Austin, Ellis Ernest, CDR

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Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
132X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Naval Flight Officer
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1965-1966, 132X, USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63)
Service Years
1941 - 1966

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Michael D. Withers (Mike), OSCS to remember Austin, Ellis Ernest, CDR.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Vermontville, MI
Last Address
Vermontville ,MI

Casualty Date
Apr 21, 1966
Hostile-Body Not Recovered
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Vietnam, North (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial - Honolulu, Hawaii
Wall/Plot Coordinates
06E 125 / Court B (cenotaph)

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

On April 22, 1966, a two-plane flight of A-6A aircraft left the aircraft carrier USS Kittyhawk to strike a coastal target near the mouth of an inland waterway in North Vietnam. The target, an enemy supply area, was heavily defended by anti-aircraft artillary, automatic weapons and small arms.

During the flight, the wingman broke away to investigate a barge, and notified Cdr. Jack E. Keller, the pilot of the other A-6A, that he was having an ordinance malfunction and was proceeding to Hon Mat Island, less than 15 miles away, so that he could dump the remainder of his bombload safely. 

While the wingman was discharging his bombload, he heard a missile warning, but had no knowledge that a missile had been fired. Keller conducted a radio check with both his wingman and the E-2 Command and Control aircraft to confirm that the E-2 held them on radar. The wingman advised Keller that he would hold clear of the target and wait for Keller to finish his bombing run. Keller acknowledged. Keller and his backseater, Ellis Austin, continued on their run.

That was the last anyone heard from Keller and Austin. The wingman later stated that he saw a bright flash as he was heading away from the beach which he assumed to be a bomb explosion. Both he and the E-2 tried to contact Keller and his backseater, but were unsuccessful. The E-2 had lost Keller from radar.

An aerial search was conducted immediately with no visual or radio signals received by any of the search aircraft. Both men were carried in MIA status until June 1974, when their status was changed to killed under a presumptive finding of death.

Austin was a 25-year career Navy officer, and had only two weeks left before he was scheduled to return home to his wife and three children.

Not Specified

 Ribbon Bar
Naval Flight Officer Wings

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1941, Recruit Training (Great Lakes, IL)
 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
NAVSTA Roosevelt Roads, PRNAS Glenview ILNAS MemphisVAH-5 Savage Sons
USS Forrestal (CVA-59)Naval War College (Staff)Naval Ordnance Test Station (NOTS) China LakeVA-85 Black Falcons
USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63)
  1945-1945, NAVSTA Roosevelt Roads, PR
  1946-1946, ATR-0000, NAS Glenview IL
  1949-1949, ATR-0000, NAS Memphis
  1957-1959, 132X, VAH-5 Savage Sons
  1958-1959, 132X, USS Forrestal (CVA-59)
  1962-1962, Naval War College (Staff)
  1962-1964, Naval Ordnance Test Station (NOTS) China Lake
  1965-1966, 132X, VA-85 Black Falcons
  1965-1966, 132X, USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1945 World War II
  1950-1953 Korean War
  1965-1966 Yankee Station, North Vietnam
  1965-1966 Vietnam War
  1965-1965 Vietnam War/Defense Campaign (65)
  1965-1965 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Campaign (65-66)
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Jan 14, 1941, Enlisted Service Entry Date & Serial Number 311-61-39
  Mar 30, 1941, Received US Naval Air Station San Diego, CA
  Jul 31, 1941, Transferred at Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL
  Aug 03, 1941, Received at Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL
  Oct 01, 1941, Promoted to Seaman 1st Class (S1c)
  Oct 27, 1941, Transferred to Naval Hospital Pensacola, FL
  Jan 02, 1958, Promoted Lieutenant Junior Grade
  Jul 01, 1960, Promoted Lieutenant
  Sep 01, 1965, Promoted to LCDR
  Apr 21, 1966, Missing in Action
  Jun 19, 1975, Declared Dead
  Apr 21, 2017, General Photos1
 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Vietnam Veterans MemorialThe National Gold Star Family RegistryUnited States Navy Memorial
  2012, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2013, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2013, United States Navy Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
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