Name: Robert John Kuhlman Jr.
Branch/Rank: United States Marine Corps/O2
Unit: VMA 242 MAG 11
Date of Birth: 25 August 1944
Home City of Record: RICHMOND IN
Date of Loss: 17 January 1969
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 106700 North  1072100 East
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 4
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A6A #152586
Other Personnel in Incident: Edwin Fickler, missing
Refno: 1362

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, Department of the Navy. 2020



On the evening of 17 January 1969 Robert Kuhlman was the
Bombardier/Navigator of an A6A Intruder conducting direct air support and
armed reconnaissance missions in the vicinity of the A Shau Valley, Republic
of Vietnam.  The A Shau Valley parallels the Vietnam/Laos border and is
approximately 30 miles southwest of the city of Hue.  The aircraft departed
Da Nang Air Base at 8:43pm, and arrived in the A Shau Valley area at
approximately 8:50pm  Upon arriving in the area, the B/N contacted the
Forward Air Controller for assignment of missions.  At 9:25pm the Forward
Air Controller passed a target to the aircraft which appeared in the
northern portion of the Valley.  The Controller of the mission attempted to
contact the aircraft at 9:45pm to assign another target; this attempt was
met with negative results.  Further attempts were made to make contact but
in each instance the results were negative.

Search operations were initiated at 10:25pm and continued throughout the
night.  The following day visual, electronic and photographic searches
were conducted until 12:30pm on 22 January 1969.  All searches failed
to reveal any sign of the aircraft.

The possibility that the aircraft crashed in the target area can only be
presumed. The airborne controller did observe what appeared to be an
explosion, which he assumed at that time was a bomb cluster followed by a
secondary explosion.  It was known that the enemy possessed antiaircraft
weapons in the vicinity of the A Shau Valley.





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On January 17, 1969, an A-6A Intruder (bureau number 152586) with two crew members departed Da Nang Air Base for a direct air support/armed reconnaissance mission over the A Shau Valley. The crew made radio contact with their forward air controller (FAC) during the flight, and several minutes later the FAC saw several explosions near one of the Intruder's targets. After the explosions, the FAC attempted but was unable to reestablish contact with the Intruder, and search and rescue operations were initiated. Searches continued for several weeks but found no evidence of the missing aircraft or crew. 

First Lieutenant Robert John Kuhlman entered the U.S. Marine Corps from Indiana and served in Marine All Weather Attack Squadron 242, Marine Air Group 11, 1st Marine Air Wing. He was the bombardier/navigator aboard the Intruder when it went missing and his remains were not recovered. Following the incident, the Marine Corps promoted 1stLt Kuhlman to the rank of Major (Maj). Today, Major Kuhlman 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 Active Pursuit.

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