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Michael John Estocin

Date of birth: April 27, 1931
Date of death: KIA (As a POW): Body Not Recovered
Burial location: San Diego, California
Place of Birth: Pennsylvania, Turtle Creek
Home of record: Akron Ohio
Status: MIA

In 1973, 591 American prisoners were released from North Vietnam. Michael Estocin was not among them. Returned POWs heard his name in several camps, and sources reported that he was alive, still held prisoner. Hanoi denies any knowledge of Michael Estocin. He is among nearly 2500 Americans still missing from the Vietnam war.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Medal of Honor

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Captain Michael John Estocin, United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 20 and 26 April 1967 as a pilot in Attack Squadron One Hundred Ninety-Two (VA-192), embarked in U.S.S. TICONDEROGA (CVA-14). Leading a three-plane group of aircraft in support of a coordinated strike against two thermal power plants in Haiphong, North Vietnam, on 20 April 1967, Captain Estocin provided continuous warnings to the strike group leaders of the surface-to-air missile (SAM) threats, and personally neutralized three SAM sites. Although his aircraft was severely damaged by an exploding missile, he reentered the target area and relentlessly prosecuted a Shrike attack in the face of intense anti-aircraft fire. With less than five minutes of fuel remaining he departed the target area and commenced in-flight refueling which continued for over 100 miles. Three miles aft of TICONDEROGA, and without enough fuel for a second approach, he disengaged from the tanker and executed a precise approach to a fiery arrested landing. On 26 April 1967, in support of a coordinated strike against the vital fuel facilities in Haiphong, he led an attack on a threatening SAM site, during which his aircraft was seriously damaged by an exploding SAM; nevertheless, he regained control of his burning aircraft and courageously launched his Shrike missiles before departing the area. By his inspiring courage and unswerving devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger, Captain Estocin upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

Action Date: April 20 & 26, 1967

Service: Navy

Rank: Captain

Company: Attack Squadron 192 (VA-192)

Division: U.S.S. Ticonderoga (CVA-14)

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) to Captain [then Lieutenant Commander] Michael John Estocin, United States Navy, for heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight on 19 January 1967, while serving as a Pilot with Attack Squadron One Hundred Ninety-two, embarked in U.S.S. Ticonderoga (CVA-14), during aerial combat operations in Southeast Asia. As the leader of three Shrike-configured aircraft, Captain Estocin was responsible for providing warning, detection, and suppression of hostile surface-to-air missile activity directed at elements of the main strike group conducting a coordinated attack against the Dong Phong Thuong Railroad Bridge north of Thanh Hoa, North Vietnam. He lured the opposing missile sites to direct their fire toward his widely dispersed position by deploying the Shrike aircraft well ahead of the main strike group. During the course of the mission, Captain Estocin broadcast timely and accurate warning of enemy missile firings and personally took under fire two enemy missile site, destroying one and causing significant damage to the radar facilities of the other. He was subjected to heavy and accurate enemy anti-aircraft fire throughout the execution of these attacks. After exhausting his ordnance and at great personal peril, Captain Estocin remained on station to act as a lure in drawing any missile fire away from the remaining strike group. Only when assured that the main strike group was clear of the missile threat did Captain Estocin leave the hostile area. His skill, aggressiveness, and courage in the face of intense enemy opposition were instrumental in the successful completion of this strike against the enemy without aircraft loss or damage. Captain Estocin's actions throughout were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: January 19, 1967

Service: Navy

Rank: Captain

Battalion: Attack Squadron 192 (VA-192)

Division: U.S.S. Ticonderoga (CVA-14)