MWSA Review Pending
While flying his seventy-sixth combat mission over North Vietnam on 14 July 1967, Air Force pilot Gary Bishop Deale is shot down by an enemy missile. There is no confirmation from the North Vietnamese as to whether Gary has been captured or killed. His official status is listed as missing in action. Prior to this, Gary’s training at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, before departing for Southeast Asia, prepares him for flying combat missions over a heavily defended area. Upon arriving in Thailand, Gary meets Major Matt Foxe, who becomes his leader. A strong friendship develops between the two men as they execute missions over Laos and North Vietnam. Devoting all of his adult life to becoming an Air Force officer and pilot, Gary wants to fly in combat. But he wonders why many missions are flown against insignificant targets such as suspect truck parks. Allison Faith Deale, his wife and a graduate student at the Marine Lab in Beaufort, North Carolina, receives confirmation of her pregnancy just before being informed that her husband has been shot down by an enemy missile. Married for only seven months, Allison is truly shocked by Gary’s disappearance. The love of her life is missing in action. Allison continues writing her thesis through the turbulence of the Tet Offensive in South Vietnam in February 1968. The birth of their son, Gary Bishop Deale, Junior, provides reassurance and hope, but there is also a dark side to her life. As the years slowly pass by, there is no confirmation that Gary has been captured or killed. Even after the Paris Peace Accord goes into effect and the Prisoners of War return from North Vietnam in 1973, Gary remains missing. After waiting four years, Allison decides to have Gary declared dead in 1977. The Air Force issues a Presumptive Finding of Death—Body Not Recovered at her request. A memorial service is conducted at Allison’s family’s farm in Maryland. She moves on with her life, finding happiness and fulfilment. It is only in 2006, twenty-nine years after Gary went missing that Allison finally discovers his fate.
Book Format(s): Soft cover
Review Genre: Fiction—Historical Fiction
Number of Pages: 397