PATTERSON, BRUCE MERLE Name: Bruce Merle Patterson Rank/Branch: O1/US Navy Unit: Date of Birth: 06 March 1945 Home City of Record: Portland OR Date of Loss: 27 July 1967 Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Over Water Loss Coordinates: 165459N 1103657E (DU591702) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 5 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: KA3H Refno: 0773 Other Personnel in Incident: Charles D. Hardie (missing) 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 1998. REMARKS: ALL PARAD - PILOT RES - NOT SUBJ - J SYNOPSIS: The A3 Skywarrior is a three-place light bomber, reconnaissance plane, electronic warfare craft or aerial tanker, depending upon its outfitting. The KA3H was outfitted as an aerial tanker. Its function was to stand by at a safe distance from target areas to be ready to refuel fighter aircraft. ENS Bruce M. Patterson and AE2 Charles D. Hardie were part of the crew of a U.S. Navy KA3H. On July 27, 1967, their aircraft was airborne about 200 miles due east from the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) when it encountered difficulties requiring the three crewmen to parachute from the crippled aircraft. The crew safely parachuted from the plane, but only the pilot was rescued. Patterson and Hardie were never found. It was assumed they drowned. Both were classified Killed, Body Not Recovered. The Defense Intelligence Agency further expanded the classification to include an enemy knowledge ranking of 5. Category 5 includes personnel who are considered to be dead, and whose remains have been declared non-recoverable. Since the war ended in Vietnam, refugees have flooded the world, bringing with them stories of American soldiers still held prisoner in their homeland. Many authorities now believe that hundreds were left behind as living hostages, and that substantial numbers of these are still alive today. Hardie and Patterson apparently did not survive the events of July 27, 1967. Their families have accepted that they is dead and they no longer expect them to come home. But hundreds of families wait expectantly and in the special agony only uncertainty can bring. Hundreds of men may wait in caves, cages and prisons. How much longer will we allow the abandonment of our best men? It's time we brought them home.