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United States Navy
VA-72
"Blue Hawks"

A-4E Skyhawk

 BuNo.151109
AB 505

21st August 1966

USS Franklin D. Roosevelt CV-42 Air Wing CVW‑1
VA-172
"Blue Bolts"

A-4C Skyhawk

 BuNo.147775
AB 302

1st November 1966
becomes POW

USS Franklin D. Roosevelt CV-42 Air Wing CVW‑1
Lt Allan Russell Carpenter


First Ejection

 Hit by  ground fire during an armed reconnaissance mission - five miles southwest of Thanh Hoa - other more likely cause hydraulics failure caused by ingestion of own ordnance debris  ejected over the Gulf of Tonkin and was picked up by a Navy helicopter

Second Ejection

Name: Allan Russell Carpenter
Rank/Branch: O3/US Navy
Unit: Attack Squadron 72, USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT (CVA 42)
Date of Birth: 14 March 1938 (Portland ME)
Home City of Record: Springvale ME
Date of Loss: 01 November 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 204800N 106500E (XJ907009)
Status (in 1973): Released POW
Category:
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A4E

Lt. Allan R. Carpenter was  assigned to Attack Squadron 72 onboard
the USS FRANKLIN D.ROOSEVELT. On November 1, 1966, Carpenter launched on a
combat mission over the Haiphong region of North Vietnam.

Carpenter was leading a flight of three on a missile suppression in support
of a vital photo reconnaissance flight in the Haiphong area. While
successfully countering a missile attack by aggressively attacking the
missile site itself, Lt. Carpenter's aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft
artillery fire. He immediately headed for open water, the established
emergency procedure, but his aircraft was on fire, and eventually went out
of control.

Carpenter had no choice but to eject from the crippled aircraft. The area in
which he ejected was an area where many fishing boats were located. One of
his wingmen was with him until he ejected, while the other went high to
contact rescue forces. A valiant effort was made by his wingmen and several
other aircraft from the FDR as well as from the USS CONSTELLATION, in an
attempt to keep the boats away from Lt. Carpenter until rescue helicopters
could arrive. Even though he had already been pulled onto one of the fishing
junks, the rescue helicopter continued in toward the boat until it was
severely damaged by AAA fire and forced to retire. Two other A4 aircraft
were hit by the intense small arms fire from the fishing fleet and the AAA
fire located around the harbor. The junk which had Carpenter aboard headed
for shore and was seen to beach itself in spite of the strafing and rocking
fire from U.S. aircraft.

Radio Hanoi subsequently announced the capture of an American pilot. For the
next seven years, Carpenter was detained in POW camps in and around Hanoi.
On March 4, 1973, during Operation Homecoming, Lt. Carpenter was released.



Allan R. Carpenter was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander during
the period he was a prisoner of war.



ALLAN R. CARPENTER Lieutenant Commander - United States Navy
Shot Down: November 1, 1966
Released: March 4, 1973

I enlisted in the Navy 27 September 1955, received my training at
Bainbridge, Norman, Oklahoma, Norfolk and Glynco, then I operated out of Pax
River as an airborne radar operator in WV-2's from August 1956. I married
the former Carolyn Malone (my high school sweetheart) of Sanford, Maine on
31 August 1957. I went to Olathe, Kansas in October 1958 for Tower and
Ground Controlled Approach school, then on to Quonset Point for three years
shore duty.

Our first two children, April and Wendy, were born during that tour. I
competed for assignment to OCS under the old Integration Program, was
accepted, and left for Newport, where I served as Company Commander of my
company and later, Assistant Battalion Commander before graduation and
commissioning on 17 August 1962. I earned my wings on 6 November 1963 in
Kingsville, Texas where our son Mark was born. I next went to Naval Justice
School at Newport, then on to the A4 RAG, VA-43 at Oceana, as a Fleet
Replacement Pilot. I completed RAG training in June 1964 and immediately
reported to my new squadron, VA-72 at Oceana, flying the A4E Skyhawk. I became
the squadron Legal Officer and Landing Signal Officer trainee. Significant
cruises were in the Mediterranean in the fall of 1964 and in the Western
Pacific in 1965, both cruises were on the Independence. Our youngest child,
Kelly, a girl, was born in early 1965.

I finished the 1965 cruise as a fully qualified LSO. I finally dropped my
legal duties and moved the family to Jacksonville, Florida in January 1966.
After a few training cruises, I shoved off for Vietnam again, this time aboard
the Roosevelt. I accumulated about 135 combat missions and almost 1200 hours
flight time before I was bagged by flak as I led a flight of three A4's in an
attack on a missile site near Haiphong. The date was 1 November 1966.

For the next six years and four months the feeling that my wife and children
needed me home, safe and sane and the firm conviction that the United States
of America would never abandon its prisoners of war sustained me whenever I
got to feeling particularly blue. March 4, 1973 has gone into my personal
history as the happiest day of my life to date, and one that will be
celebrated as my "Re-birthday" from here on out.


 

 

      Some extracts used in this Biography  were  provided thanks to the generosity of Charles and Mary Schantag  who also gave permission to include the  following POWNET biography  link               (please use your browser Back Arrow to return to this page)

http://www.scopesys.com/cgi-bin/bio2.cgi?bio=C077