KIENTZLER, PHILLIP ALLEN
Name: Phillip Allen Kientzler
Rank/Branch: O4/US Navy,
Unit: Fighter Squadron 143, USS ENTERPRISE (CV-65)
Date of Birth:
Home City of Record: Poway CA
Date of Loss: 27 January 1973
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 165129N 1071023E (YO345650)
Status (in 1973): Prisoner of War
Other Personnel In Incident: Harley H. Hall (captured), pilot
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1990 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.
REMARKS: 730328 RELSD BY DRV
Al Kientzler flew four combat cruises in the F4B and F4J. He flew
approximately 500 combat missions with 300 over North Vietnam, and another
200 missions in Laos and SVN. He survived being shot down (or aircraft
lost) five times in four cruises. Few Naval Aviators can equal that record
of service. Al and his Commanding Officer, Cdr. Harley Hall (formerly, CO of
the Blue Angels) were shot down on their third pass at the same target when
hit by a surface to air missile.
CDR Harley H. Hall was the commanding officer of Fighter Squadron 143
onboard the aircraft carrier USS ENTERPRISE. On January 27, 1973 he and his
Radar Intercept Officer (RIO), LTCDR Philip A. Kientzler, launched in their F4J
Phantom fighter aircraft on an attack mission against North Vietnamese supplies
and logistic vehicles 15 miles northwest of Quang Tri, South Vietnam. Hall and
Kientzler were under the direction of an OV10 Forward Air Controller (FAC).
CDR Hall's aircraft came under intense anti-aircraft fire while attacking
several trucks and was hit. He made an attempt to fly back out to the safety of
the sea, but minutes later the aircraft caught fire on the port wing and
Both Hall and his co-pilot, LCDR Philip A. Kintzler ejected at 4,000 feet and
were seen to land 100 feet apart near a village on an island in the Dam Cho Chua
and Cua Viet Rivers. CDR Hall was seen moving about on the ground, discarding
his parachute. No voice contact was made with the men, and the probability of
immediate capture was considered very high.
Numerous aircraft made several passes over the area for the next several hours
and were unsuccessful in observing either of the downed crewmen. Several
emergency beepers were heard intermittently the remainder of the afternoon and
throughout the night, however, no voice contact was established. Active,
organized search and rescue efforts were subsequently terminated.
Only Kientzler was released at Operation Homecoming in 1973. He reported that
during parachute descent they received heavy ground fire, at which time he was
hit in the leg. He last saw CDR Hall as they touched the ground. When he asked
his guards about his pilot, he was told that he was killed by another.
No other returned POW reported having knowledge of Harley Hall, yet the Pentagon
maintained him in POW status for over 6 years, and documents were obtained that
indicated that he was indeed captured. The Hanoi government claims to have no
knowledge of CDR Harley Hall. This former member of the famed Blue Angels flight
team remains missing.
Harley Hall was shot down on the last day of the war and was the last Navy air
casualty of the Vietnam War. He was the last American to be classified Prisoner
of War in the Vietnam War.
Harley H. Hall was promoted to the rank of Captain during the period he was
maintained as a prisoner.
.... Al (K9) passed in his sleep Wednesday morning, Feb 2nd. He had heart
surgery 9 years ago and had a mechanical mitral valve. He retired from SLAC
(Stanford University Linear Accelerator) five years ago and he and Nyla
moved from California to Sag Harbor NY, which is where he spent his summers
growing up. He bought a boat and spent his time fishing, clamming and
enjoying the Hampton beaches. Three years ago, he then suffered from a
blockage which damaged the heart muscle. Fishing and boating was more
difficult, but he could still get out and fill his bucket with clams.
Al is survived by his wife, daughter, son and grandaughter. A Memorial
Service will be held in April.