Page Is Dedicated To
Martin J. Sullivan
Joni's Patriotic Graphics.
- Name: Martin Joseph
- Rank/Branch: O4/US
- Unit: Fighter Squadron 96, USS
- Date of Birth: 28
- Home City of Record:
- Date of Loss: 12 February 1967
- Country of Loss: South
- Loss Coordinates:
- Status (in 1973): Killed/Body
- Category: 5
- Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4B
- Refno: 0592
- Other Personnel in
Incident: Paul V. Carlson (missing)
|Source: Compiled by
Homecoming II Project 01 April 1990 from one or more of the following: raw
data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA
families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 1998.
Martin J. Sullivan was a pilot assigned to assigned to Fighter Squadron 96 aboard the
aircraft carrier USS ENTERPRISE. On February 12, 1967, he launched in his F4B Phantom
fighter aircraft with his Radar Intercept Officer (RIO), LTJG Paul V. Carlson. The
aircraft was on a local intercept training mission in the Gulf of Tonkin in the vicinity
of the USS ENTERPRISE. Sullivan and Carlson were to conduct a pre-briefed simulated aerial
combat maneuver with their flight leader.
|During the third
intercept and after two turns, the aircraft commenced a descending reversal at too low an
altitude to complete prior to entry into clouds. The aircraft was seen to enter a cloud
overcast at 6500 feet in a wings level, extremely nose-low attitude.
Lt. Sullivan appeared to have the aircraft under full control with the nose coming up. It
is suspected that he became disoriented upon entry into the clouds and crashed into the
sea. There was no indication of ejection attempted by either crew member. No radio
transmissions were heard, and Search and Rescue efforts were immediately begun using
aircraft assets from the USS ENTERPRISE, USS BENNINGTON and USS BAUER. USS BENNINGTON
continued surface and air search throughout the night. An oil slick and debris were seen,
but no survivors or remains were ever found.
Carlson and Sullivan apparently did not survive the crash of their aircraft. They are
among nearly 2500 Americans who remain unaccounted for from the Vietnam War. Their cases
seem simple enough, although their families grieve that their remains have never been
returned to them for a hero's burial.
Tragically, thousands of reports indicate that Americans are still alive in Southeast
Asia, held prisoner and waiting for their country to bring them home. Although it seems
quite clear that Carlson and Sullivan are not among them, one can imagine them proudly
taking one more flight for their comrades in distress. They could do no less. Can we?
Biographical and loss information on POWs provided by Operation Just Cause have been
supplied by Chuck and Mary Schantag of POWNET. Please check with
POWNET regularly for updates."
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