GORTON, THOMAS FREDERICK Name: Thomas Frederick Gorton Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force Unit: Date of Birth: 06 December 1929 Home City of Record: Toledo OH Date of Loss: 06 December 1963 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 101411N 1064617E (XS940320) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 5 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: B26B Refno: 0025 Other Personnel in Incident: Richard D. Hill (missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 September 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 1998. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: The Douglas B26 was a twin-engine attack bomber with World War II service. In Vietnam, it served the French in the 1950's and also the U.S. in the early years of American involvement in Southeast Asia. As the legend goes, the B26 was renamed "A26" in the early years of because the U.S. did not want to admit using bombers in Southeast Asia. Capt. Thomas F. Gorton and Airman 2nd Class Richard D. Hill were crewmembers onboard a B26B which went down in South Vietnam in the early years. The aircraft had been on a photo reconnaissance mission near the coast of Kien Hoa Province. Hill was an aerial photographer while Gorton was part of the flight crew. The aircraft crash site was located about 40 miles south-southeast of Saigon near the mouth of the Mekong River in about five feet of water. No personnel were aboard. The remains of the pilot and navigator were subsequently located which indicated that these men had tried to swim away after the crash. Hill and Gorton could not be found. The two were first classified Missing in Action but their status was later changed to Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered. Gorton and Hill are listed among the missing because their remains were never found to send home to the country he served. For other who are missing, however, the evidence leads not to death, but to survival. Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports received relating to Americans still held captive in Indochina have convinced experts that hundreds of men are still alive, waiting for their country to rescue them. The notion that Americans are dying without hope in the hands of a long-ago enemy belies the idea that we left Vietnam with honor. It also signals that tens of thousands of lost lives were a frivolous waste of our best men.