PROFILET, LEO TWYMAN RIP
Name: Leo Twyman Profilet Rank/Branch: O5/US Navy Unit: Attack Squadron 196, USS CONSTELLATION Date of Birth: 29 July 1928 Home City of Record: Cairo IL Date of Loss: 21 August 1967 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 210700N 1055100E (WJ882351) Status (in 1973): Released POW Category: Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A6A Missions: 59 Vietnam 98 Korea AD4
Other Personnel in Incident: William M. Hardman (released POW); On other A6s: J Forrest G. Trembley and Dain V. Scott (missing); Robert J. Flynn (released POW) and Jimmy L. Buckley (ashes returned); on USAF F105s: Lynn K. Powell and Merwin L. Morrill (both remains returned)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 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. Date Compiled: 15 March 1990. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 2004.
REMARKS: 730315 RELSD BY DRV
SYNOPSIS: On August 21, 1967, four aircraft launched from the USS CONSTELLATION with the assignment to strike the Duc Noi rail yard four miles north of Hanoi. The aircraft flew from Attack Squadron 196, based on board the carrier.
The route from the coast-in point was uneventful with the exception of some large weather cells building up. Further along their route they received indications of launched Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) and observed bursting 85mm anti-aircraft fire.
Lieutenant Commander "J" Forrest G. Trembley, bombardier/navigator of one Intruder, reported he had been hit and he was advised to reverse course and return to the coast. He transmitted that he was experiencing no difficulty and would proceed to the target rather than egress alone. Commander Jimmy L. Buckley was the pilot of this aircraft. Several SAMs had been launched at this time and a transmission was made "Heads up for the Air Force strike" which was being conducted in the vicinity of the A-6 target. An aircraft was hit which was thought to be an Air Force aircraft.
Two F105D aircraft, flown by Air Force Major Merwin L. Morrill and 1Lt. Lynn K. Powell, were shot down at this approximate location on August 21, 1967. It is believed that one of these is the aircraft referred to in Navy information concerning this incident. The remains of both Air Force crewmen were repatriated on June 3, 1983. While Morrill had been classified Missing in Action, it was believed that he was dead. Powell was classified as Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered.
The division leader was hit while in the target area and two good parachutes were observed. The crew of this A6, Commander William M. Hardman and Capt. Leo T. Profilet, were captured by the North Vietnamese. Both men were released from captivity on March 15, 1973.
The other three aircraft began their egress from the target. Surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) were in flight everywhere and the aircraft were maneuvering violently. A large weather cell separated them from the coast which precluded their egress further north than planned.
Another transmission was heard -- "Skipper get out" -- and the voice was recognized as that of Lieutenant Commander Trembley. A SAM detonated between two of the other aircraft, two parachutes and flying debris were observed. Lieutenant Commander Trembley transmitted, "This is Milestone 2, Milestone 1 was hit, 2 good chutes, 2 good chutes." The multitude of SAMs along with deteriorating weather may be the reason for the flight to ultimately stray well north of their planned egress track. It was believed that Lieutenant Commander Trembley's aircraft was shot down in the vicinity of the Chinese boarder.
Trembley and his BN, Dain V. Scott, were placed in a Missing In Action casualty status. Their case was discussed with the Chinese government by then Congressmen Hale Boggs and Gerald Ford, with very little information being obtained.
In their navigation around the weather, one of the remaining two A-6 aircraft observed MIGS in a run out of the overcast above Lieutenant Commander Flynn's aircraft. Requests for assistance were radioed but went unanswered. The tracking of the aircraft by airborne early warning aircraft showed them crossing the Chinese border. The maximum penetration was about eleven miles. A visual search could not be conducted due to poor weather in the vicinity of the last known position.
Later that day Peking Radio reported "two U.S. A-6 aircraft were shot down when they flagrantly intruded into China airspace and one crewman was captured". Lieutenant Commander Flynn was held prisoner in China, his pilot, Commander Jimmy L. Buckley, was reportedly killed in the shoot down.
On March 15, 1973 Lieutenant Commander Flynn was repatriated to U.S. jurisdiction in Hong Kong and returned to the United States. The ashes of Commander Jimmy L. Buckley were returned by the Chinese in December 1975.
Two Air Force bombers and three of the four Navy aircraft on the strike mission on August 21, 1967 were shot down. Trembley and Scott, of the eight Americans shot down on August 21, 1967, are the only two who remain Missing in Action.
When American involvement in the Vietnam war ended by means of peace accords signed in 1973, Americans held in countries other than Vietnam were not negotiated for. Consequently, almost all of these men remain missing. During the Nixon Administration and following administrations, relations with China have eased, but the U.S. seems reluctant to address the years-old problem of the fate of her men in China.
Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports have been received relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia. Many authorities believe there are hundreds who are still alive, held captive. Whether Trembley and Scott could be among them is not known. What seems certain, however, is that they have been abandoned for political expediency.
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
LEO T. PROFILET Captain - United States Navy Shot Down: August 21, 1967 Released: March 14, 1973
I am 46 years old now, a career Naval Officer with 26 years of continuous active service; a Naval Aviator since 1949. In 1950-51 I flew 98 missions in Korea in the venerable A-1 "Spad", a propeller driven attack aircraft. I have a BS in Aeronautical Engineering and am a graduate of the Naval War College.
Cairo, Illinois is my birthplace, where I grew up to the age of 18. Then I attended Loyola University in New Orleans before starting flight training at Pensacola, Florida. I have four children, ages 16 to 23. My oldest, a daughter, is married. My family moved from Whidby Island, Washington in 1969 (two years after I was shot down) to Palo Alto, California. So they have been there four years now, which is by far a record for us.
In 1966 I took command of Attack Squadron 196, an A-6 Intruder squadron flying from the USS Constellation. In August 1967 I was shot down on my 59th mission while diving on a target just outside of Hanoi. My bombardier-navigator, Cdr. Bill Hardman, and I were captured immediately and taken quickly to the prison in Hanoi. I did not see Bill for the next 5 1/2 years, but we came out together on the Operation Homecoming flight from Hanoi to Clark AFB in March, 1973.
During my years in Hanoi I never lost faith in the American people. When I learned of the tremendous support given to the POW/MIA cause, the many organizations who responded to the call of our wives and families, that wonderful bracelet program, the letter writing campaigns, the profoundly moving welcome home - I knew that my faith was right on. The strength of our beautiful nation comes from her people. I hope that all of us, especially our young people, will become as personally involved in the future of America as with the POW/MIA cause.
I thank all of America for getting us home with honor. Let us not forget that the real heroes are our families who went through years of torment and anguish. And remember that the families of the men MIA are still undergoing that torment and anguish. Also, let us not forget the thousands who did not survive, nor the men who came home wounded, some crippled for life. Theirs was a far greater sacrifice than mine.
Leo Profilet retired from the United States Navy as a Captain. He and his wife Sue resided in California until his death January 30, 2004. He is survived his wife, two sons, and two daughters.
Burial Arlington National Cemetery, on 21 April 2004.
Posted on Sat, Feb. 07, 2004
Leo T. Profilet, Navy veteran had endured `Hanoi Hilton' FIGHTER PILOT WON MILITARY HONORS, BUT MOST CHERISHED `BEST DAD' MEDAL By Sue Chenoweth Mercury News
For 5 1/2 years, Capt. Leo T. Profilet was locked up in the notorious ``Hanoi Hilton'' after the Navy fighter pilot's A-6 Intruder was shot down Aug. 21, 1967......
Contact Sue Chenoweth at schenoweth@ mercurynews.com or (650) 688-7572.
Burial in Arlington National Cemetery is April 2lst at 3:00.
Part of Leo's service included a picture of Leo as he stepped off his "Homecoming Flight" and up to a microphone.
On the reverse it said:
He's Going Away
Here I lie Beneath a star, Thinking of a land afar, Thinking of a time once passed, And now a time That came too fast.
A picture of a smiling face, Remembrance of a warm embrace, A waving hand, A windblown kiss, A laughter I will always miss.
By Jana (Peach) Profilet, Age 13 For Dad - Spring 1967
At the Time of Leo's Deployment to Viet Nam