RIP,  26 Oct 2023

Name: Collins Henry Haines
Rank/Branch: O4/US Navy
Unit: VFP-63 Det "L"
Date of Birth: 6 March 1932 (Riverton NJ)
Home City of Record: Moorestown NJ
Date of Loss: 05 June 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 195200N 1054000E (WG837967)
Status (in 1973): Released POW
Aircraft/Veicle/Ground: RF8G
Missions: 40
Other Personnel in Incident: none

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 April 1990 from one or more of
the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence
with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Update by the POW
NETWORK 02/97 with information provided by Collin Haines. 2023


SYNOPSIS: The Vought F8 "Crusader" saw action early in U.S. involvement in
Southeast Asia. Its fighter models participated both in the first Gulf of
Tonkin reprisal in August 1964 and in the myriad attacks against North
Vietnam during Operation Rolling Thunder. The Crusader was used exclusively
by the Navy and Marine air wings (although there is one U.S. Air Force pilot
reported shot down on an F8) and represented half or more of the carrier
fighters in the Gulf of Tonkin during the first four years of the war. The
aircraft was credited with nearly 53% of MiG kills in Vietnam.

The most frequently used fighter versions of the Crusader in Vietnam were
the C, D, and E models although the H and J were also used. The Charlie
carried only Sidewinders on fuselage racks, and were assigned such missions
as CAP (Combat Air Patrol), flying at higher altitudes. The Echo model had a
heavier reinforced wing able to carry extra Sidewinders or bombs, and were
used to attack ground targets, giving it increased vulnerability. The Echo
version launched with less fuel, to accommodate the larger bomb store, and
frequently arrived back at ship low on fuel. The RF-A models were equipped
for photo reconnaissance. The RF-G were also photographic versions, but with
additional cameras and navigational equipment.

The combat attrition rate of the Crusader was comparable to similar
fighters. Between 1964 to 1972, eighty-three Crusaders were either lost or
destroyed by enemy fire. Another 109 required major rebuilding. 145 Crusader
pilots were recovered; 57 were not. Twenty of these pilots were captured and
released. The other 43 remained missing at the end of the war. In addition,
there were 16 pilots who went down on photographic versions of the aircraft.
Of these 16, seven were captured (six were released, one died in captivity).

Lt.Cdr. Collins H. Haines was the pilot of an RF8A on his 40th combat
mission in Thanh Hoa Province, North Vietnam on June 5, 1967. As he was
about 10 miles northwest of the city of Thanh Hoa, his aircraft was hit by
enemy fire and crashed. Upon ejection, his right leg flailed, his kneecap
was broken and he had other severe leg injuries. Haines was captured by the
Vietnamese, and underwent a rough initial interrogation which included rope
torture. He was held prisoner until his return in Operation Homecoming in
the spring of 1973.

Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing,
prisoner or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S.
Government. Many authorities who have examined this largely classified
information are convinced that hundreds of Americans are still held captive
today. These reports are the source of serious distress to many returned
American prisoners. They had a code that no one could honorably return
unless all of the prisoners returned. Not only that code of honor, but the
honor of our country is at stake as long as even one man remains unjustly
held. It's time we brought our men home.

Collins Haines retired from the United States Navy as a Captain in October
of 1987. After his release from captivity he was awarded the Silver Star as
well as the P.O.W. medal. In his free time, he and his wife Margaret enjoy
sailing and fishing. They reside in Florida, have 2 children and 3


CC: from Dr. J....

Margret Haines called and said Collins flew west on Thursday (26 Oct 2023). 
As you may know, he has not been well for a while but apparently was not in pain. 
He passed peacefully in his sleep (as I understand it). ..


Collins was buried at Barrancas National Cemetery…. 


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