KETCHIE, SCOTT DOUGLAS
Name: Scott Douglas Ketchie
Rank/Branch: O2/US Marine Corps
Unit: VMA 224, Detachment C
Date of Birth: 19 August 1947
Home City of Record: Birmingham AL
Date of Loss: 09 April 1972
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 164800N 1062900E (XD565572)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Other Personnel in Incident: (pilot rescued)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project with the assistance of one or more
of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence
with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews: 15 March 1990. Updated
by the P.O.W. NETWORK 2020.
SYNOPSIS: The Grumman A6 Intruder is a two-man all weather, low-altitude,
carrier-based attack plane, with versions adapted as aerial tanker and
electronic warfare platform. The A6A primarily flew close-air-support,
all-weather and night attacks on enemy troop concentrations, and night
interdiction missions. Its advanced navigation and attack system, known as
DIANE (Digital Integrated Attack navigation Equipment) allowed small
precision targets, such as bridges, barracks and fuel depots to be located
and attacked in all weather conditions, day or night. The planes were
credited with some of the most difficult single-plane strikes in the war,
including the destruction of the Hai Duong bridge between Hanoi and Haiphong
by a single A6. Their missions were tough, but their crews among the most
talented and most courageous to serve the United States.
On April 9, 1972, 1Lt. Scott D. Ketchie was the co-pilot of an A6A Intruder
which was sent on a mission in Laos near the DMZ. At a point about 10 miles
inside Laos' Savannakhet Province, the aircraft was hit by antiaircraft fire
and crashed. The pilot successfully ejected and was subsequently rescued,
but Ketchie was not. He was listed Missing in Action.
The Defense Intelligence Agency further expanded Ketchie's classification to
include an enemy knowledge ranking of 2. Category 2 indicates "suspect
knowledge" and includes personnel who may have been involved in loss
incidents with individuals reported in Category 1 (confirmed knowledge), or
who were lost in areas or under conditions that they may reasonably be
expected to be known by the enemy; who were connected with an incident which
was discussed but not identified by names in enemy news media; or identified
(by elimination, but not 100% positively) through analysis of all-source
Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing in
Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S. Government. Many authorities
who have examined this largely classified material have reluctantly
concluded that there are still hundreds of these men alive today.
Although the Pathet Lao stated on several occasions that they held "tens of
tens" of American prisoners, not one American was ever released that was
held in Laos. Laos was not part of the peace agreements ending American
involvement in Southeast Asia, and the U.S. has never negotiated for these
prisoners since that time.
It is not clear what happened to Scott D. Ketchie on April 9, 1972.
According to a list composed by the National League of Families of POW/MIA
in Southeast Asia, Scott Ketchie survived the crash of his aircraft. Perhaps
he was killed by enemy fire upon ejection. Perhaps he is one of the hundreds
of Americans many experts believe are still alive today. If so, what must he
be thinking of us?