Name: Bruce August Nystrom
Rank/Branch: O5/US Navy
Unit: Attack Squadron 172, USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT (CVA 42)
Date of Birth: 18 October 1927 (Marion OH)
Home City of Record: Alameda CA
Date of Loss: 02 December 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 200500N 1061200E (XH254209)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: A4C
Refno: 0539

Other Personnel in Incident: Paul Worrell (remains returned)

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: POSS DEAD - IR 6918571875

SYNOPSIS: Bruce A. Nystrom was a F4U Corsair pilot and squadron Air
Intelligence Officer in Korea. Following his tour of duty in Korea, Nystrom
graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. in engineering.

On December 23, 1965, Commander Nystrom assumed command of Attack Squadron
172 on board the USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT and deployed with his squadron
for Vietnam on June 21, 1966.

On December 2, 1966, CDR Nystrom and his wingman, Ensign Paul L. Worrell,
launched in their A4C Skyhawk attack aircraft on a combat armed
reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. Their reconnaissance area was
south of Hanoi in the Red River delta area, within an envelope of suspected
active surface-to-air missile (SAM) sites. Enemy anti-aircraft defenses
along this flight path had not been heavy during recent operations.
"Missiles Away" call was reserved for an actual missile sighting.

Nystrom and Worrell both disappeared during the mission.  It was the opinion
of the Navy that Nystrom and Worrell came under missile attack shortly after
crossing the coastline, although their last known location is listed as
about 15 miles southwest of Hoanh Dong.

In 1985, the Vietnamese "discovered" and returned the remains of Paul
Worrell. Intelligence reports indicate that Nystrom is "possibly dead". If
Nystrom is known to be dead, why then did the Vietnamese not "discover" his
remains as well?

By 1990, the number of reports relating to Americans missing and prisoner in
Southeast Asia neared the 10,000 mark. We know that many Americans who were
captured did not return at the end of the war. Evidence points to their
being alive, captive today. Could one of them be Bruce Nystrom?

During the period they were maintained missing, Bruce A. Nystrom was
promoted to the rank of Captain and Paul L. Worrell was promoted to the rank
of Lieutenant Commander.





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Commander Bruce August Nystrom entered the U.S. Navy from Ohio and served in Fighter Squadron 172. On December 2, 1966, he took off in a single-seat A-4C Skyhawk (bureau number 145143) as the second of two aircraft on a night armed reconnaissance mission against enemy targets in Nam Ha Province, North Vietnam. During the mission, another flight of aircraft on a separate mission received radio transmissions between CDR Nystrom and his wingman that surface-to-air missiles had been fired at their aircraft. Soon after, the second flight of aircraft witnessed a ground flash followed by a mid-air explosion, then heard CDR Nystrom on the radio attempting to contact his wingman to no avail. Another ground flash was then observed, after which CDR Nystrom went radio silent. Commander Nystrom was not heard from again, and his remains were not recovered. Following the incident, the Navy promoted CDR Nystrom to the rank of Captain (CAPT). Today, Captain Nystrom 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 Active Pursuit.

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