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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 148197
Last updated: 1 May 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic A6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Grumman A-6A Intruder
Owner/operator:VA-85, US Navy
Registration: 151798
C/n / msn: I-101
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Tan Loc Barracks, 10 miles N of Vinh, North Vietnam -   Vietnam
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) off coast of Vietnam
Destination airport:
On April 22, 1966, a two-plane flight of A-6A aircraft left the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk to strike a coastal target near the mouth of an inland waterway in North Vietnam. The target, an enemy supply area, was heavily defended by anti-aircraft artillery, automatic weapons and small arms. During the flight, the wing man broke away to investigate a barge, and notified Captain Jack E. Keller, the pilot of the other A-6A, that he was having an ordinance malfunction and was proceeding to Hon Mat Island, less than 15 miles away, so that he could dump the remainder of his bomb load safely.

While the wing man was discharging his bomb load, he heard a missile warning, but had no knowledge that a missile had been fired. Keller conducted a radio check with both his wing man and the E-2 Command and Control aircraft to confirm that the E-2 held them on radar. The wing man advised Keller that he would hold clear of the target and wait for Keller to finish his bombing run. Keller acknowledged. Keller and his back seater, Commander Ellis E. Austin, continued on their run.

That was the last anyone heard from Keller and Austin. The wing man later stated that he saw a bright flash as he was heading away from the beach which he assumed to be a bomb explosion. Both he and the E-2 tried to contact Keller and his back seater, but were unsuccessful. The E-2 had lost Keller from radar. An aerial search was conducted immediately with no visual or radio signals received by any of the search aircraft. Both men were carried in MIA status until June 1974, when their status was changed to KIA under a presumptive finding of death


1. Cold War Jet Combat: Air-to-Air Jet Fighter Operations 1950-1972 By Martin Bowman

Revision history:

31-Aug-2012 06:38 Uli Elch Added
15-Mar-2016 01:17 Dr.John Smith Updated [Operator, Source, Narrative]
15-Mar-2016 01:32 Dr.John Smith Updated [Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]

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