|Name:||Hubert Bradford Loheed|
USS Ranger (CVA-61)
|Date of Birth:||15 October 1924 (Brockton, MA)|
|Home of Record:||Middleboro, MA|
|Date of Loss:||01 February 1966|
|Country of Loss:||North Vietnam/Over Water|
Click coordinates to view(4) maps
|Status in 1973:||Missing in Action|
|Other Personnel In Incident:||(none missing)|
SYNOPSIS: The Douglas A4 Skyhawk was a single-seat light attack jet flown by both land-based and carrier squadrons, and was the US Navy's standard light attack aircraft at the outset of the war. It was the only carrier-based aircraft that did not have folding wings as well as the only one that required a ladder for the pilot to enter/exit the cockpit. The Skyhawk was used to fly a wide range of missions throughout Southeast Asia including close air support to American troops on the ground in South Vietnam. Flying from a carrier was dangerous and as many aircraft were lost in "operational incidents" as in combat.
Then Cmdr. Hubert B. Loheed was the Commanding Officer of Attack Squadron 146 assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Ranger. On 1 February 1966, he launched from the deck of the carrier in his Skyhawk (serial #149527) as the lead aircraft in a flight of four to conduct an afternoon armed reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. When the flight arrived in the target area, Cmdr. Loheed established radio contact with the airborne battlefield command and control center (ABCCC) controlling all missions in the region. After receiving currant mission information, the ABCCC handed the flight off to the onsite Forward Air Controller (FAC) who would direct their mission.
At 1600 hours, Cmdr. Loheed and his wingman had been given a target near the coast. Both pilots made an attack pass on the target releasing their ordnance and were observed as they entered a steep climb to pull up and away from the ground fire that had been directed at them. With his wingman following 200-300 feet behind him, Cmdr. Loheed's aircraft rolled port and entered a steep dive and was last seen as it dove into an undercast of clouds at an altitude of 800-1000 feet.
The FAC and wingman immediately initiated a visual and electronic search, but heard no emergency radio beeper and saw no parachute. In their after action debriefing both the FAC and wingman stated that it was their opinion that because of the angle of the dive they did not believe that Cmdr. Loheed could have survived the possible crash and/or ejection from his crippled aircraft. Nevertheless, in spite of the grim forecast for survival, at the time the search effort was terminated, Hubert Loheed was reported as Missing in Action.
The location of loss was just west of the shoreline in the moderately populated and heavily defended coastal plain that was covered in rice fields and dotted with small villages approximately 2 miles south of the town of Vinh Lai, 2 miles east of Highway 1A, 3 miles east of a single track railroad line that paralleled the highway and 23 miles north of the major North Vietnamese city of Vinh.
If Hubert Loheed died in the loss of his aircraft, he has the right to have his remains returned to his family, friends and country. However, if he survived, he most certainly would have been captured and his fate, like that of other Americans who remain unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, could be quite different.
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 America Prisoners of War remaining captive throughout Southeast Asia TODAY.
Fighter pilots in Vietnam were called upon to fly and fight in many dangerous circumstances, 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.