TOKYO -- Communist North Vietnam today claimed to have shot down and captured U.S. Navy flier Lt. Cmdr. John Sydney McCain, son of Adm. John S. McCain Jr., commander in chief of American naval forces in Europe.
In London, a Navy spokesman said the admiral was notified Thursday that his son, flying off a carrier in the Gulf of Tonkin, was "missing in action."
The North Vietnamese news agency claimed McCain was aboard a two-man F4 Phantom fighter bomber shot down by a Surface to Air Missile SAM over Hanoi Thursday. It said McCain parachuted into a Hanoi lake and was saved from drowning by four Communist soldiers.
It said McCain suffered a leg injury in being shot down and was treated and placed "in detention" with other captive American pilots.
McCain's leg was bandaged and he was taken to a "place of detention," the report said. It said his photograph was printed in a Hanoi newspaper along with that of "another captured U.S. pilot, Charles Donald Rice, Lieutenant junior grade, U.S. Navy, service member 710266."
Hanoi claimed shooting down 10 American planes in Thursday's raiding.