Tucci, Robert Leon, Maj Fallen
 
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Last Rank
Major
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
1115F-Pilot
Last AFSC Group
Aircrew
Last Unit
1968-1969, 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron
Service Years
- 1969
Major

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Michigan
Michigan
Year of Birth
1942
 
Casualty Info
Home Town
Detroit
Last Address
Udorn RTAFB

Casualty Date
Nov 12, 1969
 
Cause
Hostile, Died while Missing
Reason
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Location
Laos
Conflict
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery - Dallas, Texas
Wall/Plot Coordinates
16W 068

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Remains Identified posted by Short, Diane (TWS Administrator) 530
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Aviator (Basic)



 
 Unit Assignments
Air Force Training Wings/3560th Pilot Training Wing390th Tactical Fighter Squadron - Wild BoarsAir Force Wings/432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing7th Air Force
13th Tactical Fighter Squadron
  1966-1967, 1115F, Air Force Training Wings/3560th Pilot Training Wing
  1967-1968, 1115F, 390th Tactical Fighter Squadron - Wild Boars
  1967-1969, Air Force Wings/432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing
  1967-1969, 7th Air Force
  1968-1969, 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron
 Colleges Attended 
University of Texas at Austin
  1960-1966, University of Texas at Austin
 My Aircraft/Missiles
F-4 Phantom  
  1968-1969, F-4 Phantom
 Combat and Operations History
  1965-1975 Vietnam War
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
On the night of 11/12 November 1969 Captain Robert L. Tucci, pilot, and Major James E. Dennany, WSO, launched from Udorn RTAFB in F-4D tail number 66-8718 for a strike mission along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.  They were flying the number three aircraft of three F-4Ds escorting an AC-130 gunship on a night strike mission over Laos. After the gunship attacked six trucks and set two of them on fire, the AC-130 crew's night vision equipment was impacted by the glow from the fires. They requested that Captain Tucci attack the remaining trucks.

During the attack, gunship crew members observed anti-aircraft artillery gunfire directed at Tucci's plane followed by a large explosion. No radio transmissions were heard from the F-4D following the attack and no parachutes were seen in the area. An immediate electronic search revealed nothing and no formal search was initiated due to heavy anti-aircraft fire in the area.

An annual Air Force review board concluded that all evidence indicated the two had died in the crash, and the Secretary of the Air Force accepted their conclusion with respect to Major Tucci; his status was changed to Killed in Action 12 Nov 1969, Body not Recovered. Denanny was continued in MIA status until 21 June 1978, when the Secretary approved a Presumptive Finding of Death, changing Colonel Dennany's status to Died while Missing, Body not Recovered.  

In 1999, during a joint survey, officials in Ban Soppeng, Laos, turned over remains later determined to be human, two .38 caliber pistols and other crew-related equipment that villagers had recovered from a nearby crash site. Between 1999 and 2009, other joint U.S.-L.P.D.R. teams pursued leads, interviewed villagers, and conducted three excavations. They recovered aircraft wreckage, human remains, crew-related equipment and personal effects.  

Major Tucci was on his second tour of duty in Southeast Asia; he had flown 181 missions while assigned to the 390th TFS at DaNang AB on his first tour.  He departed DaNang AB in October 1968. 

Major Tucci completed UPT at Webb AFB, TX on March 17, 1967.

Their remains were recovered and identified 8 September 2010.
   
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  2012, Vietnam Veterans Memorial - Assoc. Page
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