POW/MIA: Capt. Charles Lane Jr.
The following is his story:
LANE, CHARLES (NMN) JR.
Name:Charles (NMN) Lane, Jr.
Rank/Branch:Captain/US Air Force
Unit:555th Tactical Fighter Squadron
Ubon Airfield, Thailand
Date of Birth:21 April 1942
Home of Record:Yankton, SD
Date of Loss:23 August 1967
Country of Loss:North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates:215000N 1052000E (WK55020) Click coordinates to view (4) maps Status in 1973:Missing in Action Category:2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground:F4D "Phantom II" Other Personnel In Incident:Larry E. Carrigan (returned POW) REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: The McDonnell F4 Phantom used by Air Force, Marine and Navy air wings served a multitude of functions including fighter/bomber, interceptor, photo/electronic surveillance, and reconnaissance. The two man aircraft was extremely fast (Mach 2) and had a long range, miles depending on stores and mission type. The F4 was also extremely maneuverable and handled well at low and high altitudes. It was selected for a number of state-of-the-art electronics conversions, which improved radar intercept and computer bombing capabilities enormously. Most pilots considered it one of the "hottest" planes around. The North Vietnamese railroad system consisted of nine segments, the most important parts of which were north of the 20th parallel. Almost 80% of the major targets were in this area laced together by the rail system. The most important contribution of the system was to move the main fighting weapons from China to redistribution centers at Kep, Hanoi, Haiphong, Nam Dinh and Thanh Hoa. These supplies were further distributed by truck and boats to designated collection points w porters carried the weapons, food and ammunition on their final leg into the war zone. At 1335 hours on 23 August 1967, Major Charles R. Tyler, pilot; and Capt. Ronald N. Sittner, weapons systems officer; comprised the crew of an F4D (aircraft #66-0238), call sign "Ford 01," that departed Ubon Airfield as the lead aircraft in a flight of four. Captain Larry E. Carrigan, pilot; and Capt. Charles Lane, Jr.; weapons systems officer; comprised the crew of the #4 aircraft (aircraft #66-0247), call sign "Ford 04." Ford flight was conducting a strike mission against the Yen Vien railroad yard located in a densely populated and heavily defended area approximately 36 miles north of Hanoi. Weather conditions consisted of scattered with towering cumulus clouds over near by Thud Ridge. The cloud bases were at 15,000 feet and the pilots had clear visibility during this afternoon mission. At 1515 hours, while ingressing the target, the flight was attacked from the rear by a flight of 2 MiG-21s armed with air-to-air missiles (AAMs). In the ensuing dogfight, Ford 04 was struck by an air-to-air missile (AAM) and Ford 01 was struck by another AAM immediately afterward. Other pilots in the flight saw three parachutes leave the two fireballs. Within minutes of the shootdown, other flight members heard three strong emergency beepers and 1 weak beeper. Voice contact was also briefly established only with Larry Carrigan, the pilot of Ford 04. When voice contact could not be established the other downed pilots, beeper confirmation was requested. The order in which acknowledgement was requested and the response received is as follows: "Ford Lead frontseater - short beep, strong signal; Lead backseater - short beep, strong signal; Ford 04 frontseater - short beep, strong signal; Ford 04 backseater - short beep, weak signal. The weak signal was in response to asking Capt. Lane to signal. Ford 02 and 03 heard the beepers before leaving the area to rendezvous with an airborne tanker to refuel. At 1700 hours, they returned, and upon approaching the area, beepers were again heard. One of the pilots was immediately able to reestablish voice contact with Larry Carrigan, and he was able to give his relative position in relation to the pilot he was talking to. Again a beeper confirmation was requested. This time th...