BRUCE C FRYAR - LT
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- March 28, 1944
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- January 02, 1970
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
Bruce Carlton Fryar was born March 28, 1944, in Seattle, WA. His home of record is Ridgewood, NJ.
Bruce entered the US Navy where he attained the rank of Lieutenant (LT). He was assigned to the Attack Squadron 196 - USS RANGER (CVA-61).
He is listed as missing in action since January 2, 1970.
Synopsis (from the POW Network) as to the circumstances behind being listed as MIA:
On the second day of 1970, warplanes were launched from the American aircraft carrier USS Ranger, passed over the South China Sea and central Vietnam and began once again the almost impossible task of trying to close the Ho Chi Minh Trail with bombs and guns.
The planes included A6 Intruders, at the time the best all-weather, ship-based attack aircraft in the world. Sophisticated radar and other advanced technology allowed the strangely shaped planes to bomb through the clouds as well as they could on a clear day.
Flying one particular A6, the A model, was Lt. Bruce Fryar. The primary missions of the A models were close-air support, all-weather and night attacks on enemy troop concentrations, and night interdiction. Flying with Fryar was Lt. Nicholas G. Brooks, the Bombardier/ Navigator (BN). At an altitude of approximately 7,000 ft, during a visual dive-bombing attack on target, the aircraft was struck by enemy anti-aircraft fire. The Intruder immediately began breaking up and subsequently impacted the ground, exploded and burned.
Both the strike control aircraft and the downed aircraft's wingman observed two parachutes, and heard the beeper signals from two survival radios. Both crewmen had safely ejected from the crippled aircraft.
Search and Rescue (SAR) efforts began immediately. Incident to SAR efforts, one man was sighted on the ground in a prone position with the parachute still attached. A SAR helicopter crewman was lowered to the ground and attempted to attach a hoist to the prone man. Heavy enemy ground fire forced the helicopter to depart prior to hoisting the downed flyer. The SAR crewman had scarcely seconds to attempt the recovery, but was able to identify the downed flyer as Lt. Fryar. The SAR crewman indicated that the flyer was unconscious but did not have time to determine if he was dead or alive. Darkness precluded further rescue attempts that day.
Upon resumption of rescue efforts at first light on January 3, the SAR helo returned to the location of the prone man to find that he and the parachute were no longer in sight. An emergency beeper was heard during the morning, but attempts to have any pattern of transmission or voice contact were unsuccessful. SAR efforts were eventually called off several days later. Both men were classified missing in action.
Sources: POW Network and NJVVMF.
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