HETRICK, RAYMOND HARRY REMAINS RETURNED DATE RETURNED: 2001/07/10 REMAINS ID DATE: 2004/03/26
Name: Raymond Harry Hetrick Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force Unit: 1st Air Commando Squadron Date of Birth: 11 September 1936 Home City of Record: Brookville PA Date of Loss: 24 February 1966 Country of Loss: Laos Loss Coordinates: 164058N 1061958E (XD431448) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A1E Refno: 0256 Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 September 1990 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated April 2004.
SYNOPSIS: The Douglas A1 Skyraider ("Spad") is a highly maneuverable, propeller driven aircraft designed as a multipurpose attack bomber or utility aircraft. The A1 was first used by the Air Force in its Tactical Air Command to equip the first Air Commando Group engaged in counterinsurgency operations in South Vietnam.
Capt. Raymond H. Hetrick was the pilot of an A1E aircraft and assigned to the 1st Air Commando Squadron. On February 24, 1966, he was assigned a bombing mission which took him over Savannakhet Province, Laos.
During the mission, Hetrick's aircraft was struck by enemy fire, crashed and exploded on impact. Other pilots in the flight reported that Hetrick was killed in action. His aircraft went down about five miles south of the city of Sepone.
The Air Force believes Raymond Hetrick did not survive. He is listed among the missing because his remains were never found. He is among nearly 600 Americans who were lost in Laos. Since the U.S. did not recognize the communist government faction which captured and held Americans in Laos, no negotiations were conducted to secure their freedom. Consequently, not a single American held by the Lao was ever released.
Tragically, many authorities believe there are hundreds of Americans still alive in captivity in Southeast Asia today. What must they be thinking of us? What will our next generation say if called to fight if we are unable to bring these men home from Southeast Asia?