Stamm, Ernest Albert, CAPT

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Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1968-1968, USS Constellation (CVA-64)
Service Years
1954 - 1968

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

28 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Clentis D. Turnbow, YN1 to remember Stamm, Ernest Albert, CAPT.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Medford, OR
Last Address
Medford, OR

Casualty Date
Jan 16, 1969
Hostile, Died while Captured
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Vietnam, North (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Holy Cross Lutheran Cemetery - Collinsville, Illinois
Wall/Plot Coordinates
38W 062

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
The National Purple Heart Hall of HonorVietnam Veterans MemorialThe National Gold Star Family RegistryUnited States Navy Memorial
  1968, The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor [Verified]
  2013, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2013, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2014, United States Navy Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Note:         Commander at loss. Posthumous Promotion as indicated  to Captain
Start Tour:     Friday, 06/14/1968
Incident Date:  Monday, 11/25/1968
Change Status:  Thursday, 01/16/1969
Captured to Died while Captured
 Remains:        Body Recovered
 Repatriated:    Wednesday, 03/13/1974
 Identified:     Wednesday, 04/17/1974
The Loss of the Aircraft
On 25 Nov 1968 an RA-5C (BuNo 149293) of RVAH-5 embarked in USS CONSTELLATION was conducting a photo recon flight along the 19th parallel in North Vietnam. The aircraft was flying at about 5500 feet and 550 knots when it was targeted by an anti-aircraft artillery site located near Van Tap, some 20 miles northwest of Vinh. The pilot jinked his aircraft to break the gunners' aim, but his F-4 escorts watched helplessly as the Vigilante exploded in flight, breaking up into four major pieces. Although two parachutes were sighted, there was no contact with the crew.
The pilot, then-Commander Ernest A. Stamm, was captured and reported to have died on 16 Jan 1969 of injuries received during the shoot-down. His remains were repatriated on 13 March 1974 and positively identified on 17 April 1974.

The RAN, LTJG Richard C. Thum of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, apparently did not survive the incident. His remains were repatriated on 30 Sep 1977 and positively identified on 25 Oct 1977
From the 1954 US Naval Academy Yearbook called the "Lucky Bag"
Ernie came from the scenic state of Oregon, making his home in Medford. As would be expected of a denizen of the rugged Northwest, his favorite pastimes include hunting, fishing, and skiing. Finding none of these occupations possible while at the Academy, he took up dinghy sailing. He had almost two years on the varsity dinghy sailing team, happily causing him to miss quite a few Parades. Prior to his entrance in the Academy, he spent a year at Oregon State College finding out what the lighter side of higher education was like. Ernie's choice of service is definitely the Navy and if possible Naval Aviation. Being a good westerner, he hopes to see a good deal of duty on the Pacific Coast.
SAILING - 3, 2, 1
BOAT CLUB - 3, 2, 1
"The Lucky Bag, 1954" (USNA Yearbook)


Distinguished Flying Cross

Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) to Commander Ernest Albert Stamm, United States Navy, for heroism while participating in aerial flight on 25 November 1968 with Reconnaissance Squadron FIVE, embarked in U.S.S. CONSTELLATION (CVA-64) during combat operations in Southeast Asia. As the pilot of an RA5C aircraft, Commander Stamm led a photographic mission over North Vietnam in support of a special reconnaissance program. In the face of a rapidly building anti-aircraft artillery barrage and continuous tracking by enemy fire control radars, he skillfully maneuvered his unarmed aircraft along the prescribed route to gain complete photographic coverage of the assigned objective areas. Commander Stamm's aircraft was hit by enemy ground fire and immediately became uncontrollable, forcing him top eject into a hostile area. His professionalism, superb airmanship and steadfast courage were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Action Date: November 25, 1968

Service: Navy
Rank: Commander
Company: Reconnaissance Attack Squadron 5
Division: U.S.S. Constellation (CVA-64)
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 Duty Stations
VA-56USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14)RVAH-5 Savage SonsUSS Constellation (CVA-64)
  1960-1960, 131X, VA-56
  1960-1960, 131X, USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14)
  1968-1968, RVAH-5 Savage Sons
  1968-1968, USS Constellation (CVA-64)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1960-1968 Vietnam War
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval Academy
  1950-1954, United States Naval Academy
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Service Date and Service Number
  A USNA classmate
  May 17, 2013, General Photos1
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