Name: Hallie William Smith
Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force
Unit: 16th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Tan Son Nhut Airbase
Date of Birth: 16 october 1941
Home City of Record: Portland OR
Date of Loss: 08 January 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 145500N 1075400E (ZB125515)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: RF4C
Other Personnel in Incident: Charles L. Bifolchi (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.  2020

SYNOPSIS: Capt. Hallie W. Smith was the pilot and 1Lt. Charles L. Bifolchi the
navigator aboard an RF4C Phantom reconnaissance jet from the 16th Tactical
Recon Squadron at Than Son Nhut Airbase, South Vietnam. On January 8, 1968,
Smith and Bifolchi were assigned a reconnaissance mission and were en route to
the target when radar and radio contact was lost in Kontum Province, South
Vietnam, about 15 miles north of the city of Dak To.

Neither the aircraft nor the crew was ever located, despite search efforts.
Because of circumstances surrounding the incident, both men were classified
Missing in Action, and there is a strong probability that the enemy knows their
fates - dead or alive.

When the last American troops left Southeast Asia in 1975, some 2500 Americans
were unaccounted for. Reports received by the U.S. Government since that time
build a strong case for belief that hundreds of these "unaccounted for"
Americans are still alive and in captivity.

Henry Kissinger has said that the problem of unrecoverable Prisoners is an
"unfortunate" byproduct of limited political engagements. This does not seem to
be consistent with the high value we, as a nation, place on individual human
lives. Men like Smith and Bifolchi, who went to Vietnam because their country
asked it of them are too precious to the future of this nation to write them
off as expendable.

Whether Smith and Bifolchi survived the downing of their aircraft to be
captured is unknown. Whether they are among those said to be alive is
uncertain. What seems clear, however, is that as long as even one man remains
alive, held against his will, we owe him our very best efforts to bring him




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On January 8, 1968, an RF-4 Phantom II (tail number 65-0913, call sign "Sage 93") carrying two crew members departed Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Vietnam, on a night reconnaissance mission over Kontum Province, South Vietnam. As the aircraft descended toward its first target, ground radar control radioed another RF-4 in the area and requested its crew to contact this aircraft's pilot to tell him that radar tracking had lost him in the ground clutter. The Phantom's pilot acknowledged the message, but there was no additional contact made with ground control or any other aircraft. A search for the missing Phantom located its crash site and a ground team searched the wreckage and area but failed to find any signs of the crew or their remains.

Captain Hallie William Smith, who joined the U.S. Air Force from Oregon, served with the 16th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. He was the aircraft commander aboard the RF-4 when it crashed, and his remains were not recovered. After the incident, the Air Force posthumously promoted Captain Smith to the rank of Major (Maj). Today, Major Smith is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. 

Based on all information available, DPAA assessed the individual's case to be in the analytical category of Active Pursuit.

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