Martin Joseph Sullivan
Killed In Action - Body Not Recovered
|SYNOPSIS: Lt.Cdr. 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),
Lt.JG 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. Cdr. Sullivan appeared to have the aircraft under full control with the nose coming
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?