Schaefer, John Stephens, PO2 Fallen
 
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Last Rank
Petty Officer Second Class
Last Primary Designator/NEC
AT-0000-Aviation Electronics Technician
Last Rating/NEC Group
Aviation Electronics Technician
Last Duty Station
1969-1970, VQ-1 World Watchers
Service Years
1966 - 1970
AT-Aviation Electronics Technician

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Texas
Texas
Year of Birth
1946
 
Casualty Info
Home Town
Seabrook
Last Address
Seabrook

Casualty Date
Mar 16, 1970
 
Cause
Non Hostile- Died Other Causes
Reason
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Location
Quang Nam
Conflict
Wars and Conflicts/Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Prague Cemetery - Prague, Oklahoma
Wall/Plot Coordinates
12W 010

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 Duty Stations
VQ-1 World Watchers
  1969-1970, VQ-1 World Watchers
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

The Mission


The EC-121 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.

Petty Officer Schaefer was a crewman aboard a Warning Star of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron ONE (VQ-1). At 11:25 AM on 16 March 1970, his aircraft attempted a landing at Da Nang Air Base, SVN. It was a windy day, and the aircraft's number four engine was dead. 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.


Petty Officer John Schaefer was one of the 23 dead.


   
Comments/Citation
John Steve Schaefer was born on Aug 01, 1946,
the younger son of W. A. and Mabel Schaefer.
He was 23 years old and single.
He had been in the Navy 3 years.
Home of record:  Seabrook, Texas
   
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