SALAZAR, FIDEL GARCIA

Name: Fidel Garcia Salazar   
Rank/Branch: Steward Second Class/US Navy 
Unit: USS Constellation (CVA-64) 
Date of Birth: 24 April 1936 (Binas, Tanza, Cavite, Philippines)
Home of Record: Biwas, Tanza, Cavite, Philippines
Date of Loss: 02 October 1969 
Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 175402N 1073602E (YE754810) 
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, Frank L. Bytheway, Rolando C. Dayao, Donald C. Dean, Carl J. Ellerd, James J. Fowler, Roy G. Fowler, Leonardo M. Gan, Paul E. Gore, Terry L. Beck, Delvin L. Kohker, Howard M. Koslosky, Robert B. Leonard, Ronald W. Montgomery, William R. Moore, Kenneth M. Prentice, William D. Goresuch, Keavin L. Terrell and Reynaldo R. Viado. REMARKS: 

REMARKS:

SYNOPSIS:  The C-2A Greyhound provided critical logistics support to aircraft carriers around the world. Its primary mission was to transport personnel including litter patients during medical evacuation missions, supplies, mail, or a combination thereof, to and from the carrier task force to which it was assigned. Powered by two PT-6 turboprop engines, the Greyhound was able to deliver a payload of up to 10,000 pounds. Priority cargos, such as jet engines, were stored within the aircraft’s cage restraint system and could be transported from ship to shore in a matter of hours. For fast turnaround operations, the onboard power winch allowed for straight-in rear cargo loading and downloading through its large aft cargo ramp and door. Further, the C-2A’s open-ramp flight capability allowed for airdrop of supplies and personnel from carrier-launched aircraft. The Greyhound also had folding wings and an onboard auxiliary power unit for engine starting and ground power self-sufficiency in remote areas that provided it with an operational versatility found in no other cargo aircraft
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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, crewmember; ADJ3 Paul K. Moser, crewmember; and ADJ3 Michael J. Tye, crewmember.

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 was other ships in the carrier group task force were: PN1 Rolando C. Dayao and YNC Leonardo M. Gan who were returning to the Destroyer USS Walke, TN Reynaldo R. Viado who was returning to the Destroyer USS Hamner, and MM2 William R. Moore 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, when radar contact was lost. The last radar position was 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 reported as 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 he gave his life for. 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.