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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 158672
Last updated: 23 April 2020
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Date:26-JAN-1968
Time:20:40
Type:Silhouette image of generic A6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Grumman A-6A Intruder
Owner/operator:VA-165, US Navy
Registration: 152901
C/n / msn: I-205
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:5 miles N of Vinh, Nghe An Province, North Vietnam -   Vietnam
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:USS Ranger (CVA-61) off east coast of Vietnam
Destination airport:
Narrative:
A-6A BuNo 152901/'NE-501' of US Navy Squadron VA-165 was launched from the USS Ranger on January 26 1968: the mission was to bomb Vinh airfield, Nghe An Province, North Vietnam, but the A-6A crashed a few miles north of the target. The aircraft was on a strike mission carrying 9 MK-83 bombs and was lost as a result of direct enemy action at 20:40 hours. The last transmission heard from the pilot was that he had expended his bombs on the target.

Lt Commander Norman E. Eidsmoe was a pilot assigned to Attack Squadron 165 on board the aircraft carrier USS RANGER (CVA-61). On January 26, 1968, Eidsmoe launched with his Bombardier/Navigator (B/N) Lt. Michael Edward Dunn, from the carrier in their A-6A Intruder on a low-level, single-plane, night strike mission into North Vietnam. Two A-4 Skyhawk and two A-7 Corsair attack aircraft were scheduled to provide mission support if required.

The flight proceeded normally to the initial run-in point at the coast. The flight was tracked inbound to approximately 5 miles from the target at which time radar contact was lost due to low altitude and distance from tracking stations. Support aircraft remained on station about 30 minutes, waiting for the attack aircraft to regain radio contact at the designated time and position upon egress from the target area.

The support aircraft neither heard no saw the A-6A Intruder again. No radio contact of any kind was heard from the aircraft. The UHF radio "guard" frequency was monitored by all the support aircraft until low fuel states required their return to ship. No surface-to-air missile (SAM) launches were received and no anti-aircraft fire was noted by the support aircraft, even though there were known enemy defenses in the target area including automatic weapons, light and medium anti-aircraft artillery and one known SAM site.

The search and rescue (SAR) expanded the following day with the sortie of two RA-5C Vigilante reconnaissance aircraft. The electronic and photographic search produced no significant findings. It was later determined that the aircraft had crashed approximately 7 kilometers north of the city of Vinh, Nghe An Province, North Vietnam.

Eidsmoe and Dunn were declared Missing in Action. In 1992 and 1993, four separate investigations led to a joint U.S.-Vietnamese team to a Vietnamese farmer who described the crash, gave investigators a pilot's flight bag with Dunn's name inscribed, and described his burial of some remains in an unmarked grave. Then in 1997, a joint team conducted an excavation in a flooded rice paddy, where they recovered remains and pilot-related items. Another team continued the excavation in 1998 where they recovered additional materials. The remains of Captain Norman E. Eidsmoe were finally repatriated on December 9 1999

As for Lt Michael Edward Dunn: In 1995, when the family had assumed they would never be able to recover Dunn's remains, the Navy discovered his flight bag in a Hanoi Museum. Navy officials later found what looked like the wreckage of the pilot's A-6A jet and what turned out to be his remains. His siblings gave blood for DNA analysis, but had to wait two years for Vietnamese officials to release the remains. The remains were returned to the United States, and Michael Dunn was finally buried on January 14, 2000, in Arlington National Cemetery.

Sources:

1. A-6 Intruder Units of the Vietnam War By Rick Morgan & Jim Laurier
2. Seattle Post-Intelligencer Saturday, December 11, 1999
3. http://web.archive.org/web/20171103001143/http://www.ejection-history.org.uk:80/aircraft_by_type/a6_prowler.htm
4. http://www.joebaugher.com/navy_serials/thirdseries19.html
5. http://web.archive.org/web/20180422222159/http://www.millionmonkeytheater.com/A-6.html
6. http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/neeidsmoe.htm


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
20-Aug-2013 07:56 Uli Elch Added
20-Aug-2013 08:03 Uli Elch Updated [Date, Registration, Cn, Location, Narrative]
16-Mar-2016 22:57 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]

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