Name: Masaki Hattori
Rank/Branch: O4/US Army
Unit: 224th Aviation Co., 164th Aviation Group, 1st Aviation Brigade
Date of Birth: 21 November 1936
Home City of Record: Stockton CA
Date of Loss: 23 March 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 100245N 1054752E (WS874105)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Other Personnel In Incident: Ian J. Franks (missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1991 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 2020.
SYNOPSIS: On March 23, 1968 Major Masaki Hattori, the pilot, and SP4 Ian
Franks, observer, were flying an OV1C (tail #603756) when their aircraft, in
an effort to avoid a mid-air collision with two U.S. Navy helicopters,
crashed into the Hau Giang River near Can Tho, South Vietnam.
Eyewitnesses to the crash confirmed that neither crewmember bailed out.
After a extensive 4-day search, some aircraft wreckage was found, along with
2 shattered flight helmets with bits of hair and tissue attached. A medical
analyst examined the helmets and concluded that no one could have survived
Leaflets were distributed along the river banks, but no additional leads or
information was forthcoming. Franks and Hattori were classified as killed,
but as their remains were not found, they are listed among the missing.
Nearly 2500 Americans are missing in Southeast Asia. Franks and Hattori are
two of the few whose cases seem clear. For many families, the memory that
their man's photo appeared in a communist paper shortly after capture emotes
bitter resentment and great sadness. Other men were in radio contact with
search and rescue teams who were trying to get to them before the enemy did.
Some simply vanished.
In recent years, evidence has poured in regarding Americans still alive in
Southeast Asia, held captive by a long-ago enemy. One can only guess what
they must be thinking of the country they went to serve.