PATTILLO, RALPH NATHAN Name: Ralph Nathan Pattillo Rank/Branch: O4/US Air Force Unit: 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Ubon AB Thailand Date of Birth: 26 December 1934 Home City of Record: Hartselle AL Date of Loss: 16 February 1971 Country of Loss: Laos Loss Coordinates: 150500N 1070700E (YB279869) Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 2 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F4D Refno: 1704 Other Personnel In Incident: Charles L. Hoskins (missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1991 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. NETWORK 1998. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: The Phantom, used by Air Force, Marine and Navy air wings, served a multitude of functions including fighter-bomber and interceptor, photo and electronic surveillance. The two man aircraft was extremely fast (Mach 2), and had a long range (900 - 2300 miles, depending on stores and mission type). The F4 was also extremely maneuverable and handled well at low and high altitudes. Most pilots considered it one of the "hottest" planes around. Maj. Ralph N. Pattillo was the pilot and 1Lt. Charles L. Hoskins the weapons/systems officer of an F4D fighter bomber from the 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron based at Ubon Airbase, Thailand. At 1930 hours on February 16, 1971, the two were sent on a combat mission over Laos. During the mission, the aircraft was shot down less than a mile from Ban Dakyon, Laos, an area which was then under control of North Vietnamese forces. Because of heavy enemy forces on the ground, ground search was impossible. Air search efforts failed to produce evidence of the downed plane or the two officers, and the search was terminated. A report given to his parents stated that it was possible that either Hoskins or Pattillo may have been able to successfully eject from the plane in the darkness, and that it was possible that one or both could have been captured. Hoskins' parents, Charles and Margaret say, "We as parents cannot and will not give up hope. To do so we must have some definite and tangible evidence to the contrary. We strongly believe there are LIVE men over there in captivity and urge our government to concentrate on pursuing the release of each and every one of them and on the repatriation of all remains. Please help bring Capt. Hoskins home as well as all those still listed as POW and MIA." Charles Hoskins was promoted to the rank of Captain and Ralph Pattillo to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel during the period they were maintained missing.