Warren William Boles
Killed In Action - Body Not Recovered
|SYNOPSIS: Lt.JG Warren W. Boles was a pilot assigned to Fighter Squadron 114
onboard the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk. On January 18, 1968, he and his radar
intercept officer (RIO), Lt.JG Ron Roehrich launched in their F4B Phantom fighter
aircraft as the second plane of a two-plane section. Their assigned mission was as Barrier
Combat Air Patrol Mission to protect friendly air and surface units in the Gulf of Tonkin.
The two aircraft were launched independently and proceeded to their assigned station separately. Enroute to the station, Boles established radio contact with his airborne controller and was immediately vectored to investigate an unidentified surface contact in a threatening position in the Gulf. Boles descended through a low overcast and positively identified the contact as a non-hostile, cargo-type ship. Seconds later, radio and radar contact were lost with Bole's aircraft.
Search and rescue helicopters were immediately sent to the scene and confirmed, by a fuel slick and debris, that the aircraft had crashed at sea. Although an exhaustive search was conducted, no survivors were found. The weather at the scene was about 700 feet overcast with low visibility and it was very dark.
Final analysis of the accident concluded that Boles apparently became disoriented while visually tring to identify the surface contact and flying on instruments and inadvertently collided with the water. The Commanding Officer believed that Boles had no warning of his impending crash and that his death was instantaneous.
Boles and Roehrich appear to have perished in the unexplained crash of their aircraft