4 Seests in Paradise
Our 1st P.O.W./M.I.A.
Rank/Branch: O4/US Navy
Unit: Attack Squadron 86 "Sidewinders", USS CORAL SEA
Date of Birth: 11 September 1936 (Baker OR)
Home City of Record: LaGrande OR (resided in Orange Park FL)
Date of Loss: 07 January 1970
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 164300N 1055100E (XD158627)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2 -- Suspect knowledge
A. Involved in the same incidents as individuals in Category 1.
B. Lost in areas or under conditions that they may
reasonably be expected to be known by the enemy.
C. Connected with an incident that was discussed
but not identified by name in the enemy news media, or
D. Probably identified through analysis of
Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1990 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 1998.
SYNOPSIS: On January 7, 1970, LtCdr. Michael Hoff was launched from the USS Coral Sea as the pilot of a Sidewinder A7A Corsair aircraft. His mission was to perform armed reconnaissance over Laos.
The weather in the area was clear and visibility was about 10 miles. Hoff's aircraft was completing a strafing run near the city of Sepone when Commander Hoff radioed that he had a fire warning light and was going to have to bail out. The flight leader could not see the aircraft at that time. The leader did sight the aircraft just as it impacted in an area which was flat with dense vegetation and high trees.
The pilot of another aircraft reported sighting Hoff's aircraft below him, when it was approximately 2,000 feet above the ground. The aircraft at that time commenced a roll and, prior to reaching an inverted position, a flash was observed which was initially thought to be the ejection seat leaving the aircraft. Immediately afterwards, the aircraft impacted and exploded. No parachute was seen, nor were emergency transmissions received.
During ensuing search operations, aircraft reported that they received heavy enemy automatic weapons fire. Two aircraft were able to make repeated low passes in the crash area looking for a parachute or survivor, but the results were negative.
Nearly 600 Americans were lost in the country of Laos during the war with Vietnam. Although the numbers of men actually termed "prisoner of war" are quite low, this can be explained in understanding the blanket of security surrounding the "secret war" the U.S. waged in Laos. Only a handful of publicly exposed cases were ever acknowledged POW, even though scores of pilots and ground personnel were known to have been alive and well at last contact (thus increasing the chance they were captured alive).
The Lao communist faction, the Pathet Lao, stated on several occasions that they held "tens of tens" of American prisoners, but the Pathet Lao were not included in the Paris Peace agreements ending American involvement in the war. As a consequence, no American POWs held in Laos were negotiated for. Not one American held in Laos has ever been released. Reports continue to be received that Americans are alive today, being held captive. They deserve better than the abandonment they received by the country they proudly served.
Michael G. Hoff was promoted to the rank of Commander during the period he was maintained missing.
WOW...I just found some information called the Quang Document...it gives numbers of POWs being held in North Vietnam after being captured in North & South Korea, Cambodia, & Laos!!! Read it for yourself at http://www.nationalalliance.org/1205doca.htm
ANOTHER WOW!!! I just found out that Mrs. Michael Hoff was involved in the creation of the P.O.W./M.I.A. flag!
In 1971, Mrs. Michael Hoff, an MIA wife and member of the National League of Families, recognized the need for a symbol of our POW/MIAs. Prompted by an article in the Jacksonville, Florida Times-Union, Mrs. Hoff contacted Norman Rivkees, Vice President of Annon & Company which had made a banner for the newest member of the United Nations, the People's Republic of China, as a part of their policy to provide flags to all United Nations members states. Mrs. Hoff found Mr. Rivkees very sympathetic to the POW/MIA issue; and he, along with Annon's Advertising Agency artist Newt Heisley, designed a flag to represent our missing men. Following League approval, the flags were manufactured for distribution.
There is further information here:
POW/MIA Families.org -- Flag History.
Here is information on the current status (as of July '05) of efforts to bring our POW/MIA HOME!!
Virtual POW/MIA bracelets from Ohio POW/MIA
Our family adopted Commander Hoff from
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