Vladimir Henry Bacik was a Major in the United States Marine Corps when he went missing in North Vietnam (over water) on 27 August 1967. Bacik was born on 18 November 1932, and his home city of record is Houston, Texas. Bacik was given a presumtive finding of death due to the location of his loss; his remains have not been returned.
The Grumman A6A
With the addition of the Grumman A6A Intruder to its inventory, the 1st Marine Air Wing (MAW) had the finest two-man, all-weather, low-altitude attack/bombing aircraft in the world. It displayed great versatility and lived up to the expectations of those who pushed for its development after the Korean War. At the time it was the only operational aircraft that had a self-contained all-weather bombing capacity including a moving target indicator mode. In this role it usually carried a bomb load of 14,000 pounds and was used rather extensively in the monsoon season not only in South Vietnam, but also in Laos and over the heavily defended areas of North Vietnam. The Intruder was credited with successfully completing some of the most difficult single-plane strikes in the war, and its' aircrews were among the most talented and most courageous to serve the United States.
On 27 August 1967, Major Vlademir H. Bacik, pilot; and Capt. Paschal G. Boggs, bombardier/navigator; comprised the crew of an A6A Intruder that was conducting a pre-dawn radar strike mission over Quang Ninh Province, North Vietnam. The region in which the target was located was covered in forested rolling hills that were heavily populated and defended. The region was also laced with rivers, streams and waterways of all sizes as well as primary roads, trails and footpaths that connected the Cam Pha Mines with numerous villages and hamlets that dotted the area. Route 18 and Route 183 were the two primary highways that were part of a great network that connected southeastern China to the north and Haiphong to the west with the Cam Pha mines.
After arriving in the target area, Major Bacik established radio contact with the on-site airborne battlefield command and control center (ABCCC) to receive their instructions. The last radio contact with the Intruder was just before Major Bacik and Capt. Boggs commenced their attack run on the designated target.
When the Intruder's crew failed to reestablish contact with the ABCCC, an electronic search was immediately initiated, but no trace of the aircraft or its crew was found. Further, due to the location of loss, no ground search was possible. At the time the electronic search was terminated, Vlademir Bacik and Paschal Boggs were reported as Missing in Action.
The location in which the Intruder vanished was in a small forested valley approximately 4 miles north-northwest of the coastline, 5 miles due east of Dong Vang, 6 miles north of Hon Gay, 8 miles northwest of the Cam Pha mines, 33 miles northeast of Haiphong and 39 miles south of the nearest point on the North Vietnamese/Chinese border. It was also roughly 1/4 mile south of Route 183, 1 mile north of a small railroad spur that connected one of the mines with the Song Dien River and 3 miles north of Route 18.
Biographical and incident of loss information was obtained from either POW/NET and/or Task Force Omega, Inc (unless otherwise noted). Additional information may be found via remembrances at The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund or The Virtual Wall Vietnam Veterans Memorial.