Crosley James Fitton, Jr

Lieutenant Colonel
United States Air Force
28 February 1933 - 29 February 1968
Hartford, CT
Panel 42E Line 005

USAF Pilot

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

The database page for Crosley James Fitton, Jr


He was a boyhood friend. We spent many fun summers on the Connecticut shores.


Then-Major Crosley J. Fitton, Jr., was the pilot and Captain Cleveland S. Harris was the co-pilot of an F105F which was one in a flight of four F105s sent on a combat mission on the outskirts of Hanoi on February 29, 1968.

During the mission, the aircraft was hit by a surface-to-air missile (SAM). Others in the flight observed both Fitton and Harris bail out with good parachutes. The flight leader tracked both on radar and picked up both emergency radio beeper signals. The beepers, which must be manually shut off, stopped shortly after the crewmen landed on the ground.

Although Fitton and Harris landed safely on the ground, it was not certain what happened to them after that. Both were declared Missing in Action. Their families resigned themselves to the long wait.

In the spring of 1973, 591 American POWs were released by the Vietnamese, but Harris and Fitton were not among them. Military officials expressed their dismay at the time that hundreds of men known or suspected to be prisoners were not released.

In 1975, the Vietnamese "discovered" and returned the remains of Crosley J. Fitton. It was another ten years before Harris was to return. His remains were turned over to U.S. control in April of 1985.

From the POW Network

A memorial from his friend,
William Turley 
10 Feb 2001

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With all respect - K. J. Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)