Hand, Frank Edward, III, LT

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary Designator/NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1966-1968, VP-26 Hurdy Gurdy/Tridents
Service Years
1963 - 1968
Lieutenant Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

475 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Tommy Burgdorf (Birddog), FC2 to remember Hand, Frank Edward, III, LT.

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
Ft Worth, TX
Last Address
Ft Worth, TX

Casualty Date
Apr 01, 1968
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Sea
Phu Quoc Island
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery - Dallas, Texas
Wall/Plot Coordinates
47E 032

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans MemorialThe National Gold Star Family RegistryUnited States Navy Memorial
  2012, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2014, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2014, United States Navy Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Ribbon Bar

Naval Aviator Wings

 Duty Stations
VP-26 Hurdy Gurdy/Tridents
  1966-1968, VP-26 Hurdy Gurdy/Tridents
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1965-1970 Operation Market Time
 Colleges Attended 
Arlington Baptist College
  1960-1964, Arlington Baptist College
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
BUNO 153445 (VP-26) lost at sea off Phu Quoc Island due to enemy fire, South Vietnam Apr 1, 1968.  The Tridents averaged 1500 hours per month flying TEAM YANKEE and MARKET TIME combat patrols. MARKET TIME patrols consisted of seeking out sea borne infiltrators from North Vietnam trying to deliver supplies to the Viet Cong along the southern coastline. This required aircrews to fly below 1000 feet, while using radar and their 1,000,000-candlepower searchlight to find and illuminate suspect targets. On 1 April 1968, in the same vicinity that CAC 8 was lost, a second P-3B (BuNo 153445) flown by CAC 1 came under fire by a .50 caliber anti-aircraft gun. The P-3B was hit in the starboard wing, knocking out the #4 engine and starting a fire. All attempts to extinguish the flames were unsuccessful. Flying too low to bail out, the crew had to choose between ditching in hostile waters or attempting to make an emergency landing at Phu Quoc airfield less than 20 miles away. Within sight of the runway, and their wing still aflame, CAC 1 prepared to land their stricken aircraft. As the plane banked left onto its final approach, the starboard wing tore off between #3 and #4 engine, and the P-3B tumbled into the sea with no survivors.
The twelve men aboard VP-26's P-3B BuNo 153445 when it went down were

LTJG Stuart M. McLellan, Cleveland, OH, pilot 
LTJG Frank E. Hand, Fort Worth, TX, copilot 
LTJG Brian J. Mathison, Park Ridge, IL, copilot 
LTJG Michael J. Purcell, Shavertown, PA, navigator 
AXC Donald E. Kulacz, Chicopee Falls, MA, aircrewman 
AT1 Kenneth L. Crist, Cincinnati, OH, aircrewman 
AE1 Donald F. Wood, Coloma, MI, aircrewman 
AX1 Alvin G. Yoxsimer, Dola, OH, aircrewman 
AME2 Donald W. Burnside, Hawley, MN, aircrewman 
AO2 William S. Cutting, Lebanon, NH, aircrewman 
ADJ2 Edward O. Wynder, Bridgeton, NJ, aircrewman 
AX3 Delmar L. Lawrence, Thompson Falls, MT, aircrewman 
Although initially classed as "Missing", the twelve men were reclassified as "Missing to Dead - Hostile" in DoD Press Release Number 333-68 issued on 12 April 1968.

LTJG Hand was posthumously promoted to Lieutenant by current VP-26 ("Tridents") executive officer Commander Andrew Westerkom on 11 November 2007. LT Hand was laid to rest on 12 November 2007, nearly 40 years after his plane was shot down.

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