Accident North American RA-5C Vigilante 149312, Sunday 16 January 1966
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Date:Sunday 16 January 1966
Type:Silhouette image of generic vigi model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
North American RA-5C Vigilante
Owner/operator:US Navy
Registration: 149312
MSN: NA269-47
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:South China Sea -   Vietnam
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:
Destination airport:USS Ranger
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Suffered starboard engine explosion during landing on USS Ranger in Gulf of Tonkin and crashed into water. Both crew killed.
With RVAH-9 Hoot Owls on WestPac cruise/combat deployment to Vietnam on USS Ranger.
RA-5C buno 149312 boltered (missed the arresting wires) on night landing. When throttles advanced the starboard engine suffered a catastrophic explosion. With insufficient power to go around the Vigilante went overboard into the water. There was no ejection. The crew was not seen to exit before the aircraft sank.
Per USS Ranger Deck Log 16 January 1966, Time 2008 Hours: RA-5C buno 149312 crashed into the sea off the port bow at Lat/Long 8 55.5N 107 22.5E in 19 fathoms (114 feet) of water. Aircraft passed close aboard to port.
Destroyers USS Carpenter (DD-825) and USS Sproston (DD-577) immediately commenced SAR. Assisted by Helo No. 27 (later Helo No. 3). The search continued into the morning of the 17th by the Carpenter and Sproston with negative results. Their bodies were never recovered.
Crew was:
LtCommander Charles D. Schoonover, Pilot
Ensign Hal T. Hollingsworth, RAN


- JF Baugher
USS Ranger Deck Log
Drendel, Lou. Vigilante Illustrated



Revision history:

30-Aug-2012 08:36 Uli Elch Added
10-Feb-2020 16:31 Iwosh Updated [Operator, Narrative, Operator]
26-Dec-2023 11:23 ChrisB Updated [Time, Location, Source, Narrative, Category, Photo]

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