Toms, Dennis Leroy, AA

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Last Rank
Airman Apprentice
Last Primary NEC
AA-0000-Airman Apprentice
Last Rating/NEC Group
Airman Apprentice
Primary Unit
1964-1965, AA-0000, VA-192 Golden Dragons
Service Years
1961 - 1965

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Minnesota
Minnesota
Year of Birth
1942
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Thomas C. Sharp (Chief), FTG3 to remember Toms, Dennis Leroy, AA.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Burerne Rock
Last Address
Burerne Rock

Casualty Date
Nov 21, 1965
 
Cause
Non Hostile- Body Not Recovered
Reason
Drowned, Suffocated
Location
Tonkin Gulf
Conflict
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Maplewood Cemetery - Luverne, Minnesota
Wall/Plot Coordinates
03E 106

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 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans MemorialThe National Gold Star Family Registry
  2013, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2017, The National Gold Star Family Registry


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
On November 21, 1965, Toms and his crew were loading bombs on an aircraft scheduled for an attack mission which was positioned on one of the  elevators. The elevator was raised to flight deck level when Toms started loading his airplane but was soon lowered t the hangar deck level so that
another aircraft could be brought up to the flight deck. Dennis was working about ten feet from the edge of the elevator edge when he turned and somehow walked off the edge of the elevator and fell into the sea. 

Even though it was dark outside, the elevator was well lighted and the edge easily seen. Dennis walked off the edge without stumbling or tripping. He apparently was disoriented and did not know where he was going. His crewmates did not see him walk toward the edge, but did see him fall forward into the sea. They immediately threw two flashlights overboard which hit the water a few feet from where Dennis was. A lighted life ring was thrown overboard seconds later, however, Dennis was not seen in the water due to darkness.

A search commenced immediately with three destroyers using their searchlights and with two helicopters. The search continued into the morning hours at which time the flashlights and life ring were recovered from the sea, but no sign of Dennis was found. 

Dennis was rated as a Navy Class II Swimmer, which means he had passed a test requiring him to enter the water feet first, from a height of at least five feet, remain afloat for five minutes and during this time swim fifty yards. It was known that he was not a good swimmer. 

Dennis Toms' death is one of the unfortunate accidental deaths that occur wherever people are. The fact that he died an accidental death in the midst of war is tragically ironic. He is listed among the missing with honor, because his body was never found to be returned to the country he served.
   
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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
USS Bonhomme Richard (CVA-31)VA-192 Golden Dragons
  1964-1965, USS Bonhomme Richard (CVA-31)
  1964-1965, AA-0000, VA-192 Golden Dragons
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1965-1965 PIRAZ Station SAR, North Vietnam
  1965-1965 Vietnam War/Defense Campaign (65)
 Other News, Events and Photographs
 
  Exact Service Dates
  Apr 03, 2013, General Photos1
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