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Name: Arthur Gene Ecklund
Rank/Branch: O2/US Army
Unit: 183rd Aviation Company, 223rd Aviation Battalion, 17th Aviation Group,
1st Aviation Brigade
Date of Birth: 05 May 1943 (Galesburg IL)
Home City of Record: Phoenix AZ
Date of Loss: 03 April 1969
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 115111N 1085848E (BP750005)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 4
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: O1G
Refno: 1422

Other Personnel in Incident: Perry H. Jefferson (missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 July 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.

REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: Arthur Gene Ecklund was born in Galesburg, Illinois and lived there until he was ten years old when his family moved to Phoenix, Arizona. He graduated from Central High School there and attended Phoenix College and Arizona State University.

Artie entered the Army in September 1966 and took his basic training at Ft. Bliss, Texas. He was chosen for Officers Candidate School and was commissioned at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. He took helicopter training, then attended fixed wing pilot training, and was deployed to Vietnam shortly after.

On April 3, 1969, U.S. Army 1Lt. Arthur G. Ecklund and his U.S. Air Force observer, Capt. Perry H. Jefferson, were flying a visual reconnaissance mission out of Phan Rang airbase. They left the base at 0700 hours in an O1G aircraft (serial #51-12078) and reported in by radio at 0730 hours giving their location, destination and information concerning a convoy they were going to check out. No further communication was heard, except for a signal "beeper".

Extensive search efforts began at 0950 hours with all available aircraft, and continued for three days without success. The aircraft is believed to have occurred in an area occupied by enemy forces, thus preventing a ground search.

On April 15, 1969, a Vietnamese source reported that he had been in contact with a communist Montagnard who claimed the Viet Cong had shot down an aircraft with two Americans in it, and the Americans had been wounded, but were alive, and being held in captivity. He said the aircraft was shot down between Phan Rang and Cam Ranh City. A later report indicated that two men fitting the description of Ecklund and Jefferson were seen on a trail being guarded by Viet Cong, and that they appeared to be in good health. The U.S. Defense Department list Jefferson's loss coordinates near the coastline of Vietnam, about 20 miles south of Cam Ranh, while Ecklund's loss coordinates are listed about 10 miles southwest of Cam Ranh and about 15 miles northwest of those of Jefferson. Both men are listed as lost in Ninh Thuan Province, South Vietnam.

The presence of the reports of captivity and the emergency radio "beeper" lends weight to the fact that the two men were captured. There can be no question that the Vietnamese know the fate of two men. As reports concerning Americans still alive in Southeast Asia continue to flow in, it becomes increasingly more important to find out what happened to the men we left behind.

Reference Number 1422-0-01
Date 690403
Rank O2
Status XX
Country VS/
Service A
Return Date
Race C
Coordinates (Latitude/Longitude) 115111N1085848E
Aircraft/Vehicle Type O1G

All Biographical and loss information on Vietnam Era POW/MIA's
provided by
Operation Just Cause have been supplied by Chuck and Mary Schantag of POW/NET
"Please check with POW/NET regularly for updates."

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