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United States Navy

VA-146

A-4C Skyhawk

 BuNo.147712

30th June 1967
Released: 4th March 1973

USS Constellation


 

 


  John M. "Mike" McGrath

           Lieutenant Commander- USN
             Shot Down: June 30, 1967
 
 

 


"I flew my first tour and completed 157 missions aboard the USS Ranger, CVA-61. My second tour was aboard the USS Constellation, CVA-64. I was flying an A4C with the VA-146 on 30 June 67,

"Busy Bee 1, rolling in," I said to my wingman as I took aim on a steel
bridge just north of the Vietnamese city of Thanh Hoa. I was flying my 179th mission over enemy territory. Suddenly, there was an explosion, and I was heading toward the ground in uncontrolled flight.

Instinctively; I reached  for the ejection handle. I felt the wind blast my face when I left the  cockpit. As I tumbled through space, I saw the green canopy of trees coming  toward me. I only had time for one thought, "My God, I'm dead." The  parachute opened only a few feet above the tree tops. During those few  seconds in the chute, I vowed that someday I would return to my country and  my family.

During ejection, I received a broken and dislocated arm, and fractured
vertabrae and knee. The brutal torture sessions that followed resulted in  additional injuries - my other shoulder and elbow were dislocated. "




                            





 

 

Prisoner of War....Six Years in Hanoi
Naval Institute
The book is the story of Capt. McGrath's imprisonment and was written and illustrated by him
.

 

      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)

Capt John M. "Mike" McGrath