HAINES, COLLINS HENRY 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 Category: 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. REMARKS: 730304 RELSD BY DRV 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.
SOURCE: WE CAME HOME copyright 1977 Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR Ret), Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602 Text is reproduced as found in the original publication (including date and spelling errors). UPDATE - 02/97 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO with information provided by Collin Haines. COLLINS H. HAINES Commander - United States Navy Shot Down: June 5, 1967 Released: March 3, 1973 I was born in Riverton, New Jersey on March 6, 1932, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Howard P. Haines. I grew up in this town and upon finishing school there I attended Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. from which I graduated in May 1954 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. I attended Officers Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island and was commissioned in May 1955, serving aboard surface ships until receiving orders to Flight Training in late 1957. I received my wings in May 1959 and subsequently served in various West coast and Training Command squadrons in Texas. In October 1966, I became Officer in Charge of a detachment of aircraft going to Vietnam aboard the USS Bon Homme Richard. On June 5, 1967, while on a photographic reconnaissance mission, I was shot down and captured near the town of Thann Hoa, North Vietnam. My leg was injured during ejection from the aircraft and my future plans will depend upon the results of surgical treatment I am presently undergoing. I personally would like to thank all of you who during these long years, thought about us, worked for us, wore bracelets for us and prayed for us. There can be no doubt that all this helped bring us home. I am proud of and grateful to the Navy for the wonderful care they gave my family during my absence... I thank God for this wonderful country to which I was able to return. I had much time to reflect while a prisoner of war and I spent many hours thinking about something I had much taken for granted before being shot down. That something is - Freedom!! I will never again take my freedom for granted and will endeavor to alert my fellow Americans that they must not do so either. I will also endeavor to alert my fellow Americans to the obligations every citizen has to his country. Many are willing to accept the benefits of freedom but are not willing to fulfill their obligations to support it. These obligations are many and diverse, ranging from understanding and fulfilling your obligations as a citizen... to standing ready to defend, despite any risk, this very same freedom of which I have been talking. I close with a salute to a group of men who did not fail in this obligation. These men are the real heroes; they are - the dead, the maimed, and the MlA's from the Vietnam war. May God bless them. ================================================ 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 grandchildren.