NEELD, BOBBY GENE
Name: Bobby Gene Neeld
Rank/Branch: O4/US Air Force
Unit: 188th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Tuy Hoa AB, South Vietnam
Date of Birth: 08 October 1928
Home City of Record: Albuquerque NM
Date of Loss: 04 January 1969
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 120100N 1090200E (BP860291)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Other Personnel in Incident: Mitchell S. Lane (missing from another F100)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1990 with the assistance
of 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 F100 Super Sabre, sometimes affectionately called "Hun" or
"Lead Sled" first saw action in Southeast Asia in May 1962 when several were
sent to Thailand from the 13th Air Force in response to communist incursions
into northwest Laos.
F100 operations in Vietnam began in 1965, and took part in Operation Flaming
Dart and Rolling Thunder attacks against North Vietnam and later in Wild
Weasel and Iron Hand anti-SAM operations. The F100 featured ground directed
bombing capability for night and bad weather, high-tech weapon firing
systems, accurate target-marking systems.
The only F100C's to serve in South Vietnam arrived in the spring of 1968 and
remained about a year. The aircraft belonged to the U.S. Air National Guard
squadrons mobilized as a result of North Korea's capture of the American
intelligence ship Pueblo. The F100's, with the exception of some of the F
models, were all single-seat aircraft.
On January 4, 1969, two F100C aircraft departed Tuy Hoa on a combat mission,
presumably over North Vietnam. Capt. Mitchell S. Lane was the pilot of one
of the aircraft and Major Bobby G. Neeld the pilot of the other. The two had
completed the combat portion of the mission and were diverted from the
intended recovery base due to weather conditions. Neither aircraft returned
to friendly control, and were last known to be about 10 miles northwest of
Cam Ranh. Both men were declared Missing in Action.
When the last American troops left Southeast Asia in 1975, some 2500
Americans were unaccounted for. Reports received by the U.S. Government
since that time build a strong case for belief that hundreds of these
"unaccounted for" Americans are still alive and in captivity.
"Unaccounted for" is a term that should apply to numbers, not men. We do not
know if Lane and Neeld are alive or dead, but it seems certain that some are
alive. As long as even one American remains captive, we as a nation owe
these men our best effort to find them and bring them home. Until the fates
of men like Lane and Neeld are known, their families will wonder if they are
dead or alive - and why they were deserted.