Name: Dyke Augustus Spilman
Rank/Branch: O2/US Air Force
Unit: 16th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron
Date of Birth: 15 July 1941
Home City of Record: Wildwood NJ
Date of Loss: 27 September 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Laos
Loss Coordinates: 165800N 1063600E (XC924917)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Other Personnel in Incident:
Joseph M. Stine (missing)
Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 March 1991 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Copyright 1991 Homecoming II Project.
The Phantom, used by Air Force, Marine and Navy air wings, served a multitude of functions including fighter-bomber and interceptor, photo and electronic surveillance. The two man aircraft was extremely fast (Mach 2), and had a long range (900 - 2300 miles, depending on stores and mission type). The F4 was also extremely maneuverable and handled well at low and high altitudes. Most pilots considered it one of the "hottest" planes around.
Maj. Joseph M. Stine was the pilot and 1Lt. Dyke A. Spilman the Systems operator of an RF4C assigned to the 16th tactical Reconnaissance Squadron at Tan Son Nhut Airbase, Republic of Vietnam. On 27 September 1966 the two were assigned a night photo reconnaissance mission. When the aircraft failed to return to base, the two were declared missing in action.
The aircraft's estimated point of fuel exhaustion was on the border of Laos and North Vietnam about five miles north of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). While most records indicate that Stine and Spilman were lost in North Vietnam, some indicate they were lost in Laos. It is not known what happened to the F4 crew.
Nearly 2500 Americans remain missing or otherwise unaccounted for in Vietnam, and nearly 600 of them are in Laos. Since the war ended, over 10,000 reports concerning missing Americans in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S. Government. Many experts are completely convinced that hundreds of Americans are still held captive.
One set of critics say that the U.S. has done little to address the issue of live POWs, preferring the politically safer issue of remains return. Others place the blame on the Vietnamese, for using the issue of POW/MIA to their political advantage. Regardless of blame, no living American has returned through the efforts of negotiations between the countries, and the reports continue to pour in. Are we doing enough to bring these men home?