Bernard Conklin

Lieutenant Colonel
United States Air Force
27 February 1932 - 14 December 1973
Stony Point, New York
Panel 09E Line 088



Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Bernard Conklin

16 Sep 2002

In memory of Bernard Conklin

I wore your POW-MIA bracelet for many years.

I now have it framed with the tracing of your name from The Wall in my family room.

I look at it every day and think of you every day.

I have taken my parents, my children and friends to The Wall and we have all thought of you, your family, your sacrifice.

The loss of your life is unspeakable but I want you to know that I remember you and my children will remember you so that you do go on for eternity and generations are grateful.

We will never forget.

I often wish I could contact your family so despite their pain and despite all these years they are able to know that someone still cares.

If they wish to speak they can contact me at

Thank you, Lt. Col. Bernard Conklin, for giving everything.

Diane Ellis-Marseglia

6 Sep 2004

Thank you to the gentleman who contacted me to try and forge a connection with possible friends and family of Lt. Col. Conklin. I was unable to make a connection but look forward to doing so in the future. My remembrance and respect for Lt. Col. Conklin continues.

Diane Marseglia
Levittown Pa

23 Dec 2002

Bernard Conklin was my friend and co-worker at PACAF. He died in the service of his country. As long as I live I will never forget the pain and sorrow of his wife, Peg, and the children. There were other losses of friends who were fellow pilots in Vietnam, but the loss of Bernard is unforgetable. I will always treasure his memory!

From a friend and co-worker,
Bobby K. Murray

28 Feb 2006

I was friends with Lt. Colonel Conklin's son, Scott, in my early high school years (1970-1972) in Plattsburgh, NY. We talked about his Dad at our lunch table. He was still in MIA status then, and we still held out hope. Scott and his family eventually moved from Plattsburgh, where they had lived at Plattsburgh AFB, and we lost contact.

Over the years, whenever the paper reported on the repatriation our servicemen, I would scan the article looking for Colonel Conklin's name. Then in 1988 I read such an article and saw his name. I thought of my high school buddy Scott, of our conversations, and remembered the sadness of those days when Colonel Conklin's status was unclear. I tried to imagine the emotions they all felt upon finally knowing.

The message I'd like to send Colonel Conklin is: Welcome home, finally. Your family loved you and held out hope for a long time. They honored your meomory, your service and your sacrifice. As do I.

From a friend of his son,
Bill Buskey
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 29 July 1966 an RC-47D intelligence collection aircraft crewed by
  • Major Galileo F. Bossio, 8th Cbt Spt Grp (Ubon RTAFB);
  • Captain Robert E. Hoskinson, 388th Cbt Spt Grp (Korat RTAFB);
  • Captain Bernard Conklin, 388th Cbt Spt Grp (Korat RTAFB);
  • 1Lt. Vincent A. Chiarello, 33rd Cbt Spt Grp (Pleiku);
  • 1Lt Robert J. Di Tommaso, 388th Cbt Spt Grp (Korat RTAFB);
  • SSgt James S. Hall, 630th Cbt Spt Grp (Udorn RTAFB);
  • TSgt John M. Mamiya, 6486th CAM Sqd (Hickam AFB); and
  • TSgt Herbert E. Smith, 630th CAM Sqd (Udorn RTAFB).
was conducting reconnaissance operations along the Lao/North Vietnamese border area in the vicinity of Sam Neua, Laos. The unarmed transport, callsign DOGPATCH 02, was taken under attack by North Vietnamese fighters. Radio contact was lost, and it was assumed that the aircraft and crew had been downed in North Vietnam. Visual reconnaissance in the area failed to locate either the crash site or any sign of the crew. All eight men were classed as Missing in Action.

There are a number of uncertainties regarding this flight:

  • Unit assignments for the eight men aboard are unclear.
    The POW Network indicates several were assigned to the "388th Combat Support Group, Udorn Airbase, Thailand", but the 388th CSG was a component of the 388th Tac Ftr Wing at Korat RTAFB, while on 29 July 1966 the 630th Combat Support Group was at Udorn RTAFB. The Task Force Omega biographies note the mixed nature of the crew, stating that the crewmen
    "were extremely well trained and experienced in their respective fields, and were brought together from different units for this mission."
  • The flight's point of departure also is uncertain.
    The POW Network biographies indicate the aircraft departed from Udorn, but there are eye-witnesses to its departure from Nakon Phanom RTAFB. Hobson (Vietnam Air Losses) states the aircraft, if not the crew, was assigned to the 606th Air Commando Squadron at NKP.

  • The mission objective is unclear.
    • Task Force Omega says it was an "RC-47D Airborne Command and Control aircraft on a classified operational mission".
    • The POW Network notes the "Primary objective of the C-47 in Laos at that point in the war was visual reconnaissance. ... This particular plane, however, was working in support of the CIA's secret indigenous army ..."
    • Keith Rohring, who arrived in NKP on 30 July 66, says the "C-47 was 'bristling' with electronics - [its] mission was essentially to fly near the Ho Chi Minh Trail at precise dates and times to pick up Hmong tribes people's broadcasts of who was on the trail, when and how many. . . "
The CIA did indeed recruit Hmong tribesmen to monitor the Ho Chi Minh Trail, and did equip them with short-range radios to report on their observations. Given the mixed crew and the apparent "close-hold" nature of the mission, it appears likely that Rohring's explanation is correct.

In any case, none of the eight returned with the POWs in February 1973, and over time the Secretary of the Air Force approved Presumptive Findings of Death for all eight - Conklin on 14 December 1973.

In 1988, the remains of five of the eight crewmen were repatriated and identified; Hoskinson, Bossio, and Di Tommaso, however, have not come home.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
one who wears his MIA bracelet,
Diane Ellis-Marseglia
16 Sep 2002

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 02/28/2006