Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dec. 2, 1966

December 2nd, 1966 was another bad day for US aerial forces flying in SEA.

RF-4C 65-0829, 11TRS 432TRW, flying out of Udorn, was lost on a recon mission north of Hanoi after being hit by groundfire. Both crew members, pilot Capt. Robert Gregory and WSO Lt. Leroy Stutz, successfully ejected and were captured. Gregory was injured during the ejection and died shortly after being captured.

F-105D 59-1820, 34TFS 388TFW, based at Korat, piloted by Capt. Monte Moorberg, was lost on a raid on the Phuc Yen airfield. The aircraft was hit by groundfire, Moorberg did not eject and perished.

F-4C 64-0753, 480TFS 366TFW, Da Nang, was lost on the same mission, hit by a SA-2. Pilot Capt. Hubert Flesher and WSO Lt. James Berger ejected and were captured.

F-4C 64-0663, 389TFS 366TFW, Da Nang, was hit by another SA-2 during the same raid. Maj. Ray Burns and Lt. Bruce Ducat both ejected and became POWs, but Lt. Ducat died in captivity.

A-4C 145143, VA-172, flying from the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt, and A-4C 145116, also from VA-172 were both lost on a night mission near Phuc Nhac. The exact circumstances were not determined, but it was thought that they were downed by SAMs. Pilots Cdr. Bruce Nystrom and Ens. Paul Worrell were both killed.

F-4B 151014, VF-154, based on the USS Coral Sea, was lost while flying a mission to Kep airfield in North Vietnam. It was hit by groudfire, which blew off the entire left wing. Pilot Lt. David McRae did not eject and died. RIO Ens. David Rehmann did successfully eject, and was captured.

4 Phantoms, 1 Thunderchief, and 2 Skyhawks were downed on this day, resulting in 6 aircrew members dying, and 5 being captured. Another crappy day in a crappy war .....

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