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Maj. Martin William Steen - MIA

Martin William Steen
Grand Forks, ND
County: Grand Forks
Vietnam - MIA
Date of Disappearance: May 31, 1966 / Age: 37
Branch of Service: Air Force
Company/Division: 469th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, 7th Air Force

In , NORTH VIETNAM
Hostile, died while missing, FIXED WING - PILOT
AIR LOSS, CRASH ON LAND

Body was not recovered

Capt. Martin Steen was assigned an operational mission over North Vietnam on May 31, 1966. His F105D was one of a group of "Thuds" that would, during the course of the war, make more strikes against North Vietnam than any other U.S. aircraft. The Thunderchief also sustained more losses than any other U.S. aircraft. Steen departed his base at Korat in south central Thailand, flew north over Laos and turned eastward into North Vietnam to a target along the Red River about 80 miles northwest of Hanoi.

On egress from the target, Steen radioed that his aircraft had control difficulties and he would have to eject. From here, the story fragments. According to Defense Department notations, a parachute was seen functioning normally, but the harness was empty (indicating that either Capt. Steen was improperly harnessed and fell - or that the parachute was seen on the ground, discarded). The Air Force states that Capt. Steen landed, observed, in a mountainous area and that emergency beeper signals were heard during descent and after landing. Further, the Air Force states that rescue attempts were made, but that Capt. Steen could not be located.