  Franks and Hattori were classified as killed,
but as their remains were not found, they are listed among the missing.

Nearly 2500 Americans are missing in Southeast Asia.  Franks and Hattori are
two of the few whose cases seem clear.  For many families, the memory that
their man's photo appeared in a communist paper shortly after capture emotes
bitter resentment and great sadness.  Other men were in radio contact with
search and rescue teams who were trying to get to them before the enemy did.
Some simply vanished.

In recent years, evidence has poured in regarding Americans still alive in
Southeast Asia, held captive by a long-ago enemy.  One can only guess what
they must be thinking of the country they went to serve.




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On March 23, 1968, an OV-1C Mohawk (tail number 603756) with two crew members was conducting a routine reconnaissance mission over the Mekong Delta when it crashed into the Hau Giang River in the vicinity of (GC) WS 874 105 near Can Tho, South Vietnam. No ejections were seen before the aircraft went down, and when the crash site was eventually located, a medical examiner determined there was no possibility that either crew member could have survived the incident. Nevertheless, search operations were conducted but found no evidence of either crew member, and future attempts to locate and identify their remains were unsuccessful.

Specialist 4 Ian Jack Franks entered the U.S. Army from New York and served in the 224th Aviation Company, 164th Aviation Group. He was the observer aboard the Mohawk when it crashed and his remains have not been recovered or identified. Today, Specialist 4 Franks 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.

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