Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 July 1990 from one or more of the
following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with
POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews.
REMARKS: BURIED AT CRASH W/VIET OBSERVER
SYNOPSIS: The O1 "Bird Dog" was used extensively in the early years of the war
in Vietnam by forward air controllers and provided low, close visual
reconnaissance and target marking which enabled armed aircraft or ground troops
to close in on a target. The Bird Dog was feared by the enemy, because he knew
that opening fire would expose his location and invite attack by fighter planes
controlled by the slowly circling Bird Dog. The Vietnamese became bold,
when they felt their position was compromised and attacked the little Bird Dog
with a vengeance in order to lessen the accuracy of an impending strike by
Marine 1LT Dwight G. Rickman was a Bird Dog pilot assigned to SU1, 1
Christmas Day, 1972, Rickman and his Vietnamese observer were flying visual
reconnaissance in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam, when their aircraft was
shot down about five miles east of the city of Dong Ha.
Intelligence reports indicate that Rickman and the observer were killed either
in the crash of the aircraft or shortly afterward, and were buried at the crash
site by persons unknown. No remains have ever been recovered.
The Defense Intelligence Agency further expanded Rickman's classification to
include an enemy knowledge ranking of 4. Category 4 indicates "unknown
knowledge" and includes individuals whose time and place of loss incident are
unknown (e.g. aircrew members downed at unknown locations or ground personnel
separated from their unit at an unknown time or place). If the report of burial
is accurate, however, it is unclear why this classification was given this
Disturbing testimony was given to Congress in 1980 that the Vietnamese
"stockpiled" the remains of Americans to return at politically advantageous
times. Even more disturbing are the nearly 10,000 reports received by the U.S.
relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia. Many authorities who have
examined this information (largely classified), have reluctantly come to the
conclusion that many Americans are still alive in Southeast Asia.
As long as even one American remains alive, held against his will, we must do
everything possible to bring him home -- alive.