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LTJG Dustin Cowles “Dusty” Trowbridge

LTJG Dustin Cowles “Dusty” Trowbridge

Wayne, DuPage County, Illinois, USA
Death 26 Dec 1969 (aged 25)
Cenotaph Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA
Plot Courts of the Missing
Memorial ID 62476412 · View Source
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In Memory of ...... LTJG. Dustin Cowles Trowbridge.
*** Lieutenant Trowbridge, U.S. Naval Reserve, was a member of Attack Squadron 35, Carrier Air Wing 15 aboard the Aircraft Carrier USS CORAL SEA (CVA-43). On December 26, 1969, he was bombardier/navigator of a Grumman Attack Aircraft Intruder (A-6A) on a combat support mission. There was an accident about 110 miles offshore in the South China Sea and the aircraft crashed. His remains were not recovered. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.

You may be gone, no longer living on this earth; but you will live on - in the memories of your family and friends. There will always be a part of you living in those who knew you. You will live on because we remember you!

Age: 25
Race: Caucasian
Date of Birth Jan 13, 1944
Marital Status: Married - March 1968 in Orange, Florida. Older brother that died during Korea or WWII.

***** I've never forgotten Dusty, or Skip Kosky. Served 23 years in the Navy and they were the only two squadron mates to die on a cruise. Dusty was a good guy, a dedicated Naval Aviator, and , like me, a 'newbie'. Think of you often.
John Horan
Squadron mate

**** I am glad that someone has taken the time and care to create this tribute to the men and women who were so long neglected. A sad note is that Dustin had an older brother who was killed in either Korea or WW II.
With deep sadness I thank you all,

Membership Committee Chairman; Leadership Con-
ference; Rollins Scientific Society, Treasurer; Publicity
Chairman, Psychology Club; Union Film Committee;
Young Republicans; How-to-Study Week Committee;
Orientation; AIP; Intramural Sailing, Soccer.
* Dan Carr jokes he never joined the airlines because “I didn’t like uniforms or unions.” While the Navy’s uniform didn’t suit him, its airplanes did. In two Vietnam tours, he flew more than 150 carrier-launched bombing missions. He knows the exhilaration of being shot at but not hit, and the pain of knowing others weren’t so lucky: on December 26, 1969, he was aboard the Coral Sea when a plane navigated by fellow Rollins alumnus LTJG Dustin C. “Dusty” Trowbridge ’66 went down in the Gulf of Tonkin. His body was never recovered.

Length of service 3 years
His tour began on Dec 26, 1969
Casualty was on Dec 26, 1969
Name: Dustin Cowles Trowbridge
Rank/Branch: O2/US Navy Reserves
Unit: Attack Squadron 35, USS CORAL SEA
Date of Birth: 13 July 1944 (St. Charles IL)
Home City of Record: Wayne IL
Date of Loss: 26 December 1969
Country of Loss: South Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 082057N 1082242E (BK113238)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A6A

Body was not recovered
Panel 15W - Line 96

Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)

The Grumman A6 Intruder is one of the aircraft which launched from the decks of the CORAL SEA. This two-man plane could be adapted as aerial tanker or electronic warfare.

LTJG Dustin C. Trowbridge was a bombardier/navigator assigned to Attack Squadron 35 onboard the CORAL SEA.

On December 26, 1969, Trowbridge and his pilot launched on a tanker combat support mission in a KA6 tanker. While airborne, there was an undetermined accident which caused the loss of the aircraft.

The accident was not combat related, and at the time of loss, the aircraft was about 110 miles offshore in the South China Sea.

The aircraft and its crew were lost with no possibility of recovering their remains.

[NOTE: Although U.S. Navy accounts of this loss incident describe the loss of two crewmen, there is no other U.S. military personnel missing on December 26, 1969. Also, coordinates place the loss in the South China Sea rather than the Gulf of Tonkin, where the U.S. Navy accounts place it. No reason for this discrepancy can be determined. Further, a most unusual promotion was given to Dustin Trowbridge to the rank of Lieutenant. This seems to indicate that he was in Missing in Action status for some period before he was declared dead. Additionally, all other government records ascribe the loss to an A6A Intruder attack aircraft version rather than the tanker version.] Because of the discrepancies in Dustin Trowbridge's loss incident, it is impossible to know what actually happened to him on December 26, 1969.

His family has been told that he was killed, and that there is no possibility of recovering his remains.
Update: I was on board and witnessed this incident. The pilot of the A-6 was Walter Henry Kosky. The captain came over the 1-mc to announce a crippled bird was returning and word was passed to me that it was the plane of my friend - Kosky- the ac was approaching the deck from forward port Kosky appeared to begin his final appproach the ac from only a few hundred feet altitude and about 300 yards off the port side took a 90 degree nose dive. Both men I recall their chutes did not have time to deploy. The chopper could not locate Trowbridge but the crew retrieved the body of my friend.

Gravesite Details Looking for location of his Memorial Headstone.





  • Created by: Eddieb
  • Added: 3 Dec 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 62476412
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for LTJG Dustin Cowles “Dusty” Trowbridge (13 Jan 1944–26 Dec 1969), Find A Grave Memorial no. 62476412, citing Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA ; Maintained by Eddieb (contributor 46600350) .