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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 158631
Last updated: 2 April 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-196, US Navy
Registration: 152638
C/n / msn: I-186
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Duc Noi Rail Yard 5 mi N of Hanoi, North Vietnam -   Vietnam
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:USS Constellation (CVA-64) off Vietnam coast
Destination airport:
A-6A Intruder BuNo's 152638, 152625 and 152627 of VA-196, US Navy, aboard the USS Constellation (CVA-64) were part of a daylight flight of four aircraft in loose trail with the Duc Noi railroad yards as the assigned target. The target location was eight miles north of Hanoi, seventy-two miles south of the Reed China border. During the target run, BuNo 152638/'NK-410' (Call sign MILESTONE 1)was in a 300 visual bombing run at 7,000 feet when it was hit with either an 85 ASM or a SA-2 'Grail' SAM. The aircraft was immediately engulfed in flames as a wing separated from the airframe.

The other three aircraft began their egress from the target. Surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) were in flight everywhere and the aircraft were maneuvering violently. A large weather cell separated them from the coast which precluded their egress further north than planned.

Another transmission was heard -- "Skipper get out" -- and the voice was recognized as that of Lieutenant Commander Trembley. A SAM detonated between two of the other aircraft, two parachutes and flying debris were observed.

Lieutenant Commander Trembley transmitted, "This is Milestone 2, Milestone 1 was hit, 2 good chutes, 2 good chutes." Two chutes were observed and beeper signals were heard for 5 minutes. BuNo's 152625 and 152627 were last seen heading north with MIG's in pursuit. The fourth aircraft returned to the carrier okay.

Crew of A-6A BuNo 152638 were Captain Leo Twyman Profilet (pilot) and Lt. Commmander William Morgan Hardman (Bombardier/Navigator). Both ejected from their aircraft and were taken PoW, They would spend the next five-and-a-half years in prison. It had been Profilet's 59th mission over Vietnam. The remaining 'Milestones' observed two good parachutes from their CO's aircraft and then egressed the target area, but the heavy weather separated the division as they drove for the coast. According to a published source, quoting Profilet:

"My bombardier-navigator, Commander. Bill Hardman, and I were captured immediately and taken quickly to the prison in Hanoi. I did not see Bill for the next 5 1/2 years, but we came out together on the Operation Homecoming flight from Hanoi to Clark AFB in March, 1973".

Leo Profilet retired from the United States Navy as a Captain. He and his wife Sue resided in California until his death January 30, 2004. He is survived his wife, two sons, and two daughters. Burial was at Arlington National Cemetery, on 21 April 2004.


1. A-6 Intruder Units of the Vietnam War By Rick Morgan

Revision history:

19-Aug-2013 08:24 Uli Elch Added
19-Aug-2013 09:00 Uli Elch Updated [Date, Registration, Cn, Total fatalities, Location, Country, Narrative]
16-Mar-2016 16:39 Dr.John Smith Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
16-Mar-2016 16:40 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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