PARKER, THOMAS AQUINAS Name: Thomas Aquinas Parker Rank/Branch: E6/US Navy Unit: Marine Air Group 36, 1st Medical Battalion, 1st Marine Division Date of Birth: 31 December 1937 (Huntington IN) Home City of Record: Oxford IN Date of Loss: 05 April 1967 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 142841N 1985454E (BS753015) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1E Refno: 2021 Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 30 June 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. NETWORK 1998. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: Hospital Corpsman First Class Petty Officer Thomas A. Parker was a Navy corpsman assigned to Marine Air Group 36, 1st Medical Battalion, 1st Marine Division. On April 5, 1967, Petty Officer Parker was assigned to a UH1E "Huey" medical evacuation helicopter supporting Operation DeSoto south east of Nui Dang Hill, Quang Ngai Province, South Vietnam. While in a hover over a landing zone, the Huey on which Parker was riding was hit by enemy fire and exploded. [NOTE: Some Defense Department lists state that Parker's helicopter was lost over water. DOD loss coordinates are in Binh Binh Province, about 25 miles northwest of Phu Cat, and about 15 miles from the nearest point of Quang Ngai Province. No reason for these discrepancies can be determined.] According to witnesses, Petty Officer Parker died of wounds sustained in the explosion of the aircraft. One Navy account states that because of heavy enemy fire, his body could not be recovered. Another Navy account states that an extensive search of the area was made and remains could not be recovered. Parker is the only American missing on April 5, 1967, and the U.S. Navy account of the incident does not tell the fate of the crew of the helicopter or any of its other passengers (if any). Parker was listed as killed, body not recovered. He is among nearly 2500 Americans who remain unaccounted for from the Vietnam war. The cases of some seem clear - that they perished and cannot be recovered. As some accounts vary in content, like Parker's, it is not possible to determine the fates of some. Others, however, are complicated. Many were alive and well when last seen awaiting rescue. Others were known to have been captured by the enemy. Unfortunately, mounting evidence indicates that hundreds of Americans are still captive, waiting for the country they proudly served to secure their freedom. In our haste to leave an unpopular war, it now appears we abandoned some of our best men. In our haste to heal the wounds of this same war, will we sign their death warrants? Or will we do what we can to bring them home?