Remains Returned - ID Announced 891120

Name: Charles Donald Roby
Rank/Branch: O4/US Air Force
Date of Birth: 28 September 1928
Home City of Record: Iowa Park TX
Date of Loss: 03 March 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 174400N 1062300E (XE478621)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4C
Refno: 0605

Other Personnel in Incident: Floyd W. Richardson (remains returned)

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.


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. The F4 was selected for a number of state-of-the-art
electronics conversions, which improved radar intercept and computer bombing
capabilities enormously. Most pilots considered it one of the "hottest"
planes around.

Major Floyd W. Richardson was the pilot, and Lt.Col. Charles D. Roby the
weapons/systems operator of an F4C Phantom fighter/bomber dispatched on a
combat mission over North Vietnam on March 3, 1967. At a point near Ba Don
in Quang Binh Province, the aircraft was shot down. Neither man was
recovered, and both were classified Missing in Action.

The Defense Intelligence Agency further expanded the Missing in Action
classification to include an enemy knowledge ranking of 2. Category 2
indicates "suspect knowledge" and includes personnel who may have been
involved in loss incidents with individuals reported in Category 1
(confirmed knowledge), or who were lost in areas or under conditions that
they may reasonably be expected to be known by the enemy; who were connected
with an incident which was discussed but not identified by names in enemy
news media; or identified (by elimination, but not 100% positively) through
analysis of all-source intelligence.

When American prisoners were released from POW camps in 1973, Richardson and
Roby were not among them. The Vietnamese denied any knowledge of them. Then
in late 1989, it was announced that the Vietnamese had "discovered" the
remains of Richardson and Roby and had returned them to U.S. control. For
these two pilots, at least, the war was finally over.

Richardson and Roby were among nearly 2500 who remained unaccounted for at
the end of the war. Of this number, nearly 100 were known to have been
prisoners of war, yet were not returned. Others were mentioned by name by
the Vietnamese to other U.S. prisoners, yet did not return. Military
authorities were horrified in 1973 that "hundreds" thought to be prisoner
were not released.

Since American involvement in Southeast Asia ended in 1975, nearly 10,000
reports relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia have been received
by the U.S. Government. Many authorities, upon examining this largely
classified material, have come to the reluctant conclusion that many,
perhaps hundreds, of Americans are still alive in captivity.

While it is now clear that Roby and Richardson are not among those thought
to be alive, one wonders how - and when - they died. No doubt they would be
the first on line to help bring the others home. It's time all our men came