Remembering
CAPT. HARLEY B. HACKETT III
........
AND 1ST LT. JOHN R. BUSH
Awarded title of Captain after Date of Loss.

Name: Harley Benjamin Hackett III
Rank/Branch: CAPT.-O3-Air Force-Regular
Unit:497th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Ubon AF Th
Date of Birth: 23 October 1942
Home City of Record: Florence, S.C.
Date of Loss: 24 July 1968
Country of Loss: North Vietnam - Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 174400N 1064400E (XE747760)
Statis (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F4D
Refno: 1235
Other Personnel in Incident: John R. Bush

Name: John Robert Bush
Rank/Branch: O2/US Air Force
Unit: 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Ubon AF TH
Date of Birth: 17 May 1943
Home City of Record: Ft. Walton Beach FL
Date of Loss: 24 July 1968
Country of Loss: North Vietnam - Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 174400N 1064400E (XE747760)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F4D
Refno: 1235
Other Personnel In Incident: Harley B. Hackett III

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 31 April 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 by the P.O.W. NETWORK 1998.

Synopsis


Capt. Harley B. Hackett III and 1Lt. John R. Bush were pilots assigned to the 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Ubon Airfield, Thailand. On July 24, 1968, they comprised the crew of an F4D Phantom fighter jet sent on an armed reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. Hackett was the pilot of the aircraft and Bush was his backseater. Their aircraft was number two in a flight of two.

During the mission, the lead aircraft was struck by enemy fire, and Hackett vectored the lead aircraft over water where the crew of the lead aircraft ejected and were recovered. The crew of a naval aircraft in the vicinity saw a second aircraft crash which was believed to be the number two aircraft (with Hackett and Bush onboard).

The incident was off the coast of North Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin, about 20 miles east of the city of Ba Don. The two were declared Missing In Action, and it was felt that there was a good chance that the enemy forces knew their fate. No parachutes were seen ejecting the aircraft and no emergency radio beeper signals were heard.

Nearly 2500 Americans were lost in Southeast Asia during our military involvement there. Since the war in Southeast Asia ended in 1973, thousands of reports of Americans still in captivity have been received by the U.S. Government. The official policy is that no conclusive proof has been obtained that is current enough to act upon. Detractors of this policy say conclusive proof is in hand, but that the willingness or ability to rescue these prisoners does not exist.

Harley B. Hackett III graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1965.
John R. Bush graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1966.

A name etched on my bracelet,
A memory etched in my heart.



A Visit to
"The Wall"

'High Flight'
by
John Gillespie Magee Jr.

Oh, I have slipped the
surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on
laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed,
and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds -
and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of -
wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence.
Hov'ring there.
I've chased
the shouting wind along,
and flung
My eager craft through
footless halls of air.
Up, up the long,
delirious, burning blue
I've topped the windswept heights
with easy grace
Where never lark,
or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent,
lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed
sanctitiy of space
Put out my hand,
and touched the face of God.

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