Remains Returned - ID Announced 24 July 1989

Name: Albert Eduardo Rodriguez
Rank/Branch: O2/US Air Force
Date of Birth: 18 July 1942
Home City of Record: Franklinville NY
Date of Loss: 11 March 1968
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 175400N 1062800E
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4D
Refno: 1079

Source: Compiled 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 in 1998.

Other Personnel in Incident: Ernest A. Olds (missing)


SYNOPSIS: 1Lt. Albert E. Rodriguez and Maj. Ernest A. Olds comprised the
crew of an F4D Phantom fighter/bomber sent on a mission over North Vietnam
on March 11, 1968. Their mission area was near a railroad which runs
parallel to the Nguon Nay River in Quang Binh Province.

The F4 Phantom D model had only arrived in Vietnam the previous May and was
initially part of the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron's aircraft inventory.
The D model was improved over the C model with the addition of a
lead-computing sight and central air data computer for both bombing and
navigation. The computer automatically determined the weapon release point
for all bombing modes - dive or level, at night or in bad weather. The D
model also launched Walleye television guided missiles and laser guided
bombs. All in all, the Phantom was the "hot" aircraft of the day, and pilots
were proud to fly them.

Rodriguez and Olds are both in "pilot" classifications, so it is unclear
which is the pilot and which was the backseater/bomber/navigator on this
flight, but given the ranks and the fact that Rodriguez' military
occupational specialty is classified, it is rather safe to assume that Olds
was the pilot and Rodriguez the "guy in back" - the one with the extensive
systems knowledge.

At a point about 5 miles southwest of the city of Ron, Olds and Rodriguez'
aircraft was shot down. Other aircraft in the area saw the crash site, but
heard no emergency beepers, nor did they see any parachutes indicating that
one or more of the crew ejected from the crippled aircraft.

Because the area in which the aircraft went down was a populous one, there
is reason to believe that, if the crew survived, the enemy knew their fate.
The area was not conducive for rescue efforts, although one would have
commenced if there had been any indication that the crew was safe.

Since 1968, the Vietnamese have denied any knowledge of the fates of Olds
and Rodriguez. Then on July 24, 1989, it was announced that remains
"discovered" and returned by the Vietnamese to the U.S. had been positively
identified as being those of 1Lt. Albert E. Rodriguez.

The Rodriguez family can now lay their well loved son to rest. They know now
that he is dead. In light of the thousands of reports of Americans still in
captivity in Vietnam, however, they may never know when - or how - he died.