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
Category: 4
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F100C
Refno: 1354

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.




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Major Bobby Gene Neeld, who joined the Air Force from New Mexico, served with the 188th Fighter Squadron, 31st Tactical Fighter Wing. On January 4, 1969, he piloted a single-seat F-100 Super Sabre (tail number 54-2030) that left Tuy Hoa Air Base, South Vietnam, as the lead aircraft in a flight of two on a close air support mission over South Vietnam. After hitting their target, the flight was directed to divert to Phan Rang Air Base due to inclement weather at Tuy Hoa. Radar contact was lost with the F-100 en route to Phan Rang, and the aircraft was not seen again. An extensive three day search and rescue effort was conducted as soon as the weather cleared, but the aircraft was not located. After the incident, the Air Force promoted Major Neeld to the rank of colonel. Today, Colonel Neeld 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 Deferred.

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