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Newsletter VP-5 Memorial Shipmate and Family Memories Newsletter


Killed In Action        January 12th, 1962        Killed In Action
SHIPMATE AND FAMILY MEMORIES

  • Message from Mike Minihan   [03AUG2004]
  • Message from Clifford Heathcote   [01JUN2004]
  • Message from Jeff Redding   [05MAY2004]
  • Message from Charles Douglas   [29FEB2004]
  • Message from Richard R. Dempsey   [13NOV2003]
  • Message from Willie Joe Williams   [16OCT2003]
  • Message from Steve Anderson   [08OCT2003]
  • Message from LCDR Nick Vagianos   [21SEP2003]
  • Message from Joseph M. Hussey, Jr.   [18JUL2003]
  • Message from Don Latimer   [26JUL2003]
  • Message from Kent Brooks   [17JUL2003]
  • Message from Nick Mulich   [15JUL2003]
  • Message from Bill Cowan   [15JUL2003]
  • Message from Larry Dean Jones   [14JUL2003]
  • Message from Lillian Carol Russell   [31MAY2003]
  • Message from Donna Eiselstein   [28JUN2002]
  • Message from Cheryl K. Millette   [13MAR2002]
  • Message from CDR E. K. Dalrymple   [07NOV2001]
  • Message from Jack Sprouse   [01OCT2001]
  • Message from Rachel Davis   [01OCT2001]
  • Message from Congressman Bob Stump   [28SEP2001]
  • Message from Doug Newton   [06SEP2001]
  • Message from John Masciantoni   [04SEP2001]
  • Message from Robert T. Pettway   [10AUG2001]
  • Message from Robert T. Pettway   [09AUG2001]
  • Message from Robert T. Pettway   [01JUN2001]
  • Message from Rod (Meyers) Franklin   [27MAR2001]
  • Message from Robert T. Pettway   [03MAY2001]
  • Message from Robert T. Pettway   [06MAR2001]
  • Message from Patricia (Kozak) Masciantoni   [08JAN2000]
  • Message from Patricia (Kozak) Masciantoni   [23SEP99]
  • Message from Peter W. Kozak   [29AUG99]


  • Killed In Action "...If there is anyone who might have a mission patch for the VP-5 and would not mind parting with it, please contact me. I am a close friend of one of the sons of A.P. Millette. The patch would be a nice tribute for a son who never got to know his Father...Mike Minihan mmminiha@gapac.com..." [03AUG2004]

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    Killed In Action "...I feel a strange sort of connection to the crew of the lost VP-5 aircraft. My father was stationed at NAS Keflavik, Iceland with the 56th FIS (I believe it was) USAF in 1962, and took part in the unsuccessful search for the aircraft. The reason the incident stands out in my mind is because my mother frequently told the story of hearing, in September 1966, that the crash site had been found and then thinking to herself that she must remember to tell my father in her next letter. It had not yet sunk in for my mother that my father had been killed in action in Vietnam weeks earlier on September 3. Thirty seven years later (November 2003) I was in a hotel in Atlanta and saw a piece on CNN about the latest developments in the efforts to bring the crew home. I knew that it had to be the same aircraft. My first thought was "I'll have to remember to tell Mom". It still hadn't sunk in that my mother had passed away four months earlier. Bless 'em all. And bless you all...Clifford Heathcote brandspro@netscape.net..." [01JUN2004]

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    Killed In Action "...Photos and audio clips of the men who flew with the crew lost in January 1962 (SEE: In Memorial for lost friends...12JAN62) recorded at the 2004 VP-5 Reunion. You may need to turn the sound up or down on your computer. I will soon edit the video tape from the reunion and make it available to everyone...Jeff Redding http://www.wtmy.com/manasota/vp/roster.html...From Jeff Redding jeffredding@comcast.net..." [05MAY2004]
    Mrs. Gaila Pettway reads "The Reunion"
    by Rachel Firth
    (Clip Does Not Include Entire Poem)
    Shipmate Picture
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound
    File 233KB
    HMCS John Bastien
    Shipmate Picture
    Major Jean P. Cole
    Shipmate Picture
    ATR3 Robert Pettway
    Shipmate Picture
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File 179KB
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File 233KB
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File 233KB
    The Kozak Family
    The Kozak's
    MP3 Sound File
    Mrs. Kozak (1)
    MP3 Sound

    File: 185KB
    MP3 Sound File
    Mrs. Kozak (2)
    MP3 Sound

    File: 64KB
    MP3 Sound File
    Michael Kozak
    MP3 Sound

    File: 233KB
    MP3 Sound File
    Patricia Kozak
    MP3 Sound

    File: 233KB

    Please listen to the veterans who flew with our lost Cold War Heroes

    LT
    David
    AMIDON
    Shipmate Picture
    AT2
    Daniel
    BURGESS
    Shipmate Picture
    AT1
    Marvin
    COLEMAN
    Shipmate Picture
    AT2
    William
    DENMARK
    Shipmate Picture
    AD2
    Lanny
    FOWLER
    Shipmate Picture
    ADR3
    Michael
    GISH
    Shipmate Picture
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File: 234KB
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File: 180KB
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File: 203KB
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File: 78KB
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File: 70KB
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File: 121KB
    AO3
    John
    GOOD
    Shipmate Picture
    AT1
    Robert
    HUBBARD
    Shipmate Picture
    AT1
    Donald
    LATIMER
    Shipmate Picture
    AE2
    Donald
    LEBOLD
    Shipmate Picture
    AE2
    Ernest
    MULICH
    Shipmate Picture
    ADR2
    Herbert
    PAYNE
    Shipmate Picture
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File: 188KB
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File: 81KB
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File: 233KB
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File: 218KB
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File: 233KB
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File: 57KB
    ATR3
    Robert
    PETTWAY
    Shipmate Picture
    AT2
    Lloyd
    Scoggins
    Shipmate Picture
    AT2
    Roger
    STRALEY
    Shipmate Picture
    ATR2
    Willie
    WILLIAMS
    Shipmate Picture
    ADR2
    Thomas
    ERNST
    Shipmate Picture
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File: 196KB
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File: 165KB
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File: 151KB
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File: 127KB
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File: 234KB
    Photos by Don Latimer
    Shipmate Picture
    Bob Hurst's
    Wedding Reception
    Shipmate Picture
    Norman Russell And
    Fiancee Bonnie Williamson
    Shipmate Picture
    Bob Hurst
    Claude Hale
    Shipmate Picture
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File: 113KB
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File: 74KB
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File: 70KB
    Bob Hurst And
    Bride Phylis (Phillips)
     
     
    Shipmate Picture
    Bob Hurst And
    Claude Wearing
    Spanish Style Gats
    In Rota, Spain
    Shipmate Picture
    Hurst, Anderson,
    And Russell
     
     
    Shipmate Picture
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File: 51KB
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File: 210KB
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File: 152KB
    Norman Russell And
    Friend Grover
    New Years Eve Party
    Shipmate Picture
    New Years Eve Party
    Rota, Spain
     
    Shipmate Picture
    Norman Russell's And
    Bob Hurst's
    Tombstones
    Shipmate Picture
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File: 54KB
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File: 136KB
    MP3 Sound File
    MP3 Sound

    File: 159KB


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    Killed In Action "...From Charles Douglas cdouglas@triad.rr.com..." [29FEB2004]

    While surfing your site, the line - "Help Bring VP5 Crew Home" - caught my eye. I can still remember the day someone came into our electronic shop and told us the plane was missing. For the next 12 days or so our crews searched in vain for clues to the location of the plane. I never knew the plane was found until I read your site.

    Imagine my surprise when 40 years later, I met a young man at church whose father and mother were stationed in Iceland the same time I was there. As a matter of fact this man told me he was born there in October of 1961. In talking further with him I discovered that LT John A. Brown, M.D. was the doctor who delivered him.

    Its a small world.

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    Killed In Action "...From Richard R. Dempsey AG1 USN RET iceob@aol.com..." Forwarded by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [13NOV2003]

    I was an Aerographer's Mate flying Ice Recon Missions out of Argentia, Keflavik and all the other Arctic bases from January of 1960 to April of 1963. We were Home Ported at the Navy Oceanographic Office in Suitland, Md. and desiganated the Navy Ice Recon Unit.

    We did not have an Observer on that particular flight. Whenever we flew out of Keflavik we would spend an hour or so looking for the lost P2 with never any success.

    After leaving the unit I guess in time I had forgotten about the lost P2. I saw a story on the cable news today about your trying to get the Navy to return to the crash site and retrieve the last remains.

    On Thanksgiving day of 1963 or 1964 a P2 out of I believe Anchorage crashed into the Brooks Range killing all on board. On board was a LT. Wiliam Dotson who was our Unit Commander while in the unit. He was a very special person, very dedicated to the Navy and Ice Research.

    The P2 Squadrons, crew members and squadron personnel were a very special breed of people. Those three years flying those patrols, the friendship of the crews were the finest three years of my navy career. They are and will always be very near and dear to my heart.

    I hope and I pray that you are successful in your efforts to get the Navy to return to the crash site and retrieve the final remains.

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    Killed In Action "...From Willie Joe Williams williej.williams@cemexusa.com - October 15th, 2003 ..." Forwarded by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [16OCT2003]

    Mr. Pettway,

    I was with VP-5 from January 1961 through August 1963. I was a member of Crew 8 in NAS Keflavik, Iceland when we lost LA-9.

    I had been searching Navy sites for information when I finally gave up and called VP-5. They refer'd me to VP-5 Memorial URL.

    After reading the material, it appears some remains have never been recovered, is this true?

    I was Second Technician on Crew 8 and the day of the crash. Our plane had come out of maintenance and we were on a test flight with minimum crew. I was the only technician onboard. We were notified by radio that LA-9 had missed a report and we were asked to stay up and try to make contact. We did for about 4 hours if I remember right. We never heard anything.

    I saw a small piece in the newspaper when the plane was found and thats all I ever knew until I visited the this site. By the way that wasn't Crew 8 that had the drop problem at Yan Mayen Island.

    On a patrol later after LA-9 was lost, we had an experience which I can relate to LA-9 loss. We were going up through the Denmark Straits during a bad storm. I was flying radar when the pilot came across the radio and said we were almost over the coast of Greenland. Looking at the radar screen I could not determine that. Apparently the gain on the radar control had been turned down and this caused some loss of return. It took me about 15 to 30 seconds to figure this out. The knob on the screen could have been moved accidently by someone just by brushing by it. After getting a fix with the radar, which was the most valuable navigation device on board in the Iceland area because the compasses would go crazy sometime. After the position fix was made by the Navigator, it was determined that we were being pushed back and side ways by the storm head winds. We had to turn around and abort the patrol.

    As I remember Robert Hurst was from the Talladega, Alabama and I'm from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. For some people that remember James Mike Garnand, from Eutaw, Alabama, he passed away in August of 2001, he was an ordanceman in VP-5.

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    Killed In Action "...From Steve Anderson packersfan@mail.ev1.net - October 6th, 2003 ..." Forwarded by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [08OCT2003]

    Mr. Pettway,

    My name is Steve Anderson, son of Robert A. Anderson. My father was on the flight crew of LA9 (Buno: LA-9) on 12 Jan. 1962. I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate all you have done to let the families and friends of the crew know what really happened.

    I have read some of the VP website and it has answered some of the questions I've had for years. My younger brother, Allen, and I have wanted to know what the real facts were about the whole incident. Our mother, Elizabeth Mitchell (Anderson), has always answered our questions as well as she could, but she really didn't know much about it. I don't know if it was a cover up by the government or not, but nobody has ever told her the real facts. I only say cover up because we found it strange that when his locker was emptied ther were items he never went without. (flight jacket, flight kit, dogtags, and wedding ring).

    I know I sound bitter, I'm only bitter about the fact that it took 41 years to find out what happened with my father. I am proud to know that my father gave his life for our great country.

    I read that 20/20 was talking about doing a segment on the crew and the fatal flight. Have they done the show? Any further information about it would be appreciated. I would also appreciate it if you could tell me where I can get more information about the day of the crash and the events since.

    I was one of the fortunate ones. My father was brought home for a proper burial. He is buried in Madison, Wisconsin. I truly wish that the remaining crew members could be returned home to their families.

    It has been over 41 years and I don't understand why our government has not brought them home. There is no way they can convince me they can't. There has been atleast two expeditions by geologists that have been to the crash site so I really believe that our government, with all the technology they have, can do the same.

    Again thank you for all you have done. Again I would greatly appreciate any help you can give me in obtaining information/photos.

    Thank You,
    Steve Anderson

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    Killed In Action "...From LCDR Nick Vagianos, PPC LA-8..." Forwarded by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [21SEP2003]

    I was a LCDR, the PPC of crew 8, and next senior to CDR Kozak at NAS Keflavik, Iceland. CDR R. Huber, the exec, had gone to NS Rota, Spain for the change of command and CDR Kozak, the new exec had come to NAS Keflavik, Iceland and had been there for over a week. During that time I took his enlisted crew on a patrol for familiarization. Another PPC in the NAS Keflavik, Iceland detachment, I don't remember who, took CDR Kozak and his officer crew on a different patrol.

    I was flying a post maintenance test hop on my airplane Cardfile 8 on January 12 when I was told from NAS Keflavik, Iceland that Cardfile 9 hadn't sent a posit for a couple of hours and to try and contact him. I had a minimum crew of my copilot, navigator, plane captain and radioman aboard. I climbed to 10,000 feet and headed for Scoresby Sound trying to contact Cardfile 9 on UHF. About halfway there I started running into solid weather and turned back. I flew four subsequent search flights on January 13, 14, 17 and 18.

    In regards to flight track of LA-9, the weather was bad on the way to Scoresby Sound as I observed on my flight that day. I wonder if they deliberately stayed farther south on their outbound leg with the idea of staying in clearer weather until they made landfall and then work their way up the Greenland coast, a dicey proposition in bad weather. Coupled with an unreliable APS -20, which would not have defined the coastline well, they could have missed the rocky crags on the APS-20 and flown right by them to the crash site. This is just a theory but coupled with their southerly position report this may be an explanation for their southerly track.

    On my first trip to Scoresby, I believe on December 18, 1961, the weather was solid IFR, so I climbed to 10,000 feet to make sure I didn't run into anything. Radar was giving me a return which he believed was the edge of the ice pack, so when I got over it, I turned left to parallel it at that altitude. A few minutes later, a quick hole in the clouds below showed me actually over the fjords and not the edge of the ice pack. The radar never picked up the edge of the ice pack. The APS -20 was really not reliable close in to pick up the ice. The signal seemed to bounce off the ice in other directions or get absorbed.

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    Killed In Action "...Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2003 08:01:08...From: Joseph M. Hussey Jr...My name is Joseph Hussey. I was an AT3 in VP-5 on Jan. 12, 1962, and had not yet been assigned a crew. At the time of the LA-9 incident I was in Supply Division, VP-5, at NAS Keflavik, Iceland. I was the duty driver for that morning, and I drove crew 3 to their aircraft for the flight. I will never forget that morning. It was very cold as usual, and windy. I had to drive across the ramp at an angle because the wind would actually push the vehicle sideways. I am not certain, but I believe it was AT3 Allen Millette who remarked to me that he was sure they were not going to return from this flight . He was so serious and firm in his statement . I told him it was just a bad dream or some such. To this day I still remember that morning and the matter of fact tone of his statement. He wasn't afraid but he knew, I am convinced, that he was not coming back. I to this day cannot help but believe that this man had a premonition of eminent doom and carried out his mission without fear. I do also remember the intense search effort that the navy launched after LA-9 failed to return to base. I later was assigned the position of Radar and Julie operator on Crew 5, and was with VP-5 at GITMO in Cuba during the missile crisis. I was in the U.S. Coast Guard looking for a C.G. crew in the Gulf of Mexico that crashed while searching for a distressed fishing boat in 1966 or 67, when I learned that the aircraft (LA-9) had been located. I can't believe they have not recovered their remains by now. Is this true???..." Forwarded by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [18JUL2003]

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    Killed In Action "...From: Don Latimer - AT1 Crew 7..." Forwarded by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [26JUL2003]

    Memories of the LA9/Crew 7 Crash

    On Saturday morning, January, 13, John Kennedy, another AT found me and after a few words said, "Don, your crew is gone". I replied that I knew it, that they had gone to Iceland last week. He then said, "I mean they're really gone, they didn't return from a patrol".

    He then told me all he knew which wasn't much. The whole VP-5 Rota detachment was in shock and of course praying that they would be found alive. The next morning, Sunday the 14th, there was a special prayer service held at the base chapel.

    The following day, January 15, I along with Jerry Calabough, AT2 and CDR Thomas H. Casey, who had just been relieved as CO of VP-5 caught a MATS flight back to Norfolk, VA. After arriving in Norfolk, CDR Casey informed Jerry and me that a buddy of his in VP-18 was going to give him a lift back to Jacksonville and that Jerry and I were welcome to come along. We took him up on it. During the flight from Norfolk to Jacksonville, CDR Casey spoke with me and said that he thought it would be a good idea to call on CDR Kozak's wife, who was living in base housing in Jacksonville. Although I had been on the crew for about six months I hadn't met Mrs. Kozak. I had been in the hospital having minor eye surgery when the squadron had a big party. I don't believe that CDR Kozak.s crew, (crew three at that time), had a party prior to deployment. If they did, I missed that also.

    I had been close to several crew members and had been the only crew member to attend Bob Hurst's wedding reception about July of '61. After the reception, a bunch of us went over to the apartment that Bob and Phyllis would be staying. After short sheeting the bed and a few other "surprises" we sat in the dark and waited for Bob and Phyllis to arrive. As soon as they came in the door, we all yelled surprise and told them the party wasn't over yet. After a couple more rounds of drinks we finally left them alone.

    Also I had met and visited with Bob Anderson's wife, Elizabeth prior to deployment. She also lived in base housing.

    I had double dated with Norman Russell and his fiancée, Bonnie Williamson so I knew her quite well. I believe we had used Norman's car, a 50's something red Chevy convertible, which he was quite proud of.

    I called Mrs. Kozak up and made arrangements to call on her, not knowing what I could tell her. While visiting her, she seemed mainly concerned about his state of mind—if he was still worried about an incident that the crew had the first part of December. All crews have some close calls and this incident happened on a flight from Athens back to Rota. I hadn't been on the flight, having given up my seat to someone who wanted to go to Athens.They made a normal takeoff from Athens and then about 15 minutes into the flight, a fire warning light on the starboard engine came on. They feathered that engine, cranked up the jets and decided to return to Athens. Because of the wind direction they were directed to land on the shorter runway. It was also wet and raining. They discussed plans for landing on the short runway and decided that after touchdown, they would reverse the port engine and use the brakes on the starboard side. Reversing the port engine worked well but the brakes on the starboard side had little or no effect and the plane flipped sideways. They brought the port engine out of reverse and flipped the other way. They flipped several times before they got the plane going straight, meanwhile they were eating up runway which they didn't have too much of. They finally got stepped about 100 feet from the end of the runway and everyone climbed out of the aircraft.

    The whole crew along with their passengers were pretty well shook up. Opening up the cowling on the starboard engine, they found the cause of the fire warning light. One of the mechanics had left a wooden handled screw driver inside and the wooden handle had caught on fire. There was nothing wrong with the engine. They took off again and made a routine flight back to Rota. CDR Kozak had written his wife and told her of the incident and she was worried that it was still on his mind and maybe making him concerned about flying. I reassured her that as far as I could tell on the flights that I was on after that that it wasn't bothering anyone, that they were mostly joking about it.

    I also went to visit Elizabeth Anderson in base housing. She was in much worse shape than Mrs. Kozak. As near as I can remember she had two very small children to take care of and Bob Anderson was only sending the minimum allotment back to her. He could send cash back home but as long as he was missing she would only receive the minimum. I may have left a small amount of extra money that I had with her. I think I told her it was for a tape recorder I owed Bob some money on. If not, I should have. I felt guilty over a tape recorder that I had sold him before the crew left for Iceland.

    I visited with Bonnie Williamson, Norman Russell's fiancée. And she seemed to be taking it pretty well, only breaking up once when I couldn't play some game that Norman was good at. Norman had taken Bonnie back to Louisiana to meet his parents and a tentative wedding date had been set.

    I tried to contact Bob Hurst's wife, Phyllis, but a friend of hers said that Phyllis was in Dallas, with her family. I don't think Phyllis ever met any of Bob's family and that she had remarried by 1966 when the crash scene was discovered.

    I didn't have addresses for any of the other crew member's families. After packing up my car, I headed west for San Diego. I didn't have any further contact with the crew member's survivors. Over the next three years I would run into guys that had been in VP-5 but of course no one knew anything.

    I was in West Africa from '65 to '68 and I didn't hear the news of the crash scene being located on a glacier in Greenland. Evidently it didn't make Time or Newsweek.

    In the early 70's Ray Chute, another VP-5 AT, was visiting San Diego and told me of the crash scene find and of the recovery of the crew members remains. He, along with everyone else thought every crew member had been recovered. It wasn't until May of 2001 that Bob Pettway, looking for information on the VP-5 lost crew, discovered that everyone had not been recovered, that some were still visible in the summer months in the ice. We've been trying to correct that wrong.

    Don Latimer
    San Diego, CA

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    Killed In Action "...Date: Sun, 13 May 2001 18:08:21...From: Kent Brooks...Dear Mr. Pettway, How this crash of the Neptune keeps returning to me! I was part of the original group who found it in 1966 while on an expedition from Oxford University. It was extremely eerie to come across the wreckage and bodies, which where partly mummified, in this remote location. We were a group of 4 young geologists working under primitive conditions and did not have the opportunity to alert the authorities until about a month later on returning to Iceland. It was by this time well into September and the Embassy did not show any particular urgency, saying they would probably go in the following summer. Imagine our surprise to find it had been treated as high priority and the icebreaker "Westwind" (?) at that time operating somewhere in the Barents Sea had proceeded to the site immediately, cleared up the wreckage and buried the bodies at Arlington National Cemetery. A friend of mine, Joe Kravitz, of the Office of Naval Research was on board at the time, although I only found out about this some years later. We had an official letter of thanks from the U.S. Navy and subsequently a personal letter from the captain's sister in New York (Kovack? - was this her name or his, I can't remember), which I may be able to find. We pieced together from sparse information that the plane was returning from Turkey, possibly with classified material on board and that it was the captain's last tour of duty before retirement. It is all many years ago - 35 to be precise and the details are becoming vague! I took some pictures of the wreckage at the time but again it would take time to find them. At that time the body of the aircraft was in fairly good shape, although the forward part was completely smashed up and the engines had broken off and rolled across the glacier. It was located at a point were the glacier was beginning to fall steeply down to the sea and we figured that the aircraft was probably at low altitude and suddenly hit the steeply rising glacier. I believe that at that time ground proximity radar did not pick up ice. We took no souvenirs at that time - we felt this would have had the character of grave robbing. The wreckage lies in an area below the firn line (i.e. below the level at which snow accumulates), so it is on bare ice during the summer. We had no reason to believe anyone survived the impact. In 1995 I was in the area again, having relocated many years ago to Copenhagen University, as part of a major Danish exhibition. I had not thought of visiting the site again, thinking there would be nothing left. However, when flying in the area I picked up from a distance what appeared to be boulders on the ice and on closer inspection turned out to be substantial amounts of wreckage, the star insignia being still clear. At this time we were in a hurry and only spent some time hovering backwards and forwards over the site. It was clear from this that the wreck was considerably more dismembered than previously, but whether by human or natural agents I can't say. However, pilots are even more fascinated by crashes than civilians and out two helicopter pilots found an excuse to return and rummage through the wreckage. I believe they collected a number of souvenirs, of which they gave me an army survival knife in good condition along with a survival booklet still in good condition even after 30 years on the glacier. However, the most amazing thing to come out of this was that there were still human remains at the site, but precisely how many individuals I wasn't able to find out. What about the "Burial with Honours" we were informed about? I later alerted the police in Greenland to the presence of human remains at the site, but they said they didn't have the resources to investigate (this is a very isolated area, among the most isolated in the northern hemisphere I would think). I hope this answers your questions, but do not hesitate to ask for more information. I have however put down most of which I know in the above. If you wanted, I could put you in contact with some of the others who have been to the site. I will look for the old photos and the letter from the captain's sister. I certainly appreciate the picture you sent me of the aircraft. I have often speculated exactly what happened. It is good nobody survived the impact - the Kronborg Glacier is no place to be in January, especially if you are injured. On a melancholy note, I remember jars of peanut butter on the wreck. I didn't touch the stuff for years afterwards as it brought to mind the corpses - in fact it still does, although I now eat it. Yours sincerely, Dr. C. Kent Brooks, Geological Institute and Danish Lithosphere Centre, Oster Voldgade 10..." Forwarded by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [17JUL2003]

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    Killed In Action "...I can remember flying SAR every day for the week after the crash, hoping to find any clue as to what happened. I think on the second or third day we saw tracks in the snow but couldn't determine if they were human or Polar Bear. The next day we flew over the tracks and dropped a 1 gallon red hydraulic fluid container near the tracks and then went back and took photo's of the can next to the tracks, so the Photo Intel guys could determine the physical size of the tracks. They determined them to be Polar Bear. I also recall Charlie Underwood volunteered to parachute in near the tracks to confirm they were not human. That was vetoed because there was no way to get him out until spring which was 3 months away, it was discussed we could provide him provisions until then but if the tracks were in fact Polar Bear then he would be in danger of an attack and possibly couldn't defend himself if there were several bears. I don't think we made much progress the day following the crash because the storm was still in the area and the visibility was less than 1/2 mile. Remember, this was January and we only about 4 hours of actual day light so the search was really frustrating due to the lack of visibility and we were staying in the search area for about 8 hours. I'll will have to go along with Larry Dean Jones, as to where Crew 11 was on the day of the crash. I don't remember if we were in Iceland when crew 3 arrived or not. I think we were, and they flew an AREA FAM the day after arrival. I remember Herb Payne saying that Bob Hurst said he "feared flying in Iceland and the navy sent him up there to die". Herb assured him that he had good pilots and that he was an experienced Plane Captain and he would get used to the weather and gain confidence as he became more familiar with the operation. You can contact Herb to verify this, after all, Crew 8 had a serious incident on their first flight to drop mail into Yan Mein Island. As I recall, Crew 8 never flew another mail drop to the Island. Nick Mulich nicknjax@gmail.com, AE2, Crew 11, ECM..." Forwarded by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [15JUL2003]

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    Killed In Action "...I served in VP-5 from December 1960 to February 1965 so I obviously saw a lot of people come and go during that period. I was not a pilot however, I was a TACCO on Crew 3. We were in NS Rota, Spain when a Change-of-Command occurred and CDR Kozak became XO so he had to move to NAS Keflavik, Iceland to take over the deployment as of course the new CO came down to NS Rota, Spain. We left NS Rota, Spain the first week of January, spent 4 or 5 days in London and proceeded on to NAS Keflavik, Iceland. Our first operational flight was almost a week later and it was an early takeoff going up to Jan Mayen and then just a regular ASW patrol. I was the duty officer the day prior to the flight and would have had to be relieved early, which meant turning over all the crypto and everything, so CDR Kozak said to just skip this flight as they had some extra people on board to get flight time, (Doc Brown being one as he was going back to the states and wanted to bank some flight time) and Tony Caswick was going in the right seat because as you said he had been in Iceland for a while. I received the first posit report and then nothing more. We waited until a couple of reports were overdue and notified base ops as I recall. The rest is pretty much history and I was on the first SAR flight and a couple there after. I remember that I was setting at my desk at NAVFAC Lewes in I think it was 1967 but could have been 1968 when I got a call on autovon from Bill Coffey, who was at the puzzle palace telling me that they had found my crew. I was never called to testify and some of the dates here might be screwed up as my memory int as good as it was 40 years ago. I have never seen a lot of the chronology of the events after they found the plane on Greenland so would appreciate your forwarding any information available. Thanks, Bill Cowan willycowan@aol.com..." Forwarded by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [15JUL2003]

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    Killed In Action "...I haven't mentioned this to anyone before. As you know I was Norman Russell's room mate in the barracks for flight crew members, in NAS Keflavik, Iceland, for what short time he was there. The barracks was made of rooms for two crew members each, like a motel room. One morning, I'm not sure what day after the crash, one of our chief petty officers came in the room and we both went through Norman's locker and belongings, to ship them back to his parents home, I assumed. Hidden back in the back of his locker we found a wedding ring and some money saved up. We gasped and then realized it was for him and his fiancee Bonnie when we all returned to NAS Jacksonville, Florida. Just thought you might like to hear some of these things. Later, Larry Dean Jones mail4ldj@yahoo.com..." Forwarded by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [14JUL2003]

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    Killed In Action "...Our Memorial Day Remembrance - By: Lillian Carol Russell alr@xit.net..." [31MAY2003]

    A SLICE OF LIFE
    Columnist: Lillian Carol Russell
    Moore County News Press
    May 29, 2003 edition

    VP-5 Mishap Shipmate Photo
    AT3 Norman Royce Russell Jr.
    November 14, 1938 - January 12,1962

    Our Memorial Day Remembrance
    By: Lillian Carol Russell


    Along with those who remember the fallen, we remember my husband's brother, Norman. It was Jan, 12, 1962, during the cold war as it was called. He was sent to Greenland and on a routine patrol, his plane went down. All 12 on board were killed. The sad thing was that no one knew their fate for four years. The winter storms were bad. Search and Rescue operations continued for a total of 8 days, and efforts were terminated.

    For all those years I watched his family suffer, not knowing; Had they been captured by Russians? Had the plane crashed? His mother had a recurring dream where he came home and told her he was 28 years old. She would say, "No son you are 24 now." And he always said, "No mom I'm 28." How amazing, he would have been 28 the year his body was found and sent home. I believe that God speaks to us through dreams but we are not always able to understand.

    Four geologists discovered the plane on Kronborg Glacier. One of them, Dr Kent Brooks wrote a letter in which he stated, "It was extremely eerie to come across the wreckage and bodies, which where partly mummified, in this remote location." He said that he believed that no one had survived the impact and added, "On a melancholy note, "I remember jars of peanut butter on the wreck. I didn't touch the stuff for years afterwards as it brought to mind the corpses"

    Until recently we though that all on board had been sent home for burial. Several months ago I got the most amazing letter by E-mail from a friend of Norman's; retired secret service agent, Robert Pettway. They had located us from my web page, which contained a memorial to Norman. He informed us that there were still remains at the site. He introduced us to several other friends of Norman's and we keep in touch by E-mail. It has been a blessing, all have sent pictures and memorabilia. Norman had some great friends!

    There is an ongoing battle to bring back the remains of those left on the glacier. Those who wish to read more can visit the "VP-5 Mishap Memorial Page."

    It is our prayer that the last remains can be returned for burial and families can have the final closure. It was good to communicate with those who were there at the recovery site. To actually look at the photo of the frozen tundra and the crash site brought a final closure, it was lonely yet beautiful, it made us sad, yet it fulfilled a need.

    Psalms 147:3…"He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds."

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    Killed In Action "...My brother, Grover E. Wells, AO3, died on the 12th of January 1962 (SEE: In Memorial for lost friends...12JAN62). They now say that his remains were spotted still in the ice. Lets bring the rest of his crew home...Donna Eiselstein lucybme@netins.net..." [28JUN2002]

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    Killed In Action "...My brother, Alan P. Millette, was on board the flight from Iceland that crashed on the Kronborg Glacier in Greenland (SEE: In Memorial for lost friends...12JAN62). I have, only in the last few days, become aware of the circumstances involved in pursuing information surrounding this crash. My parents are both deceased, and I know they were not aware of this information; therefore, neither was I. This is emotional, painful, but necessary for me to find out all I possibly can, now. Is there anymore I can do to further this investigation?...Cheryl K. Millette ckmillette@msn.com..." [13MAR2002]

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    Killed In Action "...As a Career SOSUS (IUSS) officer I had a long and close relationship with the VP community, along with a deep respect. I read with interest the story on the aircraft that crashed in Greenland in 1962. (SEE: In Memorial for lost friends...12JAN62). I had orders from NavFac Lewes Delaware to be OPS at NavFac NAS Keflavik, Iceland. My XO at Lewes was a LT Bill Cowen who related the story that a plane he might have been on had left NAS Keflavik, Iceland and crashed and had never been located as of the that date (December 1965). While I was a NAS Keflavik, Iceland in 1966, the remains were located and a team led by a Maj Gene Cole, USMC was dispatched to the site. Did not realize the remains of the entire crew had not been recovered. Hopefully, they soon will be...CDR E. K. Dalrymple, USN (Ret) ekdaliuss@aol.com..." [07NOV2001]

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    Killed In Action "...Re: The P2 from VP-5 that was lost in Greenland (SEE: In Memorial for lost friends...12JAN62). The note said that it was found in 1966. I was with VP-21 on deployment to NAS Keflavik, Iceland in 1964 and there was talk of the aircraft then. Some of our crews said that they could see it buried in the ice when they flew over. Is it possible that the location was known but no one was able to reach the crash site until 1966? I did not see it myself but I remember some of the guys talking about it. I guess it is also possible that our guys might have had over active imaginations. I don't know...SPROUSE, Jack jacksprouse@hotmail.com..." [01OCT2001]

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    Killed In Action "...Family steps in to return crew's remains...The Florida Times-Union...By Rachel Davis Times-Union staff writer..." [01OCT2001]

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    Killed In Action "...I received a very positive letter today from Congressman Bob Stump. Congressman Stump is Chairman of the Armed Services Committee and a member of the Veteran's Affairs Committee (Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations). Feel free to contact me for details of the letter...John Masciantoni jmasciantoni@cfl.rr.com..." [28SEP2001]

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    Killed In Action "...‘Burial with honors' still lacking for some victims...Clay Today News September 6th, 2001...By Doug Newton dougnewton1@hotmail.com, Clay Today News..." [06SEP2001]

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    Killed In Action "...The Clay Today Newspaper in Orange Park, Florida will be publishing an article about VP-5 Mishap - stay tuned! ...John Masciantoni jmasciantoni@cfl.rr.com..." [04SEP2001]

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    Killed In Action "...We now have Senators Bill Frist (Tennessee), Max Cleland (Georgia), Congressmen Zack Wamp (3rd District Tennessee), and John J. Duncan, Jr. (2nd District Tennessee) assisting in our efforts to bring the VP-5 crew home...Robert T. PETTWAY, SR. rpettway@epbfi.com..." [10AUG2001]

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    Killed In Action Contact: Robert T. PETTWAY, SR. rpettway@epbfi.com for further information.
    Write Your Representative: http://www.house.gov/writerep/
    Write Your Senator: http://www.senate.gov/senators/senator_by_state.cfm [09AUG2001]

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    Killed In Action "...Yesterday I received a packet of information from the Naval Historical Center, Department of the Navy, Washington, D.C. The packet contained information relative to the flight plan of LA-9, the events of Jan. 12, 1962, and the subsequent search for the missing plane and crew.

    LA-9 departed NAS Keflavik, Iceland @ 0758Z to fly a triangle between Iceland, north to Scoresby Sund, then SW along the Blosseville Coast about 40 miles off shore to a position 65N 37W, and then turn east and return to NAS Keflavik, Iceland. They were flight planned to fly operationally below 2000 feet for an estimated time en route of 8.5 hours.

    Previous patrols conducted in the Denmark Straits by Patrol Squadron 5 aircraft reported the boundary of the ice pack to be located approximately 90 miles from the Greenland coast at the 67 N latitude line and to gradually recede back to approximately 60 miles in the Scoresby Sund area. Numerous icebergs with tops at near 800 ft. were reported as locked in the ice pack. The weather north of 67N in the Denmark Straits was very poor due to heavy snow and cloud coverage from 0 to 14,000 ft. The reported visibility was zero becoming 1 mile and 500 feet over the water.

    The first hourly position report from LA-9 was received at NAS Keflavik, Iceland at 0920Z, and their position was reported. This position was later thought by the SAR Command to have been in error, as it was some distance west of the intended flight plan's 1st leg route to Scoresby Sund. However, I have noted that it is directly on line if you plot a course from NAS Keflavik, Iceland to the ultimate crash site.

    From 1045Z to 1053Z the Keflavik base communications heard weak but unreadable radio transmissions from LA-9 who was attempting to communicate with NAS Keflavik, Iceland. At 1125Z the NAS Keflavik, Iceland comm center issued a comm alert to all stations for lost contact with LA-9.

    At 1305Z another VP-5 P2V aircraft BUNO: 131419 (LA-7) was launched from NAS Keflavik, Iceland with orders to proceed west towards 65N 37W to try and establish radio contact with LA-9.

    At 1632Z a barrier aircraft from VW-11 (Buno 141330) was directed to proceed to the last known position of LA-9 and search the area north to Scoresby Sound, Greenland.

    At 1722Z a 3rd aircraft (BUNO: 128358), LA-10 of VP-5, was launched and searched an area north along the coast of Iceland and west towards Greenland.

    1830Z Sondestrom Airbase relayed a message from Scoresby Sound that no aircraft had been seen or heard that day. (Which is an indication that LA-9 never completed the first leg of the triangle flight). The radio and weather station (KAP TOBIN) reported gale force winds from ENE, obscured ceiling, and heavy snow all day of 1/12/62.

    2013Z Distress message released. Fuel exhaustion for LA-9 was computed to be 2200Z.

    1/13/62 0050Z Last search aircraft returned to NAS Keflavik, Iceland. Search on 12 Jan. was concentrated along the intended route of LA-9. Visual search was thwarted by heavy snows, low ceilings, and winds from 080 degrees at 60 knots in the desired search areas.

    On 13 Jan. eight search aircraft were launched. Continued bad weather, poor visibility and low ceilings again hampered search efforts.

    On 14 Jan. ten search aircraft were launched. Weather was much improved in the search area, with visibility up to 10 miles. Search area was concentrated from Scoresby Sound to 6800N, from Greenland coast to edge of the ice pack.

    Search and Rescue operations continued for a total of 8 days, and efforts were terminated on 1/19/62. The daily search tracks of the SAR aircraft were furnished to me in the packet. It disclosed that the area where LA-9 crashed was only searched on one occasion by a C-130 USAF plane, and not until 1/18/62.

    I have revised my theory as to the cause of the crash of LA-9. I believe they were blown off course by the gale force winds from 080 and in a heavy snow storm, for whatever combination of reasons and/or equipment failure, they failed to correct their ground tract to fly almost due north to Scoresby Sound, and instead flew a NW tract which brought them to the Blosseville coast of Greenland much sooner than expected. The radar would be ineffective in a heavy blizzard, and I think they flew straight into the crash site at 2300 ft. of altitude above sea level. A fatal navigation error while flying blind in a snow storm. I remember that this was the first flight of this crew after their arrival at Keflavik from Spain.

    The Navy accident report lists the full names and their position on the flight crew..." Contributed by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [01JUN2001]

    Norbert J. Kozak, CDR.
    PPC
    XO

    Anthony P. Caswick, LTJG
    Co-Pilot

    Badger C. Smith, LTJG
    Navigator

    Michael P. Leahy, LTJG.
    Navigator

    Robert E. Hurst, ADR2
    PC & 1st Mechanic

    Frank E. Parker, ADR3
    2nd Mechanic

    Robert A. Anderson, AT2
    1st Technician

    Norman R. Russell, Jr., AT3
    2nd Technician

    Joseph W. Renneberg, AEAN
    3rd Technician

    Alan P. Millette, ATN3
    Radioman

    Grover E. Wells, AO3
    Ordnanceman

    John A. Brown, LT
    Passenger
    Naval Hospital, NS Keflavik
    Designated Flight Surgeon


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    Killed In Action "...In regards to the crash ofP2V Neptune that crashed in January of 1962. I was 18 years old and deployed to NAS Keflavik, Iceland from NAS Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada with VW-11 flying observer that day on crew 11. We taxied to the end of the runway, they took off first. I remember looking out the galley window (the normal position for the electrician) and waving to the fellow on the port observation window in the aft station as they taxied into position for takeoff. The crew included the Squadron Flight Surgeon and Photographer getting their 10 hours minimum monthly flight time. Unfortunately they were wearing summer flight suits, whether winter suits would have helped is up to question. As I recall the survival suits we carried on P2V's were stored in a tube and after you removed and unrolled them, it required climbing through an opening in the abdominal area of the suit. About five minutes on the pool deck in NAS Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada when we practiced the procedure. You can imagine in an emergency! We flew two different barrier patrols in those days, one between Greenland and Iceland (known as the Denmark Strait) and one between Iceland -Norway-Faroes Islands. On that particular day we were assigned to the Denmark Strait. It was about 9:30am in the morning during the Barrier Patrol that we got word that they were out of radio contact. An extensive search followed with participants from Denmark, the U.S. Air Force and Navy aircraft participating. I remember coming back to the barracks that night, we shared the same enlisted barracks with VP-5. They had the first floor and we had the 2nd and 3rd floors. While walking down the corridor to the middle stairs I passed the VP-5 Squadron Duty Officer who was being assisted by two enlisted personnel doing an inventory of personal effects of the missing crewmembers. At that moment it really hit home that these young men, my age, at the prime of life, probally weren't coming back. I flew several more search flights over the next several days sitting in the "Connie's Galley" pearing out that tinny little port over a no man's land of bleak white barreness. After about 10 days without any success the search was called off with all hands declared dead. I always wondered did they glide in or was it a dead head impact, the news releases I read in July of 1965 didn't say...Rod (Meyers) Franklin rodfrank2001@yahoo.com AE2 VP-23/VW-11 1/10/61 to 12/11/63..." [27MAR2001]

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    Killed In Action "...The following are the identities and burial site of the LA-9 Crew. They are: CDR Norbert J. Kozak, PPC (Pilot), and squadron XO, Lt. J. A. Brown, Co-Pilot, LTJG A. F. Kaswick, LTJG M. P. Leahy, LTJG B. C. Smith, AT2 R. A. Anderson, ADR2 R. E. Hurst, PC/1st Mech., ATN2 A. P. Millette, 1st Tech., ADR3 F. E. Parker, 2nd Mech. ATN3 J. W. Reennebert, 2nd Tech., ATN3 Norman Russell, Jr., Radioman, and AO3 G. E. Wells, Ordnanceman. Most of the crew were buried with full military honors (Naval) in Arlington National Cemetery, near the Tomb of the Unknowns, in October, 1966. Best regards, Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com..." [03MAY2001]

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    Killed In Action "...Looking for any additional information about the plane & crew (LA-9, BUNO: 131521) that was lost flying out of NAS Keflavik, Iceland on Jan. 12, 1962, other than what is posted to the VP Navy website? I knew those guys, one of which was a close buddy. I was nearly assigned to that crew about 2 weeks prior to their last flight. I was instead assigned to crew 2. The squadron split for deployment to NS Rota, Spain and NAS Keflavik, Iceland, around Oct./Nov., 1961, with half of the squadron going to each. I believe that this crew originally went to NS Rota, Spain, as I did. For some reason (I can't recall why, but it may have had something to do with CDR. Kozak becoming XO), they were sent to NAS Keflavik, Iceland from NS Rota, Spain. They became missing on their first patrol after arriving at NAS Keflavik, Iceland. I remember that the half of the squadron, and others, that were stationed in NAS Keflavik, Iceland, searched for them for weeks (I heard), after their disappearance. We all presumed that they went down at sea. I was discharged in March of ' 64 before the aircraft was discovered in Greenland. I was first aware of the discovery when I found the VP website last week. I have wondered about the fate of crew 9 since the tragedy happened in ' 62. Was the plane crashed or ditched landing? What was the cause of the crash? Who found the aircraft? Exactly where in Greenland was it found (I cannot find anything on the "Kronborg" glacier)? What were they doing there (mission assignment)? Was the crash due to inclement weather, or did they experience a systems failure and attempt to ditch on the icecap? Thanks, Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com..." [06MAR2001]

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    Killed In Action "...I've received emails from three people, and am getting some new information...Thanks!...Patricia (Kozak) Masciantoni jmasciantoni@cfl.rr.com. Thank you..." [08JAN2000]

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    Killed In Action "...Michael, Peter and Patricia Kozak are the surviving children of CDR Norbert Kozak, who was assigned to VP-5 and died in a crash in January, 1962. Having just found the VP-5 web site, I'm interested in communicating with anyone who may have known him or worked with him. Please contact Patricia (Kozak) Masciantoni jmasciantoni@cfl.rr.com. Thank you..." [E-Mail Updated 08JAN2000 | 23SEP99]

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    Killed In Action "...Information regarding the investigation of the mishap, was provided to me subsequent to a 1987 FOIA request to the Department of the Navy. The cause of the mishap was never identified. Sincerely, Peter W. Kozak gliderider@juno.com..." [E-Mail Updated 01APR2001 | 29AUG99]

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