- Full Name: EUGENE OGDEN CONLEY
- Date of Birth: 10/24/1927
- Date of Casualty: 1/21/1967
- Home of Record: AKRON, OHIO
- Branch of Service: AIR FORCE
- Rank: LTC
- Casualty Country: NORTH VIETNAM
- Casualty Province: NZ
- Status: MIA
CITATION FOR AWARD OF THE AIR FORCE CROSS TO CONLEY, EUGENE OGDEN ( MISSING IN ACTION )
United States Air Force
357th Tactical Air Craft Wing
7th Air Force
Date of Action: 21 January 1967
The Air Force Cross is presented to Eugene Ogden Conley, Lieutenant Colonel, United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism as an F-105 Thunderchief pilot over North Vietnam on 21 January 1967.
On that date, Colonel Conley was the Seventh Air Force's mission commander for a two-wing strike force launched against a heavily defended rail yard in the vicinity of Hanoi.
Coolly evaluating the hostile force's defensive posture, he skillfully led the first flight through the concentrated flak barrages and picked his way past the deadly surface-to-air missiles.
After visually acquiring the target, he scanned the area for the heaviest concentration of hostile fire upon which to unload his deadly weapons in order to minimize the threat to those he led. He attacked his target and then, with complete disregard for his personal safety, he circled the target area to incite the defenders to unleash their full defensive might against him, thereby permitting his followers to destroy the target.
Observing a hostile missile site near the target, he marked it, ordered an attack against it, and then fearlessly circled back over the target area to seek out other hostile defenses. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Lieutenant Colonel Conley reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
CONLEY, EUGENE OGDEN
- Remains Returned 06/22/89 ID 07/15/2002
- Name: Eugene Ogden Conley
- Rank/Branch: O5/US Air Force
- Unit: 354th Tactical Fighter Squadron
- Date of Birth: 24 October 1927
- Home City of Record: Akron OH
- Date of Loss: 21 January 1967
- Country of Loss: North Vietnam
- Loss Coordinates: 213059N 1054659E (WJ794812)
- Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
- Category: 2
- Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F105D
- Refno: 0579
- Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
Source: 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. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 2002.
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.
Lieutenant Colonel Eugene O. Conley was the pilot of an F105D which was on a combat mission over North Vietnam on January 21, 1967. About 5 miles from Thai Nguyen in Bac Thai Province, Conley's aircraft encountered hostile ground
fire and was observed to exit a large fireball, go into a dive and impact the ground in a near-vertical attitude. Observers saw to parachute and no beeper was heard.
For Conley, death seems a certainty. For hundreds of others, however, simple answers are not possible. Adding to the torment of over 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia is the certain knowledge
that some Americans who were known to be prisoners of war were not released at the end of the war. Others were suspected to be prisoners, and still others were in radio contact with would-be rescuers when last seen alive.
Many were known to have survived their loss incidents, only to disappear without a trace.
CONLEY, EUGENE O
- LTCOL US AIR FORCE
- KOREA, VIETNAM
- DATE OF BIRTH: 10/24/1927
- DATE OF DEATH: 01/21/1967
- BURIED AT: SECTION 66 SITE 7610
- ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard