HARDY, ARTHUR HANS Remains Returned 830920 Name: Arthur Hans Hardy Rank/Branch: O2/US Air Force Unit: Date of Birth: 07 November 1948 Home City of Record: Ipswich MA Date of Loss: 14 March 1972 Country of Loss: Laos Loss Coordinates: 160100N 106200E (XC410655) Status (in 1973): Status was changed from POW to Missing in Action 11/73 Category:2 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: OV10A Other Personnel in Incident: none missing Refno: 1801 Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 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. REMARKS: Survived crash SYNOPSIS: The OV10 Bronco was among the aircraft most feared by the Viet Cong and NVA forces, because whenever the Bronco appeared overhead, an air strike seemed certain to follow. Although the glassed-in cabin could become uncomfortably warm, it provided splendid visibility. The two-man crew had armor protection and could use machine guns and bombs to attack, as well as rockets to mark targets for fighter bombers. This versatility enabled the plane to fly armed reconnaissance missions, in addition to serving as vehicle for forward air controllers. 1Lt. Arthur H. Hardy was the pilot of an OV10A sent on a forward air control mission over the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos on March 14, 1972. The "Trail," a road system in Laos near the Vietnam border, was used by the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong for transporting weapons, supplies and troops. Hardy's aircraft was hit during the mission, and he bailed out of the aircraft. He radioed to rescuers that he was going down Routes #23 and #233, and his parachute was seen on the trail. He was believed to be uninjured at that time. Search and Rescue never found Arthur H. Hardy. He was declared Missing in Action, even though he was alive on the ground in close proximity to enemy troops. Records on American military personnel were maintained in various government agencies. Raw intelligence data from Southeast Asia freqently first found its way into the files of the organization which came to be known as Joint Casualty Resolution Center (JCRC). Many analysts believed JCRC records were the most complete and authoritative, since they contained largely raw data without benefit of analytical "muddling". In November 1973, JCRC received a cable from Defense Intelligence Agency which was copied to various high stations, including CIA, the Secretary of State and the White House. The cable stated JCRC should "take necessary action to delete any references pertaining to PW [Prisoner of War] status and place members in a new MIA code" the files of Arthur Hardy and several others. Whether JCRC had intelligence that indicated Hardy had been captured is unknown. Since American involvement in Vietnam ended in 1975, nearly 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing, prisoner, or otherwise unaccounted for in Indochina have been received by the U.S. Government. Many officials, having examined this largely classified information, have reluctantly concluded that many Americans are still alive today, held captive by our long-ago enemy. Whether Hardy was captured by the enemy is certain not known. It is not known if he might be among those thought to be still alive today. What is certain, however, is that as long as even one American remains alive, held against his will, we owe him our very best efforts to bring him to freedom. Hardy graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1970. He was promoted to the rank of Captain during the period he was maintained missing. His 's remains were recovered and returned by a Lao citizen on 20 September 1983. Hundreds of American pilots were shot down trying to stop this communist traffic to South Vietnam. Fortunately, search and rescue teams in Vietnam were extremely successful and the recovery rate was high. Still there were nearly 600 who were not rescued. Many of them went down along the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the passes through the border mountains between Laos and Vietnam. Many were alive on the ground and in radio contact with search and rescue and other planes; some were known to have been captured. Hanoi's communist allies in Laos, the Pathet Lao, publicly spoke of American prisoners they held, but when peace agreements were negotiated, Laos was not included, and not a single American was released that had been held in Laos.