Bobby Gene Vinson

United States Air Force
17 January 1928 - 12 September 1977
Nederland, Texas
Panel 52E Line 001



USAF Pilot

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

The database page for Bobby Gene Vinson

22 Apr 2001

Bobby Gene and I were very close, more like siblings than cousins. I visited with him many times before he left for Vietnam in April, 1968. I too am a Vietnam veteran, having served as an enlisted woman in the Army with Vietnam service in 1967-68.

Bobby Gene is not forgotten.

A memorial initiated by his first cousin,
Penny A. Resch Choiniere
3800 14th Ave S E B-96, Lacey, Wa 98503

31 Mar 2003

I wore Col. Bobby Vinson's POW bracelet for many years. I took it off only after I saw his name on the Virtual Memorial.


Janis Ward

2 May 2004

I received a bracelet when I was in Civics class in 9th grade (which was a LONG time ago). This bracelet has Bobby G. Vinson's name on it. I would love to give it to his family. My e-mail address is
Please contact me to let me know how to return it to them. Thank you so much and God Bless all of our troops.

Claudia Kinyon

21 May 2004

My name is Traci VanDenPlas I am a 10th grade student at a school in Wisconsin. I was given Bobby's bracelet about four years ago and have been trying to contact his family ever since to see if any of them wished to have his bracelet. If you are interested in it or if you could even just tell me a little bit about Bobby I would greatly appreciate it. I have in a way always looked up to him. Please e-mail me at

Thank you

Traci Vandenplas

01 Nov 2005

Like others who have written before me, I also have a POW/MIA bracelet with "Col Bobby Vinson" inscribed and the date of 4-24-68. I have had the bracelet for over 30 years and tonight found Colonel Vinson's name on the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall in Azusa, CA. I looked for a website with his name and found this one with the details of his MIA status and later confirmed death status. 58,249 names on the wall of fallen American heroes who served their country. What could be more fitting than a beautiful Wall built in their memory.

John Doan
Glendora, California

02 Jun 2007

I have been to several times and like a few others I also have a Bobby Gene Vinson Vietnam bracelet. I thought only one bracelet for each solider was made, but it seems there were several, am I correct? Others have been interested in returning the bracelet. I have thought of doing that several times over the years, especially after his remains were returned and identified. But I just didn't know how to go about it, or if it was even an appropriate thing to do.

Many years have passed, and I still treasure that bracelet and what it stands for, and I am grateful for his great sacrifice for us all. Perhaps his children or grandchildren, if any, would appreciate it if all of us that have one of his bracelets return them to the family or a family member. Any advise or information as to what to do? I Have thought of his family often over the years, wondering if children and a wife were left behind. Should I try and contact them or would that be an intrusion? I just didn't know what to do so I just held on tight to that bracelet. I am not getting any younger (ha ha) and don't want this bracelet to somehow get thrown away or just go missing if something should happen to me. Any suggestions?


Notes from The Virtual Wall

On April 24, 1968, then-LTC Bobby G. Vinson (pilot) and 1LT Woodrow W. Parker (WSO) launched from Da Nang Airbase, South Vietnam, lead in a flight of two F-4D Phantoms on night strike mission against a storage area near Van Loc, some 10 miles northwest of Dong Hoi in North Vietnam. Vinson and Parker were in F-4D tail number 66-7541.

As the flight approached the target area Vinson advised his wingman that he, Vinson, was beginning a descent to visually acquire the target and to drop flares to illuminate it. Shortly thereafter, the wingman sighted a fireball on the ground and was unable to contact his lead by radio. No parachutes were observed, nor was an emergency radio signal detected. However, given the possibility that the two safely ejected from the aircraft they were listed as Missing in Action. Hostile threats in the area precluded airborne or ground search and rescue operations.

In April 1992, a joint U.S.-Vietnam team interviewed several local informants in a village near the location of the loss. Three informants turned over human remains and survival-related items that had been collected at the crash site years earlier. In July of 1992, a second joint U.S.-Vietnam team returned to the site and recovered aircraft wreckage and crew-related equipment. A third joint team excavated the crash site during Aug-Sep 1993 and recovered aircraft wreckage, life support equipment, and skeletal fragments.

Based on anthropological analysis of the remains and other evidence, the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory Hawaii confirmed that the remains were those of LTC Vinson and 1LT Parker.

A 1950 graduate of the United States Military Academy, LTC Vinson was promoted to Colonel while in MIA status.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 22 Apr 2001
Last updated 08/10/2009