Harley B Hackett, III

United States Air Force
23 October 1942 - 09 July 1973
Florence, South Carolina
Panel 51W Line 049



Harley B Hackett

USAF Pilot

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

The database page for Harley B Hackett, III

28 Apr 2003

'High Flight'

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand,
and touched the face of God.
John Gillespie Magee, Jr
Pilot Officer, Royal Air Force
Killed in flight 11 Dec 1941, aged 19

A name etched on my bracelet,
A memory etched in my heart.

From someone who wore his MIA bracelet.
E-Mail may be forwarded via the

09 Aug 2007

I also wore the MIA bracelet bearing the name of Harley B. Hackett. I was 18 years old when I got the bracelet, to show my concern for those missing in action. I wore the bracelet for several years.

I often wondered about the man, Harley Hackett, and what he was like. Back in the 70's it was not easy to obtain any information about these individuals. All I knew was his rank and the date he went missing - July 24, 1968. I sent many thoughts and prayers out to HBH.

When a list came out several years later, with names of some of the missing that had been recovered, I asked if Harley Hackett was on it? I was told, that they "thought" he was. I just assumed it was true and was happy to hear it!

Now, with the convenience and availability of a computer, I decided to find Mr. "Captain" Harley B. Hackett. It was much to my surprise to come across this web-site. I was deeply saddened to discover that he never did make it home.

Reading these articles and actually seeing a picture of this young man has brought it all "home" to me! It breaks my heart to read the circumstances of his fate, after all these years! However, Harley B. Hackett and John Bush died as heroes.

I am once again wearing my MIA bracelet, in memory of Captain Harley B. Hackett.

Marva M. Ivey
Rapid City, South Dakota

Notes from The Virtual Wall

On 24 July 1968 two F-4Ds of the 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron departed Ubon RTAFB for a night armed recon mission over the southern provinces of North Vietnam. The Night Owl flight consisted of
  • In F-4D tail number 66-7703:
        Captain T. O. Gill, pilot
        1st Lt R. G. Pierce, Wpns System Officer
  • In F-4D tail number 66-7682:
        Captain Harley B. Hackett, pilot
        1st Lt John R. Bush, Wpns System Officer
Captain Gill's aircraft was hit by ground fire while prosecuting road traffic south of Mu Ron Ma and both aircraft went over the Gulf of Tonkin in an effort to recover at Danang Air Base. While enroute, Captain Hackett's aircraft apparently flew into the water - other aircraft sighted an impact about 15 miles offshore, but search and rescue efforts failed to locate either crewman. Captain Gill didn't make it to Danang; he and Pierce ejected while over-water. Gill was picked up by a USAF helicopter, while a Navy ship picked Pierce out of the water.

Since there was no concrete evidence of their deaths Hackett and Bush were carried as Missing in Action until Presumptive Findings of Death for both men were approved by the Secretary of the Air Force on 09 Jul 73.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
one who wears his MIA bracelet.
E-Mail may be forwarded via the

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 28 Apr 2003
Last updated 03/16/2008