SMITH, HALLIE WILLIAM
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
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