Bring Them Home !

MY ADOPTED MIA - Dwight Gray Rickman

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Graphics used with permission of Chuck Stewart in memory ofT/Sgt.Ronald Fleisher, US Army

Name: Dwight Gray Rickman Rank/Branch: O2/US Marine Corps Unit: SU1, 1 ANGLICO Date of Birth: 04 January 1947 Home City of Record: Joplin MO Date of Loss: 25 December 1972 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 164913N 1071011E (YD312607) Status (in 1973): Missing in Action Category: 4 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: O1 Other Personnel in Incident: (Vietnamese observer - missing)

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.


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, however, 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 other craft.

Marine 1LT Dwight G. Rickman was a Bird Dog pilot assigned to SU1, 1 ANGLICO. On 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 case.

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.

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