TUCCI, ROBERT LEON See Remains ID announcement below 01/2011
Name: Robert Leon Tucci Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force Unit: 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Udorn Airfield, Thailand Date of Birth: 29 July 1942 Home City of Record: Detroit MI Date of Loss: 12 November 1969 Country of Loss: Laos Loss Coordinates: 172100N 1054200E (WE735183) Status (in 1973): Missing IN Action Category: 2 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F4D Refno: 1519
Source: Compiled 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. NETWORK in 2005 with information from Jerry Kibby, LtCol (retired) USAF, Webb AFB UPT class 67F.
Other Personnel in Incident: James E. Dennany (missing)
SYNOPSIS: In the latter months of 1969, there was considerable controversy in the United States over the "secret war" in Laos. U.S. Forces had been flying over Laos in order to break up North Vietnamese sanctuaries and supply routes. Senator Fulbright revealed in late October that, contrary to official statements to the contrary, we had conducted substantial ground operations as well. The matter of fighting in Laos became very sensitive. U.S. planes dropped an enormous number of bombs in Laos against the Vietnamese.
Capt. Robert L. Tucci was the pilot, and Maj. James E. Dennany the co-pilot of an F4D Phantom fighter jet dispatched from Udorn Airfield in Thailand on November 12, 1969. The two were assigned an operational mission over Laos.
Tucci graduated from pilot training at Webb AFB, March 17, 1967. On his first tour of duty in Vietnam, Tucci had flown 181 missions from Da Nang Airfield in South Vietnam. Tucci and Dennany were assigned to the 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Udorn.
At a point near Mahaxay village in Khammouane Province, about 30 miles east of Nakhon Phanom, the aircraft flown by Tucci and Dennany was struck by hostile fire and seen to crash and explode on impact. No parachutes were observed and no emergency beeper signals were heard. Tucci and Dennany were not heard from again.
Tucci and Dennany are among nearly 600 Americans who disappeared in Laos. Through the war years, the Pathet Lao made public statements that they held "tens of tens" of American prisoners, but they would only be released from Laos. They wished to negotiate the end of American bombing in their country.
When Henry Kissinger negotiated the peace, he did not include the country of Laos in the agreements. U.S. bombing in Laos continued. When 591 Americans were released from communist prisons in Southeast Asia, not one man who had been held in Laos was released.
Since the war ended, no agreement has been struck with Laos which would release American prisoners of war. These men were abandoned by the country they proudly served. As the years have passed, nearly 10,000 reports have been received concerning Americans missing in Southeast Asia. Many authorities believe there are hundreds still alive.
There is no proof that Tucci and Dennany are dead. They could be among those said to be alive. If so, what must they be thinking of their country? It's time we brought our men home.
Robert Tucci graduated from the University of Texas.
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 032-10
Bring Maj. Bob Tucci all the way home