Clark, Robert Alan, LT

Fallen
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
13 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Lieutenant
Last Primary NEC
132X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Naval Flight Officer
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1972-1973, 132X, USS Midway (CVA-41)
Service Years
1970 - 1973
Lieutenant
Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
California
California
Year of Birth
1946
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Tommy Burgdorf (Birddog), FC2 to remember Clark, Robert Alan (Arlo), LT.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Casualty Info
Home Town
North Hollywood, CA
Last Address
North Hollywood, CA

Casualty Date
Jan 10, 1973
 
Cause
Hostile, Died while Missing
Reason
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Location
Vietnam, North (Vietnam)
Conflict
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
01W 110 / Section: 60 Grave: 8247

 Official Badges 




 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Golden Dragon Gulf of Tonkin Yacht Club


 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans MemorialUnited States Navy Memorial The National Gold Star Family RegistryAmerican Battle Monuments Commission
  2016, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2016, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2016, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2018, American Battle Monuments Commission


 Ribbon Bar
Naval Flight Officer Wings

 
 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
VA-115 ArabsUSS Midway (CVA-41)
  1971-1973, 132X, VA-115 Arabs
  1972-1973, 132X, USS Midway (CVA-41)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1970-1973 Vietnam War
 Other News, Events and Photographs
 
  May 02, 1970, Service Entry Date
  Oct 23, 1970, Commission Date (rank of Ensign)
  Nov 01, 1974, Promoted to Lieutenant while in POW/MIA Status
  Mar 07, 1978, Declared Dead
  Jul 04, 2016, General Photos
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
On the night of 9/10 January 1973, the Strategic Air Command's B-52 heavy bombers continued their attacks in North Vietnam with a series of strikes in the vicinity of Vinh. Two A-6A Intruders from Attack Squadron 115 aboard USS Midway were tasked with a surface-to-air missile suppression attack on a SAM site about 30 miles northwest of Vinh. LT Michael T. McCormick, pilot, and LTJG Robert A. Clark, B/N, were assigned A-6A BuNo 155693. 

The two aircraft launched and proceeded "feet dry", intending to conduct separate but coordinated attacks on the target. The weather was overcast with cloud layers variously reported at 1,500 to 15,000 feet. As the A-6s and B-52s approached their targets, a barrage of SAM missiles were launched - a dozen or so at the B-52 cells and three at the A-6s. Although the missile rocket motors illuminated the clouds, it was impossible to judge their trajectory or target until the SAM actually broke free of the cloud cover, thereby reducing the aircrews' reaction time.

The second Intruder completed its attack and went "feet wet", taking up an orbit offshore while waiting for McCormick and Clark to rendezvous - but they never arrived. That aircrew then retraced the flight route at an altitude of 15,000, but failed to sight any fires other than those caused by the B-52 strikes and were unable to make radio contact with either McCormick or Clark. Subsequent search and rescue efforts failed to locate either the downed aircraft or its crew.

Both crewmen were carried as Missing in Action until the Secretary of the Navy approved Presumptive Findings of Death for them - McCormick on 25 July 1975 and Clark on 07 March 1978. Mike McCormick and Robert Clark were the last of seven VA-115 aircrewmen lost during the Vietnam War. 

In July 1991, U.S. researchers discovered in a Vietnamese military museum a data plate which correlated to the downed aircraft. Later, in another museum, they discovered photos of a crash site which also correlated to the missing aircraft. U.S. researchers examined Vietnamese wartime records which confirmed the downing of that aircraft in Nghe An Province in January 1973.

Between 1993 and 2002, U.S. researchers and joint U.S.-Vietnam teams conducted four field investigations and one excavation. During one of their field visits, a witness to the 1973 crash turned over remains he claimed to have recovered at the site. During the excavation in 2002, additional remains were recovered.

The remains were identified in 2003 by the Central Identification Laboratory through skeletal analysis and mitochondrial DNA.In May 2003, researchers in the Central Identification Laboratory used skeletal analysis and DNA to finally confirm the remains belonged to Clark and McCormick.

Their remains were buried in Arlington Cemetery.

Now Robert A. Clark and Michael T. McCormick have come home.
   
Comments/Citation

 
Name of Award
Silver Star
Year Awarded
1972
Details behind Award:
Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Robert Alan Clark, United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while participating in aerial flight as a Naval Flight Officer of jet aircraft attached to Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED FIFTEEN (VA-115), attached to the U.S.S. Midway (CVA-41). During the early morning darkness of 20 December 1972, Lieutenant (junior grade) Clark was the bombardier/navigator of an aircraft assigned to strike a vital enemy warehouse complex in the center of Haiphong, North Vietnam. Despite extremely poor weather conditions, he skillfully guided his pilot in a precisely timed low-level attack through heavy enemy anti-aircraft fire. The crew placed their ordnance directly on the target triggering three large secondary explosions. He then navigated to safety while evading continuous enemy fire and Surface-to-Air missile radars. Lieutenant (junior grade) Clark's courage, superb aerial skill, and devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Action Date: December 20, 1972
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade
Company: Attack Squadron 115 (VA-115)
Division: U.S.S. Midway (CVA-41)
 

 
Name of Award
Silver Star
Year Awarded
1972
Details behind Award:
Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant, Junior Grade Robert Alan Clark, United States Navy, for heroism while participating in aerial flight as a naval flight officer of jet aircraft while attached to Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED FIFTEEN (VA-115), embarked in U.S.S. MIDWAY (CVA-41). On the night of 30 July 1972, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Clark was the bombardier/navigator of an aircraft assigned to strike the vital Phuc Yen Airfield deep in North Vietnam. He successfully navigated through mountainous terrain and directed his pilot in a low-level, high speed attack planned to elude enemy air defense radars. During the run-in to the target, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Clark guided the pilot in the attack while illuminating the altimeter with his flashlight following a sudden electrical failure which caused the loss of cockpit instrument lights. The crew released their bombs on target resulting in a large sustained fire which erupted as they retired through a heavy barrage of anti-aircraft fire. Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Clark's superb airmanship, courage, and devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Action Date: July 30, 1972
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade
Company: Attack Squadron 115 (VA-115)
Division: U.S.S. Midway (CVA-41)

   
Copyright Togetherweserved.com Inc 2003-2011