STRONG, HENRY HOOKER JR.
Name: Henry Hooker Strong, Jr.
Rank/Branch: O5/United States Navy
Date of Birth: 27 February 1933
Home City of Record: North Wales PA
Date of Loss: May 25, 1972
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 183700N 1054200E (WF733607)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A4F, Tail # 155045
Other Personnel in Incident: none
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 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: When Douglas Aircraft created the A4 Skyhawk the intent was to
provide the Navy and Marine Corps with an inexpensive, lightweight attack
and ground support aircraft. The design emphasized low-speed control and
stability during take-off and landing as well as strength enough for
catapult launch and carrier landings. The plane was so compact that it did
not need folding wings for aboardship storage and handling. In spite of its
diminutive size, the A4 packed a devastating punch and performed well where
speed and maneuverability were essential.
Commander Henry H. Strong, Jr. was a Skyhawk pilot who participated in a
strike on a target near the city of Vinh on May 25, 1972. During this
mission, Strong's aircraft was shot down by enemy fire and he was declared
Missing in Action.
The Defense Intelligence Agency further expanded Strong's classification to
include an enemy knowledge ranking of 2. Category 2 indicates "suspect
knowledge" and includes personnel who were lost under conditions that they
may reasonably be expected to be known by the enemy, or who were connected
with an incident discussed in enemy news media; or who were identified (by
elimination) through analysis of all-source intelligence.
When 591 Americans were released from POW camps in 1973, Henry Strong was
not among them. The Vietnamese have denied any knowledge of him. Through the
years his family has continually sought information about him. His two
children, still very much a "military family" have found it frustrating and
difficult to get answers to their questions.
Intelligence reports surfacing over the years during the war and following
build a strong case for a well-organized second prison system, and a well
orchestrated plan to keep prisoners within systems from intermingling. As it
is widely believed that the Vietnamese withheld the release of many
prisoners until peace agreement terms were met (specifically reconstruction
aid), it is logical to assume that one prison system's inmates were released
while another were held back for possible release at a later date. It is
also logical to assume that the scenario might be played to its fullest,
including convincing each man in a two man crew that had been separated,
that the other was dead.
Whether Henry Strong survived to be captured is not known. But as reports
continue to mount, the awful truth that we abandoned men to the enemy
becomes more and more apparent. It's time we brought our men home.
Henry H. Strong, Jr. was promoted to the rank of Captain during the period
he was maintained missing.
Charleroi woman returns POW/MIA bracelet to serviceman's family