Name: Richard William Hawthorne
Branch/Rank: United States Marine Corps/O4
Unit: VCMJ 1 MAGG 11
Date of Birth: 12 November 1933
Home City of Record: TROY NY
Date of Loss: 12 September 1967
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 154900 North  1072000 East
Status (in 1973): Presumptive Finding of Death
Category: 4
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: RF4B #153104
Other Personnel in Incident:
Refno: 0834

Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw
data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA
families, published sources, interviews and CACCF = Combined Action
Combat Casualty File.  2020



No further information available at this time.





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On September 12, 1967, an RF-4B Phantom II (bureau number 15-3104, call sign "Cottonpicker 52") carrying two members, left Da Nang Air Base on a nighttime photographic reconnaissance mission over South Vietnam. During the mission, another aircraft from the same squadron but flying another mission observed and reported a flash and a streak of flame west of the mouth of the Hoi An River. Radio calls made to "Cottonpicker 52" were not answered and the Phantom failed to return from its mission. Search and rescue efforts launched at daylight located a burned area west of Da Nang; however, numerous attempts to locate the two crew members and the missing aircraft were unsuccessful.

Major Richard William Hawthorne, who joined the U.S. Marine Corps from New York, served with Marine Composite Reconnaissance Squadron 1, Marine Air Group 11, 1st Marine Air Wing. He was the pilot of the Phantom when it crashed, and his remains were not recovered. Following the incident, the Marine Corps promoted Maj Hawthorne to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel (LtCol). Today, Lieutenant Colonel Hawthorne 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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