Fred Lee ClarkeChief Master Sergeant
606TH SOS, 56TH SOW, 7TH AF
United States Air Force
28 January 1932 - 28 May 1974
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The database page for Fred Lee Clarke
In Honor of Fred Lee Clarke and all of the brave men and women that never made it home. You have not been forgotten.
The MissionOn 13 December 1968 a C-123K PROVIDER of the 606th Special Operations Squadron launched from Nakhon Phanom RTAFB, Thailand, on a night FAC mission over the Ho Chi Minh Trail area. The low-and-slow C-123K's mission was to obtain visual or infrared sightings of traffic along the Trail and to act as a controller for bombers - in this case, B-57 CANBERRA bombers from the 8th Tactical Bomber Squadron, Phan Rang AB, SVN.
Weather conditions along the Trail were good - clear with a half moon, ground fog, no wind and no cloud ceiling. At 0300 hours, as a B-57 was executing an attack against ground targets, the B-57 collided with the upper surface of the circling C-123K. Both aircraft - and nine aircrewmen - went down.
Only one - 1st Lt Thomas M. Turner from the C-123 - was rescued. The others simply disappeared into the Laotian jungles about 30 miles southwest of the Ban Kari Pass. A ground search was impossible due to total enemy control of the area, but airborne search-and-rescue operations continued until termination on 15 December, when the formal SAR effort was terminated. At that point, the crewmen and their status were as follow:
None of the eight men have ever been repatriated.
The point-of-contact for this memorial is|
one who remembers,
14 Apr 2003
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 04/14/2003