Name: Martin John Massucci
Rank/Branch: O2/US Air Force
Date of Birth: 01 November 1939
Home City of Record: Royal Oak MI
Date of Loss: 01 October 1965
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 211000N 1043900E (VJ730340)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F4C
Refno: 0158
Other Personnel In Incident: Charles J. Scharf (missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 October 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. NETWORK 2020.


SYNOPSIS: The Phantom, used by Air Force, Marine and Navy air wings, served
a multitude of functions including fighter-bomber and interceptor, photo and
electronic surveillance. The two man aircraft was extremely fast (Mach 2),
and had a long range (900 - 2300 miles, depending on stores and mission
type). The F4 was also extremely maneuverable and handled well at low and
high altitudes. Most pilots considered it one of the "hottest" planes

On October 1, 1965, Capt. Charles J. Scharf was the pilot of the lead
aircraft in a flight of four F4C fighter jets assigned a road reconnaissance
mission about 79 miles west-northwest of Hanoi, 15 kilometers from the
border of China, near Ban Puoi Airfield. Scharf's bombardier/navigator was
1Lt. Martin J. Massucci.

During the mission, Scharf radioed that he was hit and was bailing out. One
parachute was seen and the plane remained airborne for about 30 seconds
prior to impact. Chuck and his backseater were both reported missing in

CIA reported to Scharf's family that he was mentioned in the 1967 East
German film, "Pilots in Pajamas," but Defense Intelligence stated that the
photo did not correlate with the name. Chuck's family has viewed 6 hours of
the 8 hour film. Segments of "Pilots in Pajamas" were used in Sylvester
Stallone's documentary, "MIAs, Where Are They?" Barbara Lowerison, Scharf's
sister, says, "When I saw the documentary, there were scenes which led me to
believe that Chuck was in that film. I would bet my life on it!"

Lowerison says, "I, as a sister cannot and will not give up hope. I strongly
believe that we do have live men detained against their will in Communist
controlled environments. I urge our government to pursue the release of each
and every one of these men and to urge the release of all remains. It is the
legal and moral responsibility of the U.S. Government to protect and stand
up for American fighting men."

Charles J. Scharf was promoted to the rank of Colonel and Martin J. Massucci
to the rank of Major during the period they were maintained missing in




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On October 1, 1965, an F-4 Phantom II (tail number: 63-7712, call sign "Gator 3") with two crew members participated in a flight of three aircraft on a strike and armed road reconnaissance mission against the Ban Tang staging area on Route 155 in North Vietnam. Near the target, the flight encountered anti-aircraft fire, and one of the other air crews noticed that "Gator 3" was on fire and warned the crew to bail out. The other two aircraft in the flight saw one parachute leave "Gator 3" and land near (GC) 48Q VJ 635 388 before the aircraft crashed into the side of Suong Mountain, in the vicinity of (GC) 48Q VJ 730 340. The flight circled the crash site for ten minutes but could not establish radio communication with either of the crew members of "Gator 3." Subsequent search and rescue teams saw no signs that any crew members survived the crash. 

First Lieutenant (1st Lt) Martin John Massucci, who joined the U.S. Air Force from Michigan, served with the 43rd Tactical Fighter Wing. He was the pilot of the Phantom when it crashed, and his remains have not been recovered. Following the incident, the U.S. Air Force promoted 1st Lt Massucci to the rank of Major (Maj). Today, Major Massucci 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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