Nussbaumer, John Joseph, CDR

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Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1966-1966, USS Oriskany (CV-34)
Service Years
1950 - 1966

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Tommy Burgdorf (Birddog), FC2 to remember Nussbaumer, John Joseph, CDR.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Vancouver, WA
Last Address
Vancouver, WA

Casualty Date
Oct 26, 1966
Non Hostile- Died Other Causes
Drowned, Suffocated
Tonkin Gulf
Operation Rolling Thunder IV
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
11E 114

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2012, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

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 Ribbon Bar
Naval Aviator Wings

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
NROTC (Staff)VA-115 ArabsVA-52 KnightridersUSS Ticonderoga (CVA-14)
Naval War College (Staff)VA-152 MavricksUSS Oriskany (CV-34)
  1946-1948, 110X, University of Washington NROTC (Cadre)
  1948-1950, 110X, University of Southern California NROTC (Staff)
  1950-1950, 131X, VA-115 Arabs
  1958-1960, 131X, VA-52 Knightriders
  1960-1960, 131X, USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14)
  1963-1963, 131X, Naval War College (Staff)
  1964-1966, VA-152 Mavricks
  1966-1966, USS Oriskany (CV-34)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1964-1973 Yankee Station, North Vietnam
  1964-1973 Yankee Station, North Vietnam
  1965-1966 Dixie Station, South Vietnam
 Colleges Attended 
University of WashingtonUniversity of California, Los AngelesNaval War College
  1946-1948, University of Washington
  1948-1950, University of California, Los Angeles
  1963-1963, Naval War College
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

                        Oriskany  alight

The carrier was on station the morning of 27 October 1966 when a fire erupted on the starboard side of the ship's forward hangar bay and raced through five decks, killing 44 men. Many who lost their lives were veteran combat pilots who had flown raids over Vietnam a few hours earlier. Oriskany had been put in danger when a magnesium parachute flare exploded in the forward flare locker of Hangar Bay 1, beneath the carrier's flight deck. Subsequent investigation showed the flare functioned as designed and the cause of the fire was user error. A seaman threw the ignited flare back into the weapons locker where the flares were kept for storage, instead of throwing it over the side into the water; this allowed the entire storage locker to ignite and caused horrific damage. Some of her crewmen jettisoned heavy bombs which lay within reach of the flames, while others wheeled planes out of danger, rescued pilots, and helped quell the blaze throughout the next three hours. Medical assistance was rushed to the carrier from sister aircraft carriers Constellation (CV-64) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV-42). Later investigation by Captain Iarrobino of the Oriskany and analysis by the Naval Ammunition Depot in Crane, Indiana, showed that one in every thousand flares could ignite accidentally if jarred. Five crew members were court-martialed as a result of the incident but were acquitted. After this incident and others, the flare design used by the Navy was changed to a safer design immune to accidental ignition, and crews were increased to stabilize numbers so all activities could be properly supervised [1].

Oriskany steamed to Subic Bay 28 October, where victims of the fire were transferred to waiting aircraft for transportation to the United States. A week later, the carrier departed for San Diego, arriving 16 November. San Francisco Bay Naval Shipyardcompleted repairs 23 March 1967 and Oriskany, with Carrier Air Wing 16 embarked, underwent training. She then stood out ofSan Francisco Bay 16 June to take station in waters off Vietnam. Designated flagship of Carrier Division 9 in Subic Bay 9 July, she commenced "Yankee Station" operations 14 July. While on the line, 26 July, she provided medical assistance to the fire-ravaged attack carrier Forrestal.

Distinguished Flying Cross

Awarded for actions during the Korean War

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Ensign John J. Nussbaumer, United States Navy, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight while serving with Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED FIFTEEN (VA-115), in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea from 5 August to 19 October 1950.

General Orders: All Hands (November 1952)

Action Date: August 5 - October 19, 1950

Service: Navy

Rank: Ensign

Company: Attack Squadron 115 (VA-115)

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