Schaefer, John Stephens, AT2

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Last Rank
Petty Officer Second Class (E-5)
Last Primary Designator/NEC
AT-0000-Aviation Electronics Technician
Last Rating/NEC Group
Aviation Electronics Technician
Primary Unit
1969-1970, VQ-1 World Watchers
Service Years
1966 - 1970
AT-Aviation Electronics Technician

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

36 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by John Bruneel, Sr. (DocAsaurus), HMCM to remember Schaefer, John Stephens, AT2.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
Mar 16, 1970
Non Hostile- Died Other Causes
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Quang Nam
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Prague Cemetery - Prague, Oklahoma
Wall/Plot Coordinates
12W 010

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 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans MemorialThe National Gold Star Family Registry
  2018, Vietnam Veterans Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2018, The National Gold Star Family Registry

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 Duty Stations
VQ-1 World Watchers
  1969-1970, VQ-1 World Watchers
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1970-1970 Vietnam War/Vietnam Winter-Spring 1970 Campaign
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Oct 19, 2015, General Photos2
 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 Schaefer 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 John Schaefer was one of the 23 dead.

John Steve Schaefer was born on Aug 01, 1946,
the younger son of W. A. and Mabel Schaefer.
He was 23 years old and single.
He had been in the Navy 3 years.
Home of record:  Seabrook, Texas
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