MIAs: Decade of Frustration

Archive Report

MIAs: Vietnam War Legacy

Fate of Americans Missing in Indochina

On Aug. 4, 1964, U.S. Navy jets took off from two aircraft carriers in the South China Sea. Their targets: North Vietnamese patrol boat bases and an oil storage depot on the Gulf of Tonkin. That action, taken in retaliation for what the United States claimed were deliberate attacks on two U.S. destroyers in the gulf by North Vietnamese motor torpedo boats, marked the first U.S. bombing mission against North Vietnamese territory in the soon-to-be-escalated Vietnam War. That action also resulted in the capture of Lt. (j.g.) Everett Alvarez Jr., of San Jose, Calif. — the first U.S. airman taken prisoner by North Vietnam.1 By the time the last American combat troops were withdrawn from Vietnam ...

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