CUTHBERT, BRADLEY GENE Remains Returned, ID'D 12/20/91 - SEE NOTE BELOW
Name: Bradley Gene Cuthbert Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force Unit: 14th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Udorn Airbase, Thailand Date of Birth: 23 November 1940 Home City of Record: Ft. Madison IA Date of Loss: 23 November 1968 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 172700N 1063400E (XE565270) Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 2 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: RF4C
Other Personnel In Incident: Mark J. Ruhling (released POW)
Source: Compiled by P.O.W. Network from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated 2009.
SYNOPSIS: On his 28th birthday, Capt. Bradley G. Cuthbert and his backseater, Capt. Mark J. Ruhling departed Udorn Airfield, Thailand on a photo reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam in their Phantom fighter jet. When the aircraft was in the vicinity of Dong Hoi, it was shot down. Their aircraft, the only one shot down that day, was the first plane shot down after a bombing halt had been announced. Ruhling ejected safely, made radio contact with other planes in the area and said that his capture was imminent. He was then captured by the North Vietnamese.
Bradley Cuthbert's parachute was seen to open by both Ruhling and other aircraft in the area, indicating that he also successfully ejected. Although a Marshalltown News (Iowa) article reported in March 1970 that radio contact was made and that there was a good chance of Cuthbert's having escaped capture, the Air Force now states that no radio contact was made to verify that he landed on the ground safely.
A Hanoi news item on November 27 described the capture of one pilot hiding behind a bush and the aircraft's second pilot being shot while still sitting in the plane. As the Air Force stated that Brad's plane crashed and burned, leaving no chance a body would remain intact, this report was not attributed to the crew of Cuthbert's plane. Besides, both crewmen aboard Cuthbert's aircraft had successfully bailed out. A second news item described the capture of another pilot which could have been Cuthbert.
A Christmas 1969 film contained frames of a POW Brad's family feels is him, yet neither the Vietnamese or the U.S. Department of Defense listed Brad as a POW.
When agreements were signed ending the war, 591 American POWs were released, including Mark Ruhling. Brad Cuthbert was not released, nor has substantial information been found on his fate since that time. The Vietnamese deny any knowledge of him. Experts now believe that hundreds of Americans are still captive in Indochina. One of them could be Brad Cuthbert. It's time we brought him home.
Senate Select Committee: North Vietnam Bradley G. Cuthbert Mark J. Ruhling (1327)
On November 23, 1968, Captains Cuthbert and Ruhling were in an RF- 4C on a reconnaissance mission of a surface-to-air missile site in North Vietnam. While over Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province, Captain Cuthbert's wingman observed their aircraft hit, break apart and burst into flames. No chutes were observed.
Two to three minutes later, Captain Ruhling was safely on the ground and in contact with his wingman. He was later captured alive by North Vietnamese ground forces. During his debriefing he reported seeing Captain Cuthbert alive in his chute with his hands up in the risers. Captain Cuthbert was not seen alive in the northern Vietnamese prison system. On November 23, 1968 North Vietnam reported the shoot down of an RF-4C and the death of one of the aircraft's crewmen.
In August 1989, Joint Casualty Resolution Center personnel interviewed witnesses in Quang Binh Province concerning this case. They recovered the dog-tag of Captain Cuthbert from local villagers. They also received hearsay information that after landing safely on the ground, Captain Cuthbert was beaten to death by local wood cutters. JCRC was taken to the purported grave site which appeared to relate to an entirely separate air loss incident.
Captain Cuthbert was initially declared missing in action. In May 1975, he was declared dead/body not recovered. His remains have not yet been repatriated.
NOTE: Previous information showed remains identified in 1991. The Senate, in 1993, states his remains have not yet been repatriated. The difficulty comes from the more than 2 dozen men whose remains have been identified but "names have been witheld" at the request of the family. If you have information that can confirm remains were returned or not, please contact the P.O.W. NETWORK at 660-928-3304 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
=========================== From Amanda Kidd
Just in case you can use this for verification that the family hasn't accepted the ID and still considers him MIA, here's the entry that his daughter left in a guestbook:
Date: July 10, 2003 05:47:07 PM What is your name? Shannon (Cuthbert) Sasson How did you find this website? Surfed by searcing my father's name. Are you a Veteran? No, I am the daughter of one. Was this site easy to navigate? Yes Will you think about adopting a POW/MIA? I already have.
Do you have any comments? I appreciate your website, but would like to suggest one correction. My father, Bradley Gene Cuthbert, is listed as having his "remains" repatriated, and that he is now accounted for~ i.e. No longer Missing In Action. This is not true-- HE IS STILL MIA ! His repatriated remains consist of TWO TEETH ! I can certainly exist just fine and live a long and normal life without two of my teeth. Our government continues to inflict atroities such as this on families such as ours. They even spent a large sum of money to have his TWO TEETH interred into a very elaborate cremtion urn inscribed with his name, rank, date of casualty ("death"), etc. He could still be alive over there, but our government has closed his case and stamped him deceased based upon recovery of these two teeth. They are no longer looking for him or for any clues regarding is fate. These veterans deserve far better from the country they gave their all to serve !
Shannon (Cuthbert) Sassen E-mail: email@example.com
It happened Today: Questions about Cuthbert's fate remain 41 years later
By Robin Delaney/Managing Editor
He would be 69 years old today - if he had lived. But then, he may still be very much alive or perhaps he died during his imprisonment in a POW camp in Vietnam.......