WILSON, ROGER EUGENE
Name: Roger Eugene Wilson
Rank/Branch: O3/US Marine Corps
Unit: VMA 224, Detachment C
Date of Birth: 30 June 1947
Home City of Record: Norfolk VA
Date of Loss: 11 June 1972
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 202543N 1061055E
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Other Personnel in Incident: Willam Angus, returnee
Source: Compiled by from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S.
Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published
sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK.
REMARKS: PROB DEAD - FIR 317/09092-73
SYNOPSIS: The Grumman A6 Intruder is a two-man all weather, low-altitude,
carrier-based attack plane, with versions adapted as aerial tanker and
electronic warfare platform. The A6A primarily flew close-air-support,
all-weather and night attacks on enemy troop concentrations, and night
interdiction missions. Its advanced navigation and attack system, known as
DIANE (Digital Integrated Attack navigation Equipment) allowed small precision
targets, such as bridges, barracks and fuel depots to be located and attacked
in all weather conditions, day or night. The planes were credited with some of
the most difficult single-plane strikes in the war, including the destruction
of the Hai Duong bridge between Hanoi and Haiphong by a single A6. Their
missions were tough, but their crews among the most talented and most
courageous to serve the United States.
In Vietnam, Capt. Roger E. Wilson was an A6A pilot from Detachment C, VMA 224.
On June 11, 1972, he was sent on a combat mission over Nam Ha Province, North
Vietnam. His aircraft was hit by ground fire, and crashed in a lake on the
north edge of the city of Nam Dinh. Wilson was listed as Missing in Action.
Reports received through intelligence sources indicate that Wilson was probably
dead, and U.S. analysts concluded that, alive or dead, the Vietnamese
definitely knew his fate. Inexplicably, however, Capt. Wilson was maintained in
a Missing in Action status, rather than that of Prisoner of War. Wilson's name
was not on the 1973 list compiled by Henry Kissinger of "discrepancy" cases on
which it was felt the Vietnamese had ready information.
Since the war ended, several score remains have returned from Vietnam through
negotiations, but not those of Capt. Wilson. Progress on the remains issue has
been tediously slow, even though reliable information indicates that the
Vietnamese "stockpiled" hundreds of American bodies.
Even more frustrating is the issue of the men whom most authorities believe to
be alive. U.S. Government has conducted "over 250,000 interviews" and analyzed
"several million" documents since the war ended related to Americans still
missing, prisoner or unaccounted for from the Vietnam war, but has been unable
to make the conclusive official statement that Americans are still held
Critics say that the U.S. Government is unwilling to pay the price of freedom
for the men who were left behind and who are still alive. Capt. Roger E. Wilson
was willing to pay the price for freedom. How would he judge our actions in
securing the freedom of those we left behind?
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