Project: Get Out and Walk 



United States Navy VA-163
USS Oriskany

A-4E Skyhawk


23rd July 1966
7:30 a.m.

Cdr. Wynn Franklin Foster

                                                                                                                                         via Wynn Foster

A-4E Skyhawks on an Alpha Strike from VA-163 / AW-16 USS Oriskany (CV-34) showing Cdr. Wynn Foster's AH 301


At around  7:30 a.m. on July 23rd, 1966 39 year old Commander Wynn Franklin Foster USN ejected from his Douglas A-4E Skyhawk single seat attack aircraft.

The aircraft, AH/30, "Old Salt One",  belonging to VA-163 / Air Wing 16  from the carrier USS Oriskany (CVA-34) was flying an Alpha Strike mission  through a clear sky with scattered cumulus over the Gulf of Tonkin when it was struck by Vietnamese AAA.  The effect of the significant - to both machine and man.

Despite suffering the traumatic loss of his right arm below mid-humerus when struck by anti-aircraft fire Cdr Foster initiated ejection.
". . . Going into shock from blood loss, things seemed kaleidoscopic, moving in slow motion."

At around 3,000 - 4,000 feet msl and travelling about 250-300 knots with the aircraft slight nose down the Cdr Wynn Foster positioned himself  the be could in the circumstances, recovered his severed limb and somehow pulled the ejection handle of his Douglas RAPAC ejection seat that started the automatic sequence - canopy ejection, then the seat with its injured pilot. He ejected into the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin and was recovered.

Cdr Foster kindly provide the  photographs for this webpage but pointed out with good humour, "After photo (of AH 301) not available; aircraft is at the bottom of the Tonkin Gulf."

This was Cdr. Foster's one and only ejection.

                                                   via Wynn Foster
           Cdr. Wynn Foster 1972

                                                                                           via Wynn Foster

Cdr. Wynn Foster aboard USS Oriskany 1966




"The full account is covered in my book, "Captain Hook," published by Naval Institute Press, 1992."



                                                                                                                                                  via Wynn Foster

                                      Cdr. Wynn Foster 1995


             In typical understatement in Chapter One Cdr. Foster describes the situation that led to his ejection and includes details of his horrific injuries with the title

"A Mild Sting"


I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Cdr Wynn Foster U. S. Navy (retd) for his  support with this project,  permission to include his details and providing photographs of himself throughout his career.