RACKLEY, INZAR WILLIAM, JR.
RACKLEY, INZAR WILLIAM, JR.
Rank / Branch:
LTC, U.S. AIR FORCE
Date of Birth:
NORTH VIETNAM (GULF OF TONKIN)
175500N 1070900E (YE278821)
BODY NOT RETURNED (MIA)
Awards & Decorations:
See Alphabetical list
list by County
INZAR WILLIAM RACKLEY, JR. LIEUTENANT COLONEL, U. S. AIR FORCE, BIG SPRING, HOWARD COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Air Force Navigator Wings, Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Medal, Air Force Longevity Medal, Air Force Reserve Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal
Inzar William Rackley was born and raised in Big Spring, Texas. He was a 1951 graduate of Big Spring High School. He was a graduate of Texas Tech College and was a member of the ROTC program. He accepted a commission in the Air Force in 1955 as a 2 LT.
Big Spring High School, 1951
During his career, he had served in Germany and several stateside assignments. He was based at Clark Air Force Base in the Phillipines in 1966 and his unit was on temporary duty at Da Nang. He was a member of a 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, 7th Air Force. While the unit was primarily designed for aerospace activities, during the Vietnam War, the unit was detailed to rescue downed flyers who lost their aircraft over water. The aircraft the H-16 was a two engine plane that would land on water and as such was used in that capacity. The aircraft could perform patrol duties and perform other duties in which rotary aircraft could not do primarily due to the added fuel capacity and the landing capability.
Name: Inzar William Rackley, Jr.
Unit:33rd Air Rescue/Recovery Squadron
Date of Birth: 02 January 1933
Home City of Record:Big Springs TX
Date of Loss: 18 October 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam (Tonkin Gulf)
Loss Coordinates: 175500N 1070900E (YE278821)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel In Incident: Steven H. Adams; John H.S. Long; Robert L.Hill; John R.Shoneck; Lawrence Clark; Ralph H. Angstadt (all missing)
Source:Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 October 1990 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews.
Remarks: Radio Contact lost
SYNOPSIS:At 11:01 a.m. on October 18, 1966, a HU16 Albatross (serial #51-7145) departed Da Nang Airbase, Republic of Vietnam, to rescue a downed pilot in the Gulf of Tonkin off the coast of North Vietnam.
The crew of the aircraft consisted of Maj. Ralph H. Angstadt, rescue commander and pilot; 1Lt. John H.S. Long, co-pilot; SSgt. John R. Shoneck and TSgt. Robert L. Hill, flight mechanics; SSgt. Lawrence Clark, radio operator; and Capt. Inzar W. Rackley, Jr., navigator. Also onboard the aircraft was A2C Steven H. Adams, a parajumper/frogman and a member of an elite pararescue team ("PJs").
The aircraft headed to the pilot's location, which was approximately 80 miles off the China coast in the northern sector of the Gulf of Tonkin. Two A1E Skyhawks escorting the rescue aircraft remained on station until the mission was completed, then the Skyhawks returned to the base. The last contact with the HU16 was at 5:45 p.m., and at that time, there was no indication of any trouble. The Albatross was returning to base, and last contact was in the vicinity of coordinates YE278821, approximately 35 miles off the coast of North Vietnam.
All contact was lost with the amphibious aircraft in marginal weather conditions, and although an extensive search for the aircraft was conducted, there were no sightings of the crew or the aircraft. Even though the HU16 was believed lost over water, the men on board were not declared killed, but Missing In Action. The possibility exists that they were captured by one of the numerous enemy vessels that were present offshore from North Vietnam.
Colonel Rackley was promoted Lieutenant Colonel during the time after the lost and before his date of presumptive death was established by the Air Force. His presumptive date of death was established as July 18, 1973, based upon the fact that there was no sign of the aircraft and no one had been rescued. The aircraft was deemed to have gone down under non-hostile conditions, most likely due to weather.
ColoneL Rackley was honored by his home town of Big Spring, Texas with the naming of a street for him in area which was formerly the Webb Air Force Base. The street now is a part of the Big Spring Vietnam Memorial Park.