Robert Duane "Bob" Kent Rank/Branch: Captain/US
Unit: VMFA-314; Marine Air
1st Marine Air Wing -"The Black
Date of Birth: 06 December
1940 (Marshall, TX)
Home of Record: Dallas, TX
Date of Loss: 20 December
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 163500N
Click to View Map
Status in 1973: Missing In
s/n 149411, modex 12/VW
Click to View Aircraft
Other Personnel in Incident:
Richard G. Morin (missing)
The McDonnell F4 Phantom used by Air
Force, Marine and Navy air wings
served a multitude of functions
The two man aircraft was extremely
fast (Mach 2) and had a long
900 - 2300 miles depending on stores
and mission type.
The F4 was also extremely
maneuverable and handled well
at low and high altitudes. It was
selected for a number of
conversions, which improved radar
computer bombing capabilities
Most pilots considered it
one of the "hottest"
On 20 December 1968
Capt. Robert D. Kent, pilot, and 1st
Lt. Richard G. Morin,
bombardier/navigator, comprised the
crew of an
F-4B s/n 149411, modex 12/VW that
departed their base on a
night bombing mission to interdict
enemy movement through
the jungle covered mountains
approximately 11 miles
of Muang Xepon, 7 miles northeast of
Muang Phin and
25 miles west of the Lao/South
Savannakhet Province, Laos.
This area of Laos was considered a
major artery of the infamous
Ho Chi Minh Trail. When North
Vietnam began to
increase its military strength in
NVA and Viet Cong troops again
neutral Laos for sanctuary, as the
Viet Minh had done during
the war with the French some years
This border road was used by
the Communists to transport
supplies and troops from North
Vietnam into South Vietnam,
and was frequently no more than a
path cut through the jungle covered
mountains. US forces used all assets
available to them to stop this
flow of men and supplies from
moving south into the war zone.
At 0340 hours, while conducting its
the F-4B s/n 149411, modex 12/VW
disappeared without a trace.
Search and rescue (SAR) efforts were
initiated at first light,
but heard no emergency radio
beepers, saw no parachutes
and found no trace of the aircraft
or its crew.
Both Bob Kent and Richard Morin were
listed Missing in Action.
Compiled from one or more of the
Raw data from U.S. Government agency
Correspondence with POW/MIA
Published Sources, Interviews.
Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK in
On July 24, 1974 the United States
had declared Captain Robert D Kent status as
Hostile, died while missing
FIXED WING - PILOT
AIR LOSS, CRASH ON LAND
Body was not recovered
Recent photograph added that is a photo of a
F-4B s/n 149411, modex 12/VW,
that is believed to be the bird that was lost
over Laos, Coordinates 163500N 1061300E (XD300341)
with Capt. Kent and Lt. Morin.
( photo submitted by R. Jackson )
10 November 03
Through a recent guest book entry,
it appears as though a visitor
to this web site had met and spoken with
Captain Kent couple of days prior
to Captain Kent's last mission in which he became
listed as Pow-Mia.
I have included the entry in this update.
" Don't know why I stopped on this page, on this day, but.....
In DEC. 1968, I was stationed in CHU LAI with the
176th AHC flying Army C-model gun ships.
We had a small "O" Club, and on this particular night
we had a USO show.
Some of the Marine pilots from "MAG" 13 came by to see the show.
I struck up a conversation with this Marine Captain, just small talk.
After the show, we had a drink in the bar, and as he was leaving,
he invited me to stop by "MAG" 13 and he would give me a tour of the
F-4's. He also said that Sunday nights was "Steak Night",
and for me to come by and have one. I remember that it was almost
Christmas, and I stopped by the "MAG" 13 ramp.
I don't remember this Captains name as it's been 35 years,
but I am pretty sure it was Kent. When I asked where I could find him,
I was told that he was MIA and presumed dead as a result of flying a night mission as few days before. Not wanting to dig too much,
I asked what they knew about the mission.
They said that the F-4 was on a target run in Laos,
and that they thought the pilot might have had target fixation
on this night mission and that he had flown the F-4 into the ground.
I remember this Captain as being a nice, friendly guy who made
my moment in Viet Nam that day we met as feeling like
I had met a friend from "Home."
(submitted by Mr. Rick Mclean)
24 July 1992
After the war ended, family members of the crew of the missing F4B fighter/bomber who questioned the Marine Corps about the
fate of their missing loved ones were told that
"the aircraft probably exploded in mid-air
and there would be nothing to find."
There was no additional information about the fate of Bob Kent
and Richard Morin until 24 July 1992 when Capt. Kent's cousin
reviewed his casualty file during an annual meeting of family members in Washington, DC. When she opened the cover of his records, she found
Bob Kent's military ID card, his Geneva Convention card
and his drivers license inside a 3"x4" manila photo envelope.
Each one of these pieces of personal identification, which were carried by Bob Kent in his flight suit during that last mission, was in perfect, undamaged condition. When asked, "When were these documents returned?"
"By whom and under what circumstances?"
"How, when and by whom were they placed in his records?" and
"Why was the family not notified when they were returned?"
The Marine Corps had no answers. To date they still have no answers.
Robert Kent and Richard Morin are among nearly 600 Americans who disappeared in Laos. Many of these men were known to be alive on the ground. The Laotians admitted holding "tens of tens" of American Prisoners of War,
but these men were never negotiated for either by direct negotiation
between our countries or through the Paris Peace Accords which
ended the War in Vietnam since Laos was not a party to that agreement.
Since the end of the Vietnam War well over 21,000 reports of American prisoners, missing and otherwise unaccounted for have been received by our government. Many of these reports document LIVE America Prisoners of War remaining captive throughout Southeast Asia TODAY.
Pilots and aircrews in Vietnam and Laos were called upon to fly and fight
in many dangerous circumstances, and they were prepared to be wounded,
killed or captured. It probably never occurred to them that they could be abandoned by the country they so proudly served.
The U.S. Government operates on the "assumption" that one or more men
are being held, but that it cannot "prove" that this is the case,
allowing action to be taken. Meanwhile, low-level talks between the
U.S. and Vietnam proceed, yielding a few sets of remains when it seems politically expedient to return them, but as yet,
no living American has returned - nor has
Robert " Bob " Kent and Richard Morin - alive or dead.
Here in my home, in a corner of a special room is a table
set with certain items all laid out with care and in their respective place.
This table has stood this way for over 10 years and will continue to do so.
Not used, but stands alone to symbolize Pride and Honor.
This table you wonder what can it be for ? Its the table of Honor
that stands for our POW - MIA's. As a symbol of our Men and Women
still missing from the ranks, this table setting represents them and should dignify all our tables. These Men and Women are unable to be with their families, and so we pay our humble tribute to them.
We are drawn to never forget that while we enjoy our daily pleasures
and our freedom there are others who have endured and
may still be enduring the agonies of pain, deprivation and internment.
I give to you : " THE TABLE "
This Table - set for one, is small,
symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner.
The Tablecloth - is white, symbolic of the purity of their intentions
to respond to theirs Country's call to arms.
The Single Red Rose - signifies the blood they may have shed in sacrifice
to ensure the freedom of our beloved United States.
It also reminds us of all who keep
the Faith while awaiting their return.
The Red Ribbon - tied so prominently on the vase is reminiscent
of the red ribbon worn upon the lapel and breasts of thousands
who bear witness to their unyielding determination to
demand a proper accounting of our missing
A Slice of Lemon - reminds us of their bitter fate.
The Sprinkled Salt - reminds us of the countless fallen tears of families
as they wait.
The Glass is inverted - they cannot toast with us this night.
The Chair is empty - they are not here.
The Candle - The
candle, the candle is unlit –
symbolizing the upward reach
of their unconquerable spirit.
Rememberis reminiscent of the light of
HOPE which lives in our hearts
to illuminate their way home, away from their captors,
to the open arms of a grateful Nation.
This is a Poem as seen from the eyes of a young girl,
it explains about putting off and putting off and putting off-
especially putting off caring about people
We really love...
" THINGS YOU DIDN'T DO "
Remember the day I borrowed your brand new car and I dented it?
I thought you'd kill me
But you didn't
And remember the time I dragged you to the beach,
and you said It would rain.... and it did?
I thought you'd say, "I told you
But you didn't
Do you remember the time I flirted with all the guys
to make you Jealous, and you were?
I thought you leave me...
But you didn't
Do you remember the time I spilled strawberry pie
all over your Car rug?
I thought you'd hit me,
But you didn't
And remember the time I forgot to tell you the dance was formal
and You showed up in jeans?
I thought you'd drop me,
But you didn't
Yes, there were lots of things you didn't do
But you put up with me and you loved me,
and you protected me. There were lots of things
I wanted to make up to you
When you returned
I would like to take a moment to thank you for visiting this web page and
I hope that in some special way it was rewarding for you.
Please take a moment and sign the Guest Book before you leave,
I would sincerely appreciate it.
Again, Thank You for visiting....
" May God Bless You "
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