Zappers who served and gave there lives between 1959 - 1968
We Salute You.
McDonough John R. LT
Aiken Paul AO3
*Amspacher John R. H. ATR3
Egan Bill LT
Marron Charles F. LT
*McMican "M.D." LTJG
*Plants Thomas Lee ATN-2
Poore Paul l. LTJG NFO
*Romano Gerald M. LTJG
Vidarte Ray LTJG
Weaver Lawerence ATN3
Wagley James N. AT1
**RushJames LAMH3

*703 132540 was shot down in Vietnam taking all four with it. RT Kingzette

VR 703 and crew were on a normal Zapper mission (over water) off the coast off North Vietnam when they picked up the survival radio beacon of a downed pilot on the ground in NVN. Using the DF equiment in the aircraft they were able to get a bearing on the signal and left their station over water to go across the beach in an attempt to provide RESCAP (Rescue Combat Air Patrol) for the downed pilot using the 20 mm cannons installed in the EA-1F. They were shot down during the attempt and the aircraft was seen to impact the ground not far from the beach. Lanny Cox

An A-4 from VA-23 was hit and the pilot successfully ejected. He came down close to the water and was seen by other pilots to be trying to get to the water. As usual in a combat operation there was chaos and conflicting reports. It appears that the pilot had reached the water, but was being pursued by North Vietnamese troops. Our EA-1F was piloted by LTJG M. D. McMican. His crew consisted of LTJG Gerry Romano as Radar operator/ECM coordinator, and the two enlisted ECM operators, ATN-3 Tom Plants and ATR-3 Bill Amspacher.Someone called for close air support to keep the North Vietnamese away from the A-4 pilot. M. D. was in position to do that. Even though we were not officially supposed to engage in attacking the enemy with our 20mms it is plain that M. D. saw no reason not to jump in and help a fellow aviator in need. He made a strafing pass down the beach. He may, in fact, have made more than one pass. At some point, however, the North Vietnamese, who had some heavy machine guns, blasted away at the SPAD, damaging it enough to make it uncontrollable. An eye witness, LCDR Ed Greathouse from VA-25, was about a half mile away and said he saw the airplane pull up, roll half over, and crash on the beach in a ball of flame. Someone else, I don't know who, thought he saw one of the SPAD crewmembers attempt to bail out. The EA-1F was so low there was no chance for success. Jim Glendening

I helped strap them in. I was the plane captain of that plane. They flew out and later they announced over the loudspeaker that they had been shot down. I was laying in my bunk when the news came. Greg Canten

**  Rush,  James L.  AMH3,  to the Memorial Page with a simple explanation:  During flight ops on the USS Ticonderoga Feb 25, 1967,  James was accidentally hit by a propeller and died after being airlifted to Saigon.  ( by Tom Swinney)  

Photo of PRI-FLY on the USS MIDWAY by John Marlin


News Articles by Bill Alderman