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Remains recovered, identified 11/2003. burial 01/09/2004 Arlington National
Name: Michael Timothy McCormick
Rank/Branch: O3/US Navy
Unit: Attack Squadron 115, USS MIDWAY
Date of Birth: 08 July 1946
Home City of Record: Honolulu HI
Date of Loss: 10 January 1973
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 185948N 1051836E (WG327003)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A6A
Other Personnel in Incident: Robert A. Clark (missing)
Refno: 1979
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project with the assistance of one or more
of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources,
correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews: 01
January 1990. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 2004 with information proved by
Dave Anderson.
SYNOPSIS: Lt. Michael T. McCormick was a pilot and Lt.JG Robert A. Clark a
bombardier/navigator assigned to Attack Squadron 115 onboard the aircraft
carrier USS MIDWAY (CVA-41). On January 10, 1973, 17 days before an
agreement was signed in Paris ending American involvement in the war in
Southeast Asia, McCormick and Clark launched in their A6A "Intruder" attack
aircraft. Together with another A6 aircraft, they were to provide support
for B52 air strikes, and had three targets assigned to them over North
The weather that day was overcast with a 1500 foot cloud cover. There was
intense surface-to-air (SAM) missile activity in their target area, and an
estimated total of 15 missiles were fired - three at the USS Midway aircraft
and 12 at the B52s. The crew of another aircraft reported that he did not
think the missiles were aimed at him. The boosters of the missiles were
diffused by the overcast, which proved to be very distracting. On egress the
crewman noted additional SAM boosters along with the glow from the B52 bomb
strikes. He coasted out over the coast and planned to orbit there until
McCormick and Clark crossed the coastline to join him.
When McCormick and Clark did not arrive, and there was no radio contact, the
wingman retraced his route at an altitude of 15,000 feet while making
numerous radio calls. No fires were seen and no enemy reaction was noted.
Other aircraft crewmembers thought they heard a 3-4 second transmission that
sounded like an ECM (emergency transmission), but Search and Rescue (SAR)
missions were flown in the area with no contact and no crash location or
wreckage found.
McCormick and Clark were last known to be over Nghe An Province, about 20
miles west of the city of Phu Dien Chau. Both men were placed in Missing in
Action status. Other than the brief radio signal, no sign of either man was
ever found.
Because of the circumstances surrounding the downing of this aircraft, and
the fact that the area was heavily defended, the U.S. believes there is good
reason to suspect that the Vietnamese know the fates of McCormick and Clark.
The Vietnamese, however, deny any knowledge of them.
Mounting evidence indicates that Americans are being held prisoner in
Southeast Asia today. As long as even one American remains alive, held
unjustly and against his will, we owe him our best effort to bring him home.
McCormick and Clark could be among those thought to be alive. What must they
be thinking of their country?
From - Tue Jul 14 07:11:12 1998
I was a veteran of the air war over North Viet Nam and took an interest in
the POW NET biographies page of your site.
I was acquainted with a number of officers at Naval Air Station Whidbey
Island who manned the A-6A squadrons deployed on Pacific Fleet carriers.  I
deployed with Attack Squadron ONE FOUR FIVE (VA-145) on the USS RANGER just
prior to the start of LINEBACKER II.  I knew, for a time, several men on
the POW/MIA list; Fred Holmes, Harry Mossman, Rod Lester, and Bob Randall.
I lived across the street from Robert (Al) Clark who was lost just weeks
before the cease fire.  He left behind a son that he never saw.  It is
known by many in Naval Aviation that Al had a distant connection with the
basis for the opening scene in the movie, "Flight of the Intruder."  Al's
pilot on the night they were shot down was Mike McCormick.  Several months
before being lost, Mike had flown a mission with LCDR Ray Donnelly.  Ray
died from a round from a large automatic weapon that struck the cockpit and
hit him.   Mike brought him back to the USS MIDWAY for what must have been
the hardest night landing in Naval Aviation history.
Sometimes it seems that the absolute best amongst us didn't come home.
Dave Anderson
July 1998
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