Name:  William Arthur Heep
Branch/Rank: United States Navy/O3
Date of Birth: 06 July 1942
Home City of Record: SAN PEDRO CA
Date of Loss: 24  August 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 182849 North 1073001 East
Status (in 1973): Killed In Action/Body Not Recovered
Category: 5
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4B
Other Personnel in Incident:
Refno: 1261

Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw
data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA
families, published sources, interviews and CACCF = Combined Action
Combat Casualty File. 2020


CACCF/CRASH/PILOT/4 YRS United States Navy


No further information available at this time.





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On August 24, 1968, as an F-4 Phantom II (bureau number 150434, call sign "Taproom 307") launched from the aircraft carrier USS Constellation (CVA 6) for a strike mission against North Vietnam, the aircraft's left tire exploded while moving down the catapult track. The Phantom continued down the track, off the ship and into the water, angling upwards and rolling to the right. The radar intercept officer ejected just prior to the aircraft entering the water, while the pilot, still in his seat, came out of the water, traveled horizontally 30 feet and disappeared beneath the front of the ship in the vicinity of (GC) 48Q YF 640 450. Although the radar intercept officer was recovered, the search for the pilot was unsuccessful.

Lieutenant William Arthur Heep, who joined the U.S. Navy from California, served with Fighter Squadron 143. He was the pilot of this Phantom when it plunged into the sea at take-off, and his remains were not recovered. Today, Lieutenant Heep 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 Non-recoverable.

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