Name: Clifton Emmet Cushman
Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force
Unit: Date of Birth: 02 June 1938
Home City of Record: Grand Forks ND
Date of Loss: 25 September 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 213800N 1062600E (XJ501927)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Others in Incident:
Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 October 1990 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews.
The F105 Thunderchief (or "Thud") performed yoeman service on many diversified missions in Southeast Asia. F105s flew more combat missions over North Vietnam than any other USAF aircraft and consequently suffered the heaviest losses in action. They dropped bombs by day and occasionally by night from high or low altitude and some later versions (F105D in Wild Weasel guise) attacked SAM sites with their radar tracking air-to-ground missiles. This versatile aircraft was also credited with downing 25 Russian MiGs.
Capt. Clifton E. Cushman was the pilot of an F105D which embarked on a bombing mission over the Haiphong area of North Vietnam on September 25, 1966. He never returned from the mission, but was downed about 45 miles southwest of the harbor. Although the U.S. believes that the Vietnamese could account for Cushman, they have denied knowledge of his fate.
When 591 American prisoners of war were released from Hanoi in the spring of 1973, Clifton Cushman was not among them. He, like nearly 2500 others, remain missing. The majority of these men, unlike "MIA's" from other wars, can be accounted for.
Since the end of American involvement in Indochina, over 10,000 reports have been received concerning Americans held captive. Over 100 of the cases are still actively researched today. Collectively, the reports make a compelling case that Americans are still held prisoner in Southeast Asia, yet the U.S. has been unable to secure their freedom.
Whether Clifton Cushman died the day his plane went down or survived to be held prisoner today is not known. What seems certain, however, is that someone knows his fate. It's time we got answers.
Clifton E. Cushman was promoted to the rank of Major during the period he was maintained Missing in Action.