Name: Robert Eugene Hoskinson
Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force
Unit: 388th Combat Support Group, Udorn Airbase, Thailand
Date of Birth: 26 July 1929
Home City of Record: Muro OR
Date of Loss: 29 July 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 204300N 10454953E (VH998943)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: RC47D
Refno: 0407

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.

Other Personnel in Incident: Galileo F. Bossio; Robert DiTommaso; (still
missing) Bernard Conklin; James S. Hall; John Mamiya; Herbert E. Smith;
Vincent Chiarello (remains returned)

REMARKS: DEAD/FIR 317-09130 74

SYNOPSIS: On July 19, 1966, an RC47D aircraft departed Udorn Airfield in
Thailand en route to Sam Neua, Laos. The crew abord the aircraft included
Capt. Robert E. Hoskinson, pilot; Maj. Galileo F. Bossio, 1Lt. Vincent A.
Chiarello, Capt. Bernard Conklin, 1Lt. Robert J. Di Tommaso, SSgt. James S.
Hall, TSgt. John M. Mamiya and TSgt. Herbert E. Smith, crewmen. The aircraft
was an unarmed RC47D Command and Control airship (Dogpatch 2).

When the aircraft was 10-20 miles south of Sam Neua, it was attacked by
enemy fighters. Radio contact was lost and the families were initially told
there was no further word of the plane or crew - that they had all been lost
on an operational mission in North Vietnam.

It was later learned, however, that at least one, possibly two parachutes
were observed in the air from persons on the ground, and the loss had
occurred not in North Vietnam, but at 201200N 1041700E, which is in Laos.

Primary objective of the C-47 in Laos at that point in the war was visual
reconnaissance. American forces worked closely with CAS (CIA) primarily to
weaken the communist supply link to South Vietnam via the "Ho Chi Minh
Trail". This particular plane, however, was working in support of the CIA's
secret indigenous army which was attempting to prevent a communist takeover
in Laos.

The crewmembers on these missions were normally highly trained in electronic
surveillance techniques as well as versed in codes and languages.
Accordingly, and as "there was no war in Laos", certain details of the
mission, such as the precise location of loss, were originally distorted.
Later reports indicate that some of the crew survived the attack on July 29,
1966. According to a March, 1974 list published by the National League of
Families of POW/MIAs, Bossio survived the incident and was missing in Laos.
One 1971 report states that as many as 5 of the crew were captured.
Chiarello and Di Tommaso were identified as survivors by Capt. Adair of
Project Dogpatch. U.S. Air Force records still reflect the loss as having
occurred in North Vietnam.

In 1988, the remains of Conklin, Chiarello, Hall, Mamiya and Smith were
returned to U.S. control. They were positively identified and returned to
their families for burial. The Di Tommaso family was also notified, and
Mafalda Di Tommaso rushed to Hawaii to sadly welcome her son home. She was
shocked to learn that no body had returned - only information which added
nothing to the mystery surrounding her son's loss.

The families of Bossio, Hoskinson and Di Tommaso have the right to know what
happened on July 29, 1966. The communist governments of Southeast Asia can
account for the large majority of the nearly 2500 Americans still missing
there. The weight of the evidence shows that some of them are still being
held captive. It's time the veil of secrecy was lifted on these men and the
others. It's time they came home.





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On July 29, 1966, an RC-47D Skytrain (tail number 43-48388, call sign "Dogpatch") with eight crew members carried out a classified mission over North Vietnam. In the last radio contact with "Dogpatch," it reported that it was under attack by enemy aircraft and was being forced down. Later reports indicated that "Dogpatch" had been shot down and that at least six of the crew members had died and been buried near the crash site. The remains of five crew members were eventually recovered, returned to U.S. custody, and identified. The other three crew members are still unaccounted for. 

Captain Robert Eugene Hoskinson, who entered the U.S. Air Force from Oregon, served with the 467th Combat Support Group and was the pilot on "Dogpatch" at the time of its loss. He remains unaccounted for. Following the incident, the Air Force promoted Capt Hoskinson to the rank of Colonel (Col). Today, Colonel Hoskinson 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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