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Flowers left for Gregory Asbeck
Mission NotesThe EC-121 Warning Star was a radar flight following and communications/electronics surveillance aircraft, a variant on the civilian Super Constellation. EC-121s from the Air Force and Navy routinely operated over the Gulf of Tonkin providing support to combat aircraft "over the beach" in North Vietnam. The EC-121 Warning Star was a large aircraft, far too big to operate from carriers, and was based ashore in Vietnam and/or the Philippines.Shortly after 11 AM on 16 March 1970 EC-121 BuNo 145927 of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron ONE (VQ-1) approached Danang at the end of a ferry flight from Taiwan. One of the big airplane's four engines had been shut down en route due to a generator overheat problem, and the first one thousand feet of Danang's runway was closed for repairs; the combination of the two factors dictated an out-of-the-ordinary approach. At 11:25 the Warning Star was on short final when another aircraft taxied onto the active runway, forcing the EC-121 to attempt an aborted landing. The pilot banked while flying over a concrete revetment and caught the tip of the left wing on a shelter. The EC-121 immediately cartwheeled, striking a revetment containing an RF-4C, causing an explosion. The explosion's force broke the EC-121 into three sections. One of these flying sections hit a tar truck, knocking it into two power poles. The poles were severed and live power lines were strewn over the area.Although ground personnel made heroic efforts to rescue the 31 men aboard the EC-121 - braving gasoline and jet fuel fires and the risk of electrocution - 23 men were either dead or fatally injured: * LCDR Harvey C. K. Aiau, Baltimore, MD, pilot * LCDR Harry C. Martin, Battle Creek, MI * LT James M. Masters Jr., Daytona Beach, FL, navigator * LT George L. Morningstar, Burlington, NC, copilot * LT Robin A. Pearce, North Hollywood, CA, copilot * LTJG Charles E. Pressler, Bay Village, OH, copilot * LTJG Jean P. Souzon, Willow Grove, PA, navigator * ADRC William J. Risse, Moline, IL * AT1 Larry O. Marchbank, Portsmouth, VA * ATR1 Arthur D. Simmons, Marshall, TX * ATR1 Donald W. Wilson, Mason City, IA * AE2 Floyd E. Andrus III, Greenfield Center, NY * ADR2 Stuart J. Scruggs Jr., Atlanta, GA * AMS2 William P. Bletsch, Boyd, TX * ATN2 John M. Birch, La Habra, CA * ATN2 Guy T. Denton, Bristol, VA * ATN2 John S. Schaefer, Seabrook, TX * ATN2 Barry M. Searby, Santa Rosa, CA * ATR2 Joseph S. Saukaitis, Kulpmont, PA * ADR3 Gregory J. Asbeck, Grove City, OH * ATN3 Thurle E. Case Jr., Vacaville, CA * ATN3 Ben A. Hughes Jr., Dallas, TX * ATN3 Ralph S. Purdum, Minneapolis, MN
- Bella Jordan
 Added: Nov. 11, 2008

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