Charles Edward Franklin – Colonel, United States Air Force

Captain Charles Edward Franklin, USAF.  SS#292-28-9366

DOB 09/14/34, in Ohio.
Shot down over North Vietnam, 08/14/66.
Listed as MIA.
Declared PKIA — 04/1978

By the time he was formally declared deceased in 1978, he had been advanced in rank to Lieutenant Colonel.

Remains returned by Vietnamese in 1988.  Interred at Arlington National Cemetery in 1988. Initially, his gravestone recorded his date of death as the date of the administrative “finding of death” (i.e. 1978.)  At my request, the gravestone was changed to reflect the actual date of death, which (per the Vietnamese) was the date on which he was shot down (1966).

All of this does create a certain confusion.  Perhaps this accounts for his absence from your record.  I would very much like to have this rectified.
Thank you very much.
MARY HARES FRANKLIN, (Un-remarried widow of Charles E. Franklin)

  • Date of Birth: 9/14/1934
  • Date of Casualty: 8/14/1966
  • Home of Record: YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO
  • Branch of Service: AIR FORCE
  • Rank: COL
  • Casualty Country: NORTH VIETNAM

Remains Returned 13 July 1988 – ID’D October 1988

Name: Charles Edward Franklin
Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force
Date of Birth: 14 September 1934
Home City of Record: Youngstown OHio
Date of Loss: 14 August 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F105
Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing)

Source: 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. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 1998.


Chuck Franklin was the pilot of an F105 aircraft on a bombing run over the mail link to China in North Vietnam on August 14, 1966. Also on the run were two other pilots, each with his own plane. Seventy miles north of  Hanoi the three aircraft ran into heavy surface to air missile (SAM) fire. Chuck instructed the other 2 men to try and get out while he drew fire. The other two planes were able to escape, but Chuck was not. He radioed that he had been hit, headed for the hills and ejected.

There was every reason to suspect Franklin may have survived, and he was listed Missing in Action. His family waited for the war to end and the POWs to come home. However, in the spring of 1973, when 591 Americans were released from Hanoi, Franklin was not among them. The Vietnamese denied any knowledge of him.

Then in July 1988, the Vietnamese discovered the remains of Charles E. Franklin and turned them over to Presidential Envoy General John Vessey. Franklin had been a prisoner, living or dead, for 22 years.

Nearly 2500 Americans did not return from the war in Vietnam. Thousands of reports have been received indicating that some hundreds are alive today. As in the case of Chuck Franklin, Vietnam and her allies can account for most of them.

In the total view of the issue of the missing, however, the return of remains signals NO progress. In the early 1980’s the very credible Congressional testimony of a Vietnamese mortician indicated that the Vietnamese are in possession of over 400 sets of remains. In 10 years, they have returned barely half of them. More importantly, the same credible
witness, whose testimony is believed throughout Congress, stated that he had seen live Americans held at the same location where the remains were stored.

Charles E. Franklin was promoted to the rank of Colonel during the period he was maintained Missing in Action.

Read our general and most popular articles

Leave a Comment