Last Known Activity|
Col. Curtis Eaton enlisted in the Army on 4 June 1943 at Providence, RI, as a private.
He was lost while on a mission over North Vietnam aboard his F-105 *tail number 59-1763). He remains, MIA.
SYNOPSIS::. . .
On 14 August 1966, then Major Curtis A. Eaton departed Takhli Airbase as the #4 aircraft (serial # 59-1763) in a flight of four that was participating in a major afternoon strike package against the Thai Nguyen Petroleum/Oil/Lubricant (POL) storage sites located around the town approximately 30 miles due north of Hanoi. The strike package was comprised of several flights of 4 aircraft each that originated from Korat and Takhli Airbases. Major Eaton’s flight was the second flight in the strike package.
Once in the target area, each flight leader checked in with the Airborne Battlefield Command and Control (ABCCC) aircraft who provided each flight with current target information. The first flight was directed onto its target at roughly 1500 hours. 20 minutes later Major Eaton’s flight was cleared in to attack its designated POL site.
As the flight pulled off target, Major Eaton climbed for altitude as he established radio contact with the flight leader reporting he had been hit by anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) fire and was on fire. Shortly thereafter he radioed again stating he was ejecting from his crippled aircraft. Other flight members noted that the Thunderchief was last seen descending in a gradual right turn. In the chaos of aerial combat, none of the other pilots saw Curtis Eaton eject his aircraft nor did they spot a parachute in the air. Likewise, none of them observed the aircraft impact the ground.
The location of loss was over a forested and populated sector of north-central North Vietnam on the southern edge of rugged mountains with a valley covered in rice fields just to the south. The Song Deo Voi River ran west through the valley just south of where Major Eaton was downed. The location was also 1 mile north of Highway 13A, 22 miles northwest of Thai Nguyen and 47 miles northwest of Hanoi.
A visual and electronic search was immediately coordinated by the ABCCC utilizing aircraft already in the area. However, none of the pilots saw any sign of Major Eaton nor did they hear an emergency beeper emanating from the forest below. Because the area of loss was under total enemy control, no formal search and rescue was undertaken...
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 and CACCF = Combined Action
Combat Casualty File.