Accident Grumman A-6B Intruder 151561, Thursday 29 August 1968
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Date:Thursday 29 August 1968
Type:Silhouette image of generic A6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Grumman A-6B Intruder
Owner/operator:VA-85, US Navy
Registration: 151561
MSN: I-43
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Vinh Son Area 20 miles NW of Vinh, Nghe An Province, North Vietnam. -   Vietnam
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:USS America (CVA-66) Yankee Startion, Gulf of Tonkin
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
A-6B Intruder BuNo. 151561 of VA‑85/'AE-521', US Navy, as part of CVW-6 on board the USS America (CVA-66). Lost on combat operations August 29 1968: Shot down by SA-2 SAM of 257th SA Missile Regiment of North Vietnamese Army during night‑time "Iron Hand" mission in the Vinh Son area, 20 miles northwest of Vinh, Nghe An Province, North Vietnam at approximate Coordinates: 18'39.00"N 105'43.00"E

The area was known as "hot" with AA and small arms fire and an active "SAM" site. The stricken aircraft was being held on radar by an E-2A. An A-7A operating 20 miles south reported 3 "SAM's" lifting off and the E-2A advised the stricken aircraft but received no acknowledgement. One minute and thirty seconds later, the aircraft disappeared from radar. The E-2A then advised the A-6 to squawk emergency. Again there was no acknowledgment.

According to eyewitness, the aircraft was completely destroyed in powerful explosion immediately upon collision with the ground.

Both crew members - Commander Lt (JG) Robert Ray Duncan (pilot) and Lt (JG) Alan Frederick Ashall (Bombardier/Navigator) - ejected. Initially posted as MIA from August 28 1968, the status of Lt Duncan changed to KIA with effect from October 22 1975. Lt Ashall was carried as "Missing in Action" for ten years from August 28 1968; during this time he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander. On August 2 1978, his status was changed to "Killed in Action".


1. A-6 Intruder Units of the Vietnam War By Rick Morgan


Photo of a document that once belonged to the air crew, taken on site by Soviet military adviser attached to 257th SAM Reg, Engineer Major Mihail A. Vanyukov.

Revision history:

31-Aug-2012 05:41 Uli Elch Added
20-Mar-2016 01:19 Dr.John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
20-Mar-2016 01:48 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
27-Oct-2017 14:27 QinetiQ Updated [Date, Time, Source, Narrative, Photo, ]

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