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VP-42 Memorial
VP-42 Crew - In Memorium - VP-42 Crew

"Eternal Father Strong To Save"
The Navy Hymn
Sailor Aviators Version

Eternal Father, Strong to Save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bid'st the mighty Ocean deep
Its' own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to thee,
for those in peril on the sea.

Lord, guard and guide the men who fly
Through the great spaces in the sky.
Be with them always in the air,
In dark'ning storms or sunlight fair.
O, Hear us when we lift our prayer,
For those in peril in the air.

But when at length our course is run,
Our work for home and country done,
Of all the souls that flew and sailed,
Let not one life in thee be failed,
But hear from heaven our sailors cry,
And grant eternal life on high.

May all our departed shipmates rest in peace.

Eternal Father by the U.S. Navy Band's Sea Chanters (668 kbytes - WAV file)

Christmas 1967 during a storm in the Gulf of Alaska
Memorial



UPDATE "...I served in the US Navy during the years 1967-1970. I was stationed at Naval Station Kodiak Island, Alaska June 1967 - June 1968. I was assigned to the Air Terminal facility at the naval station and worked closely with another naval airman named Thomas D. Edwards. Airman Edwards died in the crash of the VP-42 SP-2H Neptune #135594 that disappeared after departing Naval Station Kodiak on 14 Dec 1967. He was a passenger and not a member of the flight crew.

Airman Edwards and I were scheduled to depart the naval station on 17 December 1967 to go home for Christmas. We were going to fly on one of the aircraft assigned to the naval station. However, when the opportunity arose, Airman Edwards changed his departure plans after obtaining permission to board the Neptune bound for Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington departing three days earlier.

I first learned of the missing aircraft after returning to Kodiak after my leave. I only recently discovered your website and learned of the events leading to the discovery of the Neptune crash site and the passenger/crew member remains. Prior to this, I never made any attempt to find out what happened to that aircraft. For some unknown reason, I felt compelled to research this matter earlier this year.

Since finding your website and reviewing the posted items and remarks on the VP-42 memorial page in particular, I contacted two individuals who had posted information on that web page. Both individuals replied and shared some additional information with me. During my research of this tragic event, I discovered two newspaper articles about the discovery of the crash site and the burial arrangements that were made to honor those who had lost their lives in this incident. Those two newspaper articles are attached..." Contributed by Thomas L. Brown thbrown02@gmail.com [07MAY2014]

History - Tap To Enlarge Thumbnail History - Tap To Enlarge Thumbnail


UPDATE "...AO3 James P. Franklin replaced me on that flight (In Memorial for VP-42 lost friends Christmas 1967). 46 years later I still cry for my Shipmates..." Contributed by DeCONZA, Kenny kjbear2@yahoo.com [13OCT2013]

UPDATE Mishap Correspondence ThumbnailCameraMishap Correspondence "...letter I received concerning the loss of our Crew 9 in 1967. Four of our crews were sent to the Coast Guard station on Annette Island, Alaska to aid in the search and rescue effort. Sadly, we had to return to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington without finding a trace of our lost Shipmates. A very sad time for our whole squadron..." Contributed by Contributed by Ronnie McGriff ronmcgriff@att.net [26JUN2012]

UPDATE History ThumbnailCameraVP-42 Mishap "...Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, to a VP-42 SP-2H crew lost on 14 December 1967. Location is Section 34 Gravesite 4422..." Contributed by Stephen Miller f134kilmil@comcast.net [20NOV2007]

UPDATE "...I had many good friends in VP-42. I heard that the P2 (SEE: In Memorial for lost friends Christmas 1967) that crashed returning from Alaska in 1967. A very good friend (LT(jg) Gary A. Klessig) was aboard. Gary was just married...McDANIEL, Kenneth P. ken.mcdaniel@tdi.state.tx.us..." [06APR2004]

UPDATE "...VP-42 The Neptune that crashed in Alaska in dec67 was SP-2H 135594. Exact date of the crash was 14dec67..." Contributed by Jan van Waarde jwaarde@chello.nl, Navy/USMC/USCG/NASA Updates Editor WebSite: http://www.scramble.nl Dutch Aviation Society / Scramble [01DEC2004]

UPDATE "...My father, Captain H. L. Beesley was the CO of VP-42 at the time the crew (SEE In Memorial for lost friends...Christmas 1967) was lost coming back from Alaska in 1967. It was the first time as a lad of 13, I saw my father cry. It was almost unbelieveable to me to find that they had finally found the lost plane after so many years. I hope it brought some measure of closure to family and many squad mates. Thanks for an opportunity to share...Scott Beesley desertwinds01@msn.com..." [01OCT2003]

UPDATE "...Our son was in VP-42 when the aircraft carring 14 people crashed into Sea Otter glacier in Alaska on Christmas 1967 during a storm in the Gulf of Alaska. Services were conducted 14 years later after remaines of the plane sighted. We would appreciate anyone from the Squadron or anyone else that might have knowledge as to if any more remains have been sighted. My step-sons name was Dale Allen Armour. My wife and I thank you very much...Lawrence R. Fay SR. llveh@page.az.net..." [27SEP99]

UPDATE "...The Memorial to the crew we lost in Alaska, December 1967 really hit the heart. I spent several anxious days flying around the mountain peaks on search and rescue looking for that crew. I only found out about ten years ago that the crash site had been discovered. One of my co-workers mentioned that his brother, a navy forensics doctor, was in Alaska trying to identify the remains of a crew that was lost there in the 60's. Senator Denton, Ex-Navy and Ex-POW, had an office in the same building where I worked. I went to his office and asked him to check to see if that might be our lost crew. I received a letter shortly after confirming that it was. Even though it was some twenty years later. I was relieved to know that they were found and returned to their families. One loss had really hit close to home. My wife and I had semi-adopted a young ordinanceman, Jim Franklin. He was quite homesick and we had him over for Thanksgiving to keep him from spending the holidays in some lonely barracks. He was not a member of the crew and had been a last minute substitution for the crew ordinancemen, who was sick at the time. It seemed so ironic that we had spent a tour in a war zone with not a scratch only to lose a crew on a mountainside in Alaska. Another irony of the crash was that a soldier who was heading home from a year's tour in Viet Nam had been bumped from his flight in Alaska and had hitched a ride with our crew to get back home ..." Contributed by RONNIE (ROB) M. MCGRIFF ronmcgriff@att.net [31OCT98]

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