Name: Joseph Millard Stine
Rank/Branch: O4/US Air Force
Unit: 16th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron
Date of Birth: 05 January 1932
Home City of Record: Everett PA
Date of Loss: 27 September 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Laos
Loss Coordinates: 165800N 1063600E (XC924917)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 4
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: RF4C
Refno: 0475

Other Personnel in Incident: Dyke A. Spilman (missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 March 1991 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.


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. Most pilots considered it one of the "hottest" planes

Maj. Joseph M. Stine was the pilot and 1Lt. Dyke A. Spilman the Systems
operator of an RF4C assigned to the 16th tactical Reconnaissance Squadron at
Tan Son Nhut Airbase, Republic of Vietnam. On 27 September 1966 the two were
assigned a night photo reconnaissance mission. When the aircraft failed to
return to base, the two were declared missing in action.

The aircraft's estimated point of fuel exhaustion was on the border of Laos
and North Vietnam about five miles north of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
While most records indicate that Stine and Spilman were lost in North
Vietnam, some indicate they were lost in Laos. It is not known what happened
to the F4 crew.

Nearly 2500 Americans remain missing or otherwise unaccounted for in
Vietnam, and nearly 600 of them are in Laos. Since the war ended, over
10,000 reports concerning missing Americans in Southeast Asia have been
received by the U.S. Government. Many experts are completely convinced that
hundreds of Americans are still held captive.

One set of critics say that the U.S. has done little to address the issue of
live POWs, preferring the politically safer issue of remains return. Others
place the blame on the Vietnamese, for using the issue of POW/MIA to their
political advantage. Regardless of blame, no living American has returned
through the efforts of negotiations between the countries, and the reports
continue to pour in. Are we doing enough to bring these men home?




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On September 27, 1966, an RF-4C Phantom II (tail number 650862) with a crew of two took off from Tan Son Nhut Air Base, South Vietnam, on a nighttime photo reconnaissance mission to targets near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Vietnam. The last radio and radar contact placed the aircraft in the vicinity of grid coordinates XC 824 917. At that time the aircraft was scheduled to descend for low-level entry into North Vietnamese airspace, and therefore the loss of radar contact was considered normal. However, a scheduled radio call to the on-site air controller was not placed. When the aircraft failed to return to base, the two crew members were declared missing in action. Other aircraft in the area received no emergency beeper signals or other transmissions following the loss of contact. The aircraft's estimated point of fuel exhaustion would have been on the border of Laos and North Vietnam, about five miles north of the DMZ. The reason for the aircraft's disappearance remains unknown.

Major Joseph Millard Stine entered the U.S. Air Force from Pennsylvania and was a member of the 16th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. He was the aircraft commander aboard this Phantom II when it failed to return from its mission, and he was lost with the aircraft. His remains were not recovered. After the incident, the U.S. Air Force promoted Maj Stine to the rank of Colonel (Col). Today, Colonel Stine 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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