Case, Thurle Eugene, Jr., AT3

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Petty Officer Third Class
Last Primary NEC
ATR-0000-Aviation Electronics Technician Radar and Radar Navigation Equipment
Last Rating/NEC Group
Aviation Electronics Technician
Primary Unit
1970-1970, ATR-0000, Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT)/Commander Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT)
Service Years
1967 - 1970
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Cold War
Order of the Golden Dragon
AT-Aviation Electronics Technician

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

16 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by John B. Bruneel, Sr. (DocAsaurus), HMCM to remember Case, Thurle Eugene, Jr., PO3.

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
Last Address

Casualty Date
Mar 16, 1970
Non Hostile- Died Other Causes
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Quang Nam (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
12W 004

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

Cold War Medal Lockheed Super Constellation 1000 Hr Pin Order of the Golden Dragon

 Military Association Memberships
Military Order of Foreign Wars of the United StatesVQ AssociationThe Veterans Association of Sailors of the Vietnam WarVeterans of the Vietnam War
  1961, Military Order of Foreign Wars of the United States - Assoc. Page
  1970, VQ Association [Verified]
  1970, The Veterans Association of Sailors of the Vietnam War
  1970, Veterans of the Vietnam War

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar
Air Crew Wings

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1967, Recruit Training (San Diego, CA)
 Duty Stations/ Advancement Schools
Advancement Schools and CoursesCOMPATRECONFORPACVQ-1 World WatchersCommander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVAIRPAC)
Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT)/Commander Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT)
  1968-1969, ATR-0000, Avionics Electronics Technician Radar School ATA "R" School
  1969-1969, ATR-0000, Detachment North Island (TSC), COMPATRECONFORPAC
  1969-1970, ATR-0000, VQ-1 World Watchers
  1970-1970, ATR-0000, Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVAIRPAC)
  1970-1970, ATR-0000, Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT)/Commander Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1960-1973 Vietnam War
  1970-1970 Vietnam War
 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 Case 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 Thurle Case was one of the 23 dead.


"Gene was 22 years old on January 2nd this year. He had been in the Navy almost three years. He went to Boot Camp in San Diego, then on the electronics school at Memphis, Tenn. Had one year of duty at North Island, San Diego. He was home through the month of August, 1969, then on to advance school at Whidby Island near Seattle, Washington. He was home for 3 days on his way to Japan the first part of December '69. He left the states December 5, 1969. He has one brother."

He was 22 years old and single.
Home of record:  Vacaville, California
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