Kelly Francis Cook

United States Air Force
02 May 1922 - 09 August 1976
Sioux City, Iowa
Panel 29E Line 065


366 TFW
F-4 (USAF)

USAF Senior Pilot

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

The database page for Kelly Francis Cook

9 Feb 2003

While doing some research for a book, I corresponded with Joanne J. Cook, widow of Kelly F. Cook. In the following exerpt, dated July 15, 1992, Mrs. Cook talks about her husband, who was truly a remarkable man:

"Kelly's job at DaNang was to be Assistant Wing Operations Director, but since he had only been there six weeks, he was still flying to familiarize himself with the area and to test a plane. They had been having trouble with bomb fuses malfunctioning and had lost several pilots due to this.

"Kelly had no regular 'back seater', in fact, I understand the fellow he had flown with that day was on his 100th mission! It must have been the luck of the draw that Lt. Crew was with him on that flight. I had never heard his name until much later when Randolph AFB supplied his name on information sheets from Vietnam.

"Incidentally, Kelly has a book coming out around the first part of September [1992] published by the Tennessee Valley Publishing Co. It is a novel he wrote for his dissertation for his doctoral degree from the University of Denver. Kelly was not only a 45-year-old fighter pilot, but he was also an English professor who had taught at Notre Dame as well as the Air Force Academy. Creative writing was his field, so he would have been interested in your efforts.

"I am sorry this is scribbled in such haste, but I have fifteen house guests arriving today for a two-week stay or reunion. The guests are our six children, their spouses, and grandchildren!"

A memorial initiated by a friend of a friend,
Lynda Twyman Paffrath

08 Oct 2006

Today, your name was seen on a traveling memorial.
It is the same name that is inscribed on my bracelet.
Worn with hope, your name produced prayer for you and your family.
Worn with wondering, your name produced concern over your well-being.
Today, your name was seen on a traveling memorial, and I cried.
I left wishing I had known you and your family.
That desire led me here and after so many years,
I don't have to wonder any more.
A name is a powerful thing.

Lisa Sawhill

Notes from The Virtual Wall

On the evening of 10 Nov 1967 two F-4C Phantoms of the 389th Tactical Fighter Squadron departed Danang Air Base for an MSQ-77 ground-radar-controlled bombing mission in North Vietnam. These missions were flown at relatively high altitude with delivery from level flight; the delivery aircraft was tracked by a high-definition ground radar (the MSQ-77 or TPQ-10), with the radar site computing the necessary release point and providing directional control. Shortly before weapons release the MSQ-77 generated a radio tone; the crew released their weapons when the tone stopped. The two aircraft, BAFFLE 01 and BAFFLE 02, were crewed by
  • BAFFLE 01, F-4C tail number 64-0669
    • Major James S. Morgan, 389th TFS, flight lead
    • 1LT Charles J. Huneycutt, 389th TFS

  • BAFFLE 02, F-4C tail number 64-0834
BAFFLE flight proceeded northwards over water under HILLSBORO control until they were turned over to the MSQ-77 controller. While enroute, weather conditions forced a change in targeting. The flight was level at 26,000 feet tracking inbound toward their release point and BAFFLE 01 responded appropriately to all ground controller calls with the last radio contact 10 seconds before weapons release. However, radio and radar contact both were lost at or immediately after the computed release time and neither the MSQ-77 site nor HILLSBORO were able to reestablish contact.

Search and rescue efforts located the wreckage of both aircraft in the adjacent villages of Gia Ninh (BAFFLE 01) and Hong Thui (BAFFLE 02), about 15 miles southeast of Dong Hoi, but there were no signs of the two aircrews. All four men were classed as Missing in Action.

Hanoi subsequently claimed that two F-4s were shot down by an all-female militia crew, and in 1993 US JTF-FA personnel were shown two 12.7mm heavy machine gun bullet casings purportedly from ammunition fired at the two aircraft. However, 12.7mm (.51 caliber) AAA fire could not have struck the aircraft at an altitude of 26,000 feet.

Although Hanoi at the time reported the capture of "both bandits" (note that 4 crewmen were involved) no names were given and the four never showed up on POW lists. The POWs repatriated in 1973 had no knowledge of the four men.

Over the years the Secretary of the Air Force approved Presumptive Findings of Death for Morgan (09/11/78), Huneycutt (01/03/79), Cook (08/09/76), and Crew (12/04/78).

On 26 Sep 1989 the US Government announced the positive identification of Charles Huneycutt's remains from among those repatriated on 03 Nov 1988. The remains of the other three men have not been recovered.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend of a friend,
Lynda Paffrath

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index C
IA State Index . Panel 29E
366TH TFW Index

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 9 Feb 2003
Last updated 10/15/2006