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Updated:    19 April 2002

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Major James T. Egan, Jr.
Lt. Col. Charles J. Ramsay

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Name: Edwin James Fickler
Branch/Rank: United States Marine Corps/O3
Unit: HAMS 11 MAG 11
Date of Birth: 04 May 1943
Home City of Record: KEWASKUM WI
Date of Loss: 17 January 1969
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 160700 North  1072100 East
Status (in 1973): Presumptive Finding of Death
Category: 4
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A6A #152586
Other Personnel in Incident: Robert Kuhlman, missing

Refno: 1362

Robert J. Kuhlman

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, Department of the Navy.



On the evening of 17 January 1969 the crew of an A6A Intruder conducting direct air support and armed reconnaissance missions in the vicinity of the A Shau Valley, Republic of Vietnam.  The A Shau Valley parallels the Vietnam/Laos border and is approximately 30 miles southwest of the city of Hue.  The aircraft departed Da Nang Air Base at 8:43pm, and arrived in the A Shau Valley area at approximately 8:50pm  Upon arriving in the area, the Bombardier/Navigator, Robert Kuhlman, contacted the Forward Air Controller for assignment of missions.  At 9:25pm the Forward Air Controller passed a target to the aircraft which appeared in the northern portion of the Valley.

The Controller of the mission attempted to contact the aircraft at 9:45pm to assign another target; this attempt was met with negative results.  Further attempts were made to make contact but in each instance the results were negative.

Search operations were initiated at 10:25pm and continued throughout the
night.  The following day visual, electronic and photographic searches
were conducted until 12:30pm on 22 January 1969.  All searches failed
to reveal any sign of the aircraft.

The possibility that the aircraft crashed in the target area can only be
presumed. The airborne controller did observe what appeared to be an
explosion, which he assumed at that time was a bomb cluster followed by a
secondary explosion.  It was known that the enemy possessed antiaircraft
weapons in the vicinity of the A Shau Valley.

Infantryman looking into the foggy A Shau Valley
National Archives Photo



The A Shau Valley

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