RIGGINS, ROBERT PAUL
Name: Robert Paul Riggins
Rank/Branch: O4/US Air Force
Unit: 389th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Da Nang Airbase, South Vietnam
Date of Birth: 19 January 1931
Home City of Record: Champaign IL
Date of Loss: 22 April 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 161912N 1072447E (YD585055)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Other Personnel in Incident: William Chomyk (missing)
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 2020.
SYNOPSIS: On April 22, 1968, Capt. William Chomyk, pilot, and Maj. Robert P.
Riggins, bombadier/navigator, departed Da Nang Airbase in South Vietnam
aboard an F4D Phantom fighter/bomber jet as the lead aircraft in a flight of
two on a scramble mission over Thua Thien Province near the city of Hue.
As Chomyk's aircraft made a pass over the target, it pulled off, and
suddenly crashed. At that time, the fates of Chomyk and Riggins were
unknown. Then, on May 7, unspecified evidence was received by the U.S. Air
Force which led to their declaring the crew of the Phantom Killed in
Action/Body Not Recovered.
As far as the Air Force is concerned, Chomyk and Riggins are dead. It is not
so easy to dismiss the cases of others who are missing. Some were known
captives; some were photographed as they were led by their guards. Some were
in radio contact with search teams, while others simply disappeared.
Since the war ended, over 250,000 interviews have been conducted with those
who claim to know about Americans still alive in Southeast Asia, and several
million documents have been studied. U.S. Government experts cannot seem to
agree whether Americans are there alive or not. Distractors say it would be
far too politically difficult to bring the men they believe to be alive
home, and the U.S. is content to negotiate for remains.
Over 1000 eye-witness reports of living American prisoners were received by
1989. Most of them are still classified. If, as the U.S. seems to believe,
the men are all dead, why the secrecy after so many years? If the men are
alive, why are they not home?