Name:  Robert Douglas Hauer
Rank/Branch: Captain/US Air Force
Unit:  21st Tactical Air Support Squadron 
Cam Ranh Bay Airbase,
South Vietnam 

Date of Birth: 29 November 1946
Home of Record: Brookline, MA
Date of Loss: 05 September 1970 
Country of Loss:  South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates:  122300N 1085200E (BP680697) 
Click coordinates to view maps

Status in 1973: Missing in Action
Category: 4
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground:  O2A "Skymaster"
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)


SYNOPSIS:   The Cessna O2 Skymaster was the military version of the civilian Model 335 Skymaster. The twin-engine, twin-tailboom O2 had greater endurance and a little more speed than the more familiar O1 Bird Dog, but still remained essentially unarmed carrying only smoke rockets. Like its predecessor, the low flying, slow moving Skymaster was used primarily as a Forward Air Control (FAC) aircraft to mark targets for both attack aircraft and ground troops.

On 5 September 1970, then 1st Lt. Robert D. Hauer was the pilot of an O2A, call sign "Cutie 24," that departed Cam Ranh Bay Airbase at 0915 hours on an single aircraft Forward Air Control (FAC) mission. He was to control a set of F100 fighters, call sign "Dusty 61," on a pre-briefed attack against a known enemy target. 1st Lt. Hauer proceeded to the target area to familiarize himself with it before rendezvousing with Dusty flight.

Once all aircraft were on station, Robert Hauer directed the fighters' attack on that enemy position located in rugged jungle covered mountains approximately 14 miles southwest of Duc My, 24 miles northwest of Nha Trang and 34 miles nothwest of Cam Ranh Bay, Khanh Hoa Province, South Vietnam. An additional terrain feature was a prominent east/west flowing river winding through the middle of the strike area. By 1050 hours, after expending all ordnance, Dusty 61 was off target and returning to base.

1st Lt. Hauer conducted a Bomb Damage Assessment (BDA) evaluation, the result of which he called in at 1130 hours. He then told Cutie Control that he was going back down to take another look at the ground, but did not see any additional enemy activity in or around the strike location. Robert Hauer's last transmission came at 1149 hours when he requested a time hack from the control center. Weather conditions consisted of broken clouds at 4500 feet, 6-mile visibility and winds at 10 knots from 160 degrees.

At 1410 hours, a full-scale search and rescue (SAR) operation was initiated. Cutie 34 was diverted to the area of the airstrike to coordinate the visual search. Those efforts continued until darkness made it impossible to do so any longer. A systematic search pattern commenced at first light and continued until 11 September. At that time the formal SAR operation was terminated when no trace of the aircraft or its pilot could be found. Robert Hauer was immediately listed Missing in Action.

Since the end of the Vietnam War well 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.

American servicemen in Vietnam were called upon to operate in many dangerous circumstances both on and off duty, and they were prepared to be wounded, killed or captured. It probably never occurred to them that they could be abandoned by the country they so proudly served.