KUHLMAN, ROBERT JOHN JR.
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
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A6A #152586
Other Personnel in Incident: Edwin Fickler, missing
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.