BYTHEWAY, FRANK LEROY

Name: Frank LeRoy Bytheway  
Rank/Branch: Civilian
Unit: Collins Radio Manila, Philippine Islands
Date of Birth: 18 October 1934
Home of Record: Richardson, TX
Date of Loss: 02 October 1969
Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 175402N 1073602E (YE754810)
Click coordinates to view maps
Status in 1973: Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 5
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: C2A "Greyhound"
Other Personnel In Incident: Herbert H. Dilger, Richard A. Livingston, Rayford J. Hill, Paul K. Moser, and Michael J. Tye, Richard W. Bell, Michael L. Bowman, Terry L. Beck, Rolando C. Dayao, Donald C. Dean, Carl J. Ellerd, James J. Fowler, Roy G. Fowler, Leonardo M. Gan, Paul E. Gore, William D. Goresuch, Delvin L. Kohker, Howard M. Koslosky, Robert B. Leonard, Ronald W. Montgomery, William R. Moore, Kenneth M. Prentice, Fidel G. Salazar, Keavin L. Terrell and Reynaldo R. Viado.

REMARKS: 

SYNOPSIS:The C2A Greyhound was a cargo aircraft used by the US Navy to transport personnel, supplies and mail to and from its carrier task force deployed in the South China Sea. Because of its great range of flight, ability to land and take off from aircraft carriers while carrying a heavy load, the sturdy Greyhound with its crew of five fulfilled its roll admirably throughout the Vietnam War.

On 2 October 1969, a C2A from Fleet Tactical Support Squadron 50, NAS Atsugi, Japan was transferring crewmen from Naval Air Station Cubi Point, Republic of the Philippines to the USS Constellation Task Force located in the Gulf of Tonkin. The crew of the C2A assigned to this early morning flight was comprised of Lt. Herbert H. Dilger, pilot; Lt. Richard A. Livingston, co-pilot; AMS3 Rayford J. Hill, aviation structural mechanic; ADJ3 Paul K. Moser, jet mechanic; and ADJ3 Michael J. Tye, jet mechanic.

Those sailors returning to the USS Constellation were: HE3 Terry L. Beck, Seabee Heavy Equipment 3rd Class; ATR3 Richard W. Bell, Aviation Electronics Technician Radar 3rd Class; ASE3 Michael L. Bowman, Aviation Support Equipment Technician 3rd Class; HM2 Donald C. Dean, Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class; AMH2 Carl J. Ellerd, Aviation Mechanic Hydraulics 2nd Class; AE2 James J. Fowler, Aviation Electricians Mate 2nd Class; AME3 Roy G. Fowler, Aviation Machinist Mate 3rd Class; MM1 Paul E. Gore, Machinist Mate 1st Class; ABH3 William D. Goresuch, Aviation Boatswain Mate 3rd Class; AMS3 Delvin L. Kohker, Aviation Structural Mechanic 3rd Class; AN Howard M. Koslosky, Airman; FTM2 Robert B. Leonard, Fire Control Technician Missile 2nd Class; AQB2 Ronald W. Montgomery, Aviation Fire Control Technician 2nd Class; ADJ2 Kenneth M. Prentice, Aviation Jet Mechanic 2nd Class; SD2 Fidel G. Salazar, Stewards Man 2nd Class and DS3 Keavin L. Terrell, Data Systems Technician 3rd Class. Some of these men were returning to their ship after liberty while others were going to new duty stations on board the aircraft carrier. Also aboard the Greyhound was one civilian, Mr. Frank L. Bytheway.

Mr. Bytheway was an electrical engineer working for Collins Radio and based at the company’s facility in Manila, Philippine Islands. Over the past 3 years, he had traveled to various American bases and ships located throughout Southeast Asia to service equipment for his company. Frank Bytheway was now being dispatched to the USS Constellation to work on the ship’s radar and communications equipment.

Passengers onboard the Greyhound whose final destination were other ships in the Carrier Task Force Group were: PN1 Rolando C. Dayao, Personnel Man 1st Class; and YNC Leonardo M. Gan, Yeoman Chief Petty Officer; who were returning to the Destroyer USS Walke; TN Reynaldo R. Viado, Torpedo Man Seaman; who was returning to the Destroyer USS Hamner and MM2 William R. Moore, Machinist Mate 2nd Class; who was destined for the Guided Missile Cruiser USS Long Beach.

After take off, Lt. Dilger reported "Ops Normal." Communications with other squadron aircraft and the carrier’s air control center indicated operations were normal. The carrier’s radar continued tracking the Greyhound until approximately 55 minutes after takeoff at which time radar contact was lost. The last radar position was located approximately 26 miles out from the USS Constellation. That position was also 68 miles due east of the North Vietnamese coastline, 68 miles northeast of Dong Hoi, 137 miles southeast of Vinh, North Vietnam; and 82 miles southwest of Hainan Island, China.

An extensive search and rescue (SAR) operation was immediately initiated. Shortly thereafter other aircraft in the area began sighting an oil slick and debris. A search and recovery helicopter launched from the ship was able to recover a few pieces of the aircraft. The recovered debris indicated that the aircraft was in a relatively high-speed nose down, right wing down impact with the water, or a possible right wing failure before impact.

During the thorough search no bodies of the crew and passengers were found. At the time the formal search was terminated all 26 men were listed Killed/Body Not Recovered.

There is virtually no chance that the crew and passengers onboard the C2A Greyhound can ever be recovered due to the type of loss. However, each man has the right not to be forgotten by the nation for which he gave his life. For other Americans who remain unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, their fate could be quite different.

Since the end of the Vietnam War, over 21,000 reports of American prisoners, missing and otherwise unaccounted for have been received by our government. Many of these reports document LIVE American Prisoners of War remaining captive throughout Southeast Asia TODAY.

Military and civilian personnel in Vietnam were prepared to be wounded, killed, or captured. It probably never occurred to them that they could be abandoned by the country they proudly served.

For unknown reasons The US Government refuses to acknowledge Frank L. Bytheway as a POW/MIA as it does the 25 American servicemen aboard the same aircraft