Frank L. Bytheway was a civilian working at a naval air station and was a passanger on a plane when he was killed in North Vietnam (over water) on 02 October 1969. Bytheway was born on 18 October 1934 and home city of record is Richardson, Texas. Bytheway's remains have not been returned.
Frank L. Bytheway was a civilian working at Cubi Point Naval Air Station. On October 2, 1969 a C2A "Trader" cargo aircraft from Reserve Cargo Squadron 50 was transferring crewmen from the Naval Air Station Cubi Point, Republic of the Philippines to the USS Constellation on station in the Gulf of Tonkin. Frank Bytheway was a passenger on the aircraft. Mr. Bytheway was an electrical engineer working for Collins Radio and based at the company's facility in Manila, Philippine Islands. Over the past 3 years, he had traveled to various American bases and ships located throughout Southeast Asia to service equipment for his company. Frank Bytheway was now being dispatched to the USS Constellation to work on the ship's radar and communications equipment.
The crew of the C2A assigned to this early morning flight was comprised of Lt. Herbert H. Dilger, pilot; Lt. Richard A. Livingston, co-pilot; AMS3 Rayford J. Hill, crewmember; ADJ3 Paul K. Moser, crewmember; and ADJ3 Michael J. Tye, crewmember. Those sailors returning to the USS Constellation were: HE3 Terry L. Beck, ATR3 Richard W. Bell, ASE3 Michael L. Bowman, Mr. Frank L. Bytheway, HM2 Donald C. Dean, AMH2 Carl J. Ellerd, AE2 James J. Fowler, AME3 Roy G. Fowler, MM1 Paul E. Gore, ABH3 William D. Goresuch, AMS3 Delvin L. Kohker, AN Howard M. Koslosky, FTM2 Robert B. Leonard, AQB2 Ronald W. Montgomery, ADJ2 Kenneth M. Prentice, SD2 Fidel G. Salazar and DS3 Keavin L. Terrell. Some of these men were returning to their ship after liberty while others were going to new duty stations on board the aircraft carrier. With the exception of Frank Bytheway, a civilian, everyone else on this aircraft was US Navy personnel.
Passengers onboard the Greyhound whose final destination was other ships in the carrier group task force were: PN1 Rolando C. Dayao and YNC Leonardo M. Gan who were returning to the Destroyer USS Walke, TN Reynaldo R. Viado who was returning to the Destroyer USS Hamner, and MM2 William R. Moore who was destined for the Guided Missile Cruiser USS Long Beach.
After take off, Lt. Dilger reported "Ops Normal." Communications with other squadron aircraft and the carrier's air control center indicated operations were normal. The carrier's radar continued tracking the Greyhound until approximately 55 minutes after takeoff, when radar contact was lost. The last radar position was approximately 26 miles out from the USS Constellation. That position was also 68 miles due east of the North Vietnamese coastline, 68 miles northeast of Dong Hoi, 137 miles southeast of Vinh, North Vietnam; and 82 miles southwest of Hainan Island, China.
An extensive search and rescue (SAR) operation was immediately initiated. Shortly thereafter other aircraft in the area began sighting an oil slick and debris. A search and recovery helicopter launched from the ship was able to recover a few pieces of the aircraft. The recovered debris indicated that the aircraft was in a relatively high-speed nose down, right wing down impact with the water, or a possible right wing failure before impact. During the thorough search no bodies of the crew and passengers were found. At the time the formal search was terminated all 26 men were reported as Killed /Body Not Recovered.
Frank Bytheway is listed as a non-battle death, body not recovered. He was not carried on the military lists of missing until April 2001.
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.