Name: Richard Thomas Morrissey 
Rank/Branch: Captain/US Marine Corps 
Unit: VMFA 115, Marine Air Group
13 1st Marine Air Wing 

Date of Birth: 27 May 1939 (Queens, NY)
Home of Record: Uniondale, NY
Date of Loss: 19 August 1969 
Country of Loss: South Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 154334N 1090100E (BT875395)
Click coordinates to view maps

Status in 1973: Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered 
Category: 5
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4B "Phantom II"
Other Personnel In Incident: James R. Bohlig (missing) 


SYNOPSIS:  The McDonnell F4 Phantom was flown by Air Force, Navy and Marine air wings and served a multitude of functions including, fighter/bomber, interceptor, photo/electronic surveillance and reconnaissance. This two-man aircraft was extremely fast (Mach 2) and had a long range, 900 to 2300 miles depending on stores and type of mission. The F4 was also extremely maneuverable, and handled well at all altitudes. It was selected for a number of state-of-the-art electronic conversions, which improved radar intercept and computer bombing capabilities enormously. Most pilots considered it one of the "hottest" planes around.

On the night of 19 August 1969, 1st Lt. James Bohlig, pilot, and Capt. Richard Morrissey, bombardier/navigator, comprised the crew of an F4B on a night strike mission. The aircraft was returning to DaNang, Quang Tin Province, South Vietnam when it disappeared into the South China Sea.

When the aircrew realized they were experiencing an in-flight emergency and needed assistance, Capt. Morrissey made a radio call outlining the situation and giving the aircraft's position. The location of loss was approximately 28 miles northeast of Chu Lai and 60 miles southeast of DaNang.

Search and rescue (SAR) operations were initiated at first light by ships stationed in the Gulf of Tonkin as well as ship-based and land-based aircraft. Unfortunately all SAR efforts failed to locate any wreckage debris, an oil slick or any trace of either crewman.

At the time the formal search operation was terminated, both Capt. Richard Morrissey and 1st Lt. James Bohlig were immediately listed Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered with probably little to no chance of ever recovering their remains.

While the fate of Richard Morrissey and James Bohlig is not in doubt, they have a right to have their remains returned to their family and friends, and country if at all humanly possible. Above all else, each man has a 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 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 were called upon to fly 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.