MADDEN, ROY JR. DECEASED
Name: Roy Madden Jr. Rank/Branch: E5/US Air Force, Gunner Unit: 307th Strat Wing, Anderson Air Base, Guam Date of Birth: 23 December 1937 Home City of Record: Hayward CA Date of Loss: 20 December 1972 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 210500N 1054000E (WJ692313) Status (in 1973): Released POW Category: Acft/Vehicle/Ground: B52G
Other Personnel In Incident: William Y. Arcuri; Terry M. Geloneck; Michael R. Martini (all released POWs); Craig A. Paul; Warren R. Spencer (both remains returned)
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, including "Linebacker" by Karl J. Eschmann. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 2012.
REMARKS: 730212 RELSD BY DRV - INJ
SYNOPSIS: Frustrated by problems in negotiating a peace settlement, and pressured by a Congress and public wanting an immediate end to American involvement in Vietnam, President Nixon ordered the most concentrated air offensive of the war, known as Linebacker II, in December 1972. During the offensive, sometimes called the "Christmas bombings," 40,000 tons of bombs were dropped, primarily over military targets in the area between Hanoi and Haiphong. White House Press Secretary Ronald Ziegler said that the bombing would end only when all U.S. POWs were released and an internationally recognized cease-fire was in force.
The Christmas Bombings were of the most precise the world had seen. Pilots involved in the immense series of strikes generally agree that the strikes against anti-aircraft and strategic targets was so successful that the U.S. "could have taken the entire country of Vietnam by inserting an average Boy Scout troop in Hanoi and marching it southward."
The operation had its costs, however, in loss of aircraft and personnel. During the month of December 1972, 62 crewmembers of B52 aircraft were shot down and captured or went missing. Of these 62, 33 men were released in 1973. The remains of roughly a dozen more have been returned over the years, and the rest are still missing. At least 10 those missing survived to eject safely. Yet they did not return at the end of the war.
On December 20, 1972, three B52 aircraft -- Quilt Cell -- departed Anderson Air Base, Guam for a bombing mission over Hanoi. One of the aircraft was flown by Capt. Terry M. Geloneck. The crew consisted of 1Lt. William Y. Arcuri, co-pilot; Capt. Craig A. Paul, Electronic Warfare Officer; Capt. Warren R. Spencer, the radar navigator; 1LT Michael R. Martini, navigator; and SSgt. Roy Madden, the gunner.
Approaching the initial point where the bombing run was to begin, the EWO (Paul) reported SAM signals. The aircraft instituted evasive maneuvers while calmly running through their checklist in preparation of releasing the twenty-seven 750-pound bomb load.
About 30 seconds to target, three or four SAMs were sighted. The crew could do nothing but watch their progress until the "bombs away" was called and evasive action could be taken. After releasing the bomb load, the aircraft had been in a hard turn about 10 seconds when the loud metallic bank of an exploding SAM hit them, accompanied by a bright white flash. The aircraft was still airborne and in its post-target turn.
Martini reported that he, Arcuri and Spencer were okay, but that they had sustained a fuel leak in the left main fuel tank, and that cabin pressurization was lost. Paul had been hit and was bleeding heavily. There were four six-inch holes in the fuselage next to Madden, and his leg was shattered.
As the aircraft began losing altitude, the crew prepared for bailout. Geloneck, Arcuri, Martini and Madden successfully ejected from the aircraft and were captured immediately. It is not known whether Spencer and Paul ejected.
When they were released in mid-February, 1973, Madden, Martini, Arcuri and Geloneck were all injured; Madden's leg was still in dangerous condition, and he was brought home on a litter. The leg was later amputated. The Vietnamese returned the remains of Paul and Spencer on September 30, 1977, despite earlier protestations that they knew nothing about the two.
One thing that amazed analysts about the B52 bombers that were shot down over Hanoi during this period was the high survival rate of the crewmembers. Many more were returned as POWs than was expected. The B52s that were shot down were downed in extremely hostile territory with little or no chance of rescue. However, they were fortunate to be captured during a period in which little or no harassment and torture was being experienced by American POWs. In fact, the Vietnamese were "fattening them up" for their imminent release.
Unfortunately, it does not appear that all the prisoners were returned in 1973 at the end of the war. Since the end of the war, thousands of reports have been received by the U.S. Government relating to Americans still alive in captivity. U.S. experts have stated they believe Americans are still being held prisoner in Southeast Asia. The question is no longer whether any are alive, but who are they, and how can we bring them home?
SOURCE: WE CAME HOME copyright 1977 Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR Ret), Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602 Text is reproduced as found in the original publication (including date and spelling errors). UPDATE - 09/95 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO
ROY MADDEN, JR. Technical Sergeant - United States Air Force Shot Down: December 20, 1972 Released: February 12, 1973
I was born December 24, 1937 in Oklahoma. I will have 18 years in the Air Force on October 5, 1973. When my B-52 was shot down, I was injured. As soon as I am discharged from the hospital, I will take my convalescent leave.
I plan to remain in the Air Force but what I will do in the Air Force in the future, I haven't yet decided. When I retire, I plan to live in the Marysville - Sacramento area.
So many Americans have written to me, with their prayers and the help of God, I have made a speedy recovery. I am still in the hospital at the present time and am being fitted with a new leg. I hope to be out soon so that I may join my wonderful wife and my three sons. I want to thank you for your concern.
God bless you.
Roy Madden retired from the United States Air Force as a TSgt. He resided in California until his death in late 1997.
Mon Jan 26 1998 Subject: Testimony on Roy Madden
I was in Roy's room prior to release as one of 3 "non-recent" shootdowns who were permitted to take care of the B-52 wounded (also Ralph Galati + JB Souder). Let me tell you, Roy was a superstar - it was his spirit more than our care that brought those guys around. There's lots more to this story that really has never been told.