MOSSMAN, JOE RUSSELL
Name: Joe Russell Mossman
Rank/Branch: O2/U.S. Navy Reserves
Unit: Attack Squadron 72, USS INDEPENDENCE (CVA 62)
Date of Birth: 09 June 1939 (Upper Darby PA)
Home City of Record: Springfield PA
Date of Loss: 13 September 1965
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 172900N 1063100E (XE610335)
Status in 1973): Killed in Action/Body not Recovered
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
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.
SYNOPSIS: LTJG Joe R. Mossman was a pilot assigned to Attack Squadron 72
onboard the aircraft carrier USS INDEPENDENCE. On September 13, 1965 Mossman
launched in his Skyhawk ("Scooter") attack aircraft as the number four plane
in a flight of our on an armed reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam.
Only the month previous, two A4E's had been the first Navy aircraft to be
shot down by surface-to-air missiles (SAM) which were to claim so many
American planes in the duration of the war.
The target area was near the city of Dong Hoi in Quang Binh Province, North
Vietnam. When the flight was over the target area, Mossman's aircraft was
hit by small arms fire. No ejection was observed. The aircraft crashed
approximately 12 kilometers west of Dong Hoi, near Route 101.
The wingman spotted what appeared to be a parachute amid the wreckage of
Mossman's aircraft and an emergency radio beeper signal was heard. Search
and rescue (SAR) was initiated and the crash site was observed by a combat
air patrol and other armed reconnaissance aircraft. However, no signs of
survival were spotted. SAR efforts were terminated.
LTJG Joe Mossman was initially placed in a status of Missing in Action,
which was later changed to Killed In Action/Body Not Recovered (prior to
On October 14, 1982, the Vietnamese government turned over the the U.S. LTJG
Mossman's military ID card and Geneva Convention Card. Clearly, the
Vietnamese had information it could provide about the fate of Joe Mossman.
During technical meetings in Hanoi with the U.S. Joint Casualty Resolution
Center and the Vietnamese in early December 1982 and again in September
1985, the U.S. gave the Vietnamese a "Negotiation Folder" on Joe Mossman. To
date, however, no new information has been obtained.
Whether Mossman died or survived to be taken prisoner that day in September
1965 will not be known for certain until there is proof positive of his
death or survival. The U.S. and the Vietnamese have yet to determine the
formula which would successfully resolve the questions that linger about the
nearly 2500 Americans who did not return from the war in Vietnam.
Tragically, there have been nearly 10,000 reports received concerning
Americans who were prisoner, missing or otherwise unaccounted for in
Southeast Asia. Many authorities who have seen this largely classified
information believe there are hundreds of Americans still in captivity
today. While the rest of America tries to forget the war in Vietnam, these
men, and their friends and families cannot. We must bring them home. One of
them could be Joe Mossman.