Accident Grumman A-6A Intruder 152949, Monday 24 June 1968
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Date:Monday 24 June 1968
Type:Silhouette image of generic A6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Grumman A-6A Intruder
Owner/operator:VA-35, US Navy
Registration: 152949
MSN: I-253
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:5 miles SW of Vinh, Nghe An Province, North Vietnam -   Vietnam
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:USS Enterprise (CVW-9) Yankee Station, Gulf of Tonkin
Destination airport:USS Enterprise (CVW-9) Yankee Station, Gulf of Tonkin
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
A‑6A Intruder BuNo. 152949/'NG-503' (Call Sign RAYGUN 503) of VA‑35, US Navy, as part of CVW‑9 on board the USS Enterprise (CVAN-65). Lost on combat operations June 24 1968: hit by AAA over target - a waterway about five miles southwest of Vinh, Nghe An Province, North Vietnam. Mission was to lay DST-36 mines at Kim Ma in the Song Ca River near Hung Nghia on Route 15 just south of Vinh, North Vietnam.

RAYGUN 503’s target was the Kim Ma water interdiction point near Vinh. Carpenter and Mobley’s “coast-in” should have occurred at 19:55, but at 19:56, RAYGUN 503 reported sighting “numerous trucks” at 18º33’N, 105º44’E, vectoring a flight of Skyhawks toward the trucks and then proceeding on its mission. At about 19:59, Champion 401, an A-4E of VA-56, and RAYGUN 521, both sighted a “fireball” in the vicinity of 18º37’N, 105º39’E, the former also spotting AAA bursts in the sky over Vinh just moments before. That position coincided with an IFF “squawk” from 503 received by Knicknack 701, an E-2A. Six minutes later, Champion 401 and “other aircraft” received a “beeper” distress signal in the same area. 401 homed in on the signal and established its location to be approximately where the fireball was observed. Subsequently, a momentary beeper signal was received, but was “interrupted frequently” by several “excited” voices talking simultaneously in what was tentatively identified as Vietnamese. Listeners noted no further transmissions.

Both crew - Lt Nicholas Mallory Carpenter (pilot) and Lt (JG) Joseph Scott Mobley (Bombardier/Navigator) - ejected. However, Lt. Carpenter was killed, but Lt Mobley survived and was taken PoW.

Although he suffered a broken leg upon shoot down, Lt Mobley was tied, standing, to a pillar, was beaten, interrogated, displayed for public humiliation, and forced to dodge bricks and bamboo sticks for eight or nine hours. He was then put into a cell and after waiting many long agonizing hours for medical attention for his broken leg, he set the bone himself. Later his captors applied a splint. Months of solitary confinement and intermittent torture and interrogation sessions continued over the five years of his imprisonment. He was six foot one and during captivity his weight dropped to 120 pounds.

Lt Mobley was listed as MIA until August 1969, at which time the Navy received word that he was a prisoner in North Vietnam. This status was kept until he was released on March 1, 1973, being repatriated at NAS, Miramar, California, on March 18, 1973. He continued in service with the US Navy, rising to the rank of Vice Admiral. When he retired on April 12 2001, he was the last last active duty prisoner of war from Vietnam still in Navy service.

Lt. Carpenter was declared dead (KIA) with his date of death set as 24 June 1968. The remains of Lt. Carpenter were recovered on September 13, 1990 and identified on March 27, 1991. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.


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

Revision history:

20-Aug-2013 07:57 Uli Elch Added
20-Aug-2013 08:19 Uli Elch Updated [Date, Registration, Cn, Total fatalities, Location, Narrative]
19-Mar-2016 23:04 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
06-Dec-2020 16:34 CPeters Updated [Country, Narrative]
06-Dec-2020 16:34 harro Updated [Country]
20-Jun-2024 08:40 Anon. Updated [Narrative]

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