Bauder, James Reginald, CAPT

 Service Photo   Service Details
1351 kb
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Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1966-1966, 131X, USS Coral Sea (CVA-43)
Service Years
1954 - 1966

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

21 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Tommy Burgdorf (Birddog), FC2 to remember Bauder, James Reginald, CAPT.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
La Canada, CA
Last Address
La Canada, CA

Casualty Date
Sep 21, 1966
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Vietnam, North (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
10E 126

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
American Battle Monuments CommissionThe National Gold Star Family RegistryUnited States Navy Memorial Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2017, American Battle Monuments Commission
  2018, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2018, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2018, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2018, Vietnam Veterans Memorial - Assoc. Page

 Ribbon Bar
Naval Aviator Wings

 Duty Stations
VF-21 Free LancersUSS Coral Sea (CVA-43)
  1966-1966, VF-21 Free Lancers
  1966-1966, 131X, USS Coral Sea (CVA-43)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1966-1966 Vietnam War
  1966-1966 Yankee Station, North Vietnam
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  May 06, 1954, Service Start Date
  Jul 01, 1959, Promoted to Lieutenant
  Jul 01, 1964, Promoted to Lieutenant Commander
  Jul 01, 1969, Promoted to Commander (posthumously)
  Jan 01, 1976, Promoted to Captain (Posthumously )
  May 12, 1978, Declared Dead
  Oct 11, 2017, Remains Identified
  Apr 14, 2018, General Photos2
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
On the night of 20/21 September 1966, LCDR James R. Bauder, pilot, and LTJG James Mills, RIO, launched on a night armed reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. Bauder was in F-4B BuNo 152973 as flight lead for a 2-plane section. The assigned route was from Cua Can to Thach Luyen along a river adjacent to Highway 1A.
As briefed, the wingman, a LT Hanley, was to hold a 4-5 mile radar trail behind Bauder's aircraft. After Bauder dropped flares to illuminate the river for barges, Hanley would attack any targets of opportunity illuminated by the flares. Hanley would then proceed straight ahead along the river for 45 seconds and drop his flares. Bauder, circling behind Hanley, would then prosecute any targets illuminated by Hanley's flares.

However, after going "feet dry" Hanley was unable to contact Bauder by radio. He then checked with the USS CHICAGO and the E-2A air control aircraft to see if they had radar contact with Bauder's aircraft, but they did not.

Neither Hanley nor his RIO had observed any flak or SAM firings during the mission, nor had they observed any unexpected explosions in the air or on the ground. No signals were detected from the emergency radios carried by Bauder and Mills. Extensive SAR operations during the night and early morning were unsuccessful; Bauder, Mills, and their aircraft had disappeared. The two were declared Missing In Action.

In 1978, Presumptive Findings of Death (PFOD) were issued for Captain Bauder (12 May) and Lieutenant Commander Mills (18 April) by the Secretary of the Navy. PFOD findings were based on the elapsed time without information indicating that the two men were still alive.

Given the absence of information indicating that either Bauder or Mills had been captured, it appears that they may have been killed on 21 September 1966, James Bauder at the age of 35 and James Mills at the age of 26.

On October 11, 2017, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) identified the remains of Captain James Reginald Bauder, missing from the Vietnam War. 

Captain Bauder joined the U.S. Navy from California and was a member of Fighter Squadron 21, embarked aboard the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea (CV-43). On September 21, 1966, he was the pilot of an F4-B Phantom II (bureau number 152973, call sign "Sundown 01") when it took off from the Coral Sea as one of two aircraft on a night reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. During the mission, CAPT Bauder's F-4B dropped flares to illuminate the target area, after which his aircraft crashed into the water off the coast of Quynh Phuong. There were no witnesses to the crash at the time, and attempts to locate the downed plane immediately following the loss were unsuccessful. CAPt Bauder was killed in the crash, and his remains were not recovered at the time. However, in 2010, an underwater recovery team located the crash site and between 2010 and 2017, investigators recovered aircraft parts and human remains. Modern forensic techniques were able to identify CAPT Bauder among the remains recovered.

Captain Bauder is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Source: Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency

rosetta medalWhen an individual’s remains have been accounted for by the U.S. Department of Defense, a rosette is placed next to the name on the Wall/Tablet/Court of the Missing to mark that the person now rests in a known gravesite.


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