Accident Grumman A-6A Intruder 155696, Monday 29 September 1969
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Date:Monday 29 September 1969
Type:Silhouette image of generic A6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Grumman A-6A Intruder
Owner/operator:VMA(AW)-242 USMC
Registration: 155696
MSN: I-422
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:25 miles West of Khe Sanh, Savannakhet Province, Laos -   Laos
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:Da Nang AB, South Vietnam
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
A-6A Intruder BuNo. 155696/'ED-6' of VMA(AW)‑242, MAG‑11, US Marine Corps, based at Da Nang Air Base, South Vietnam. Lost on combat operations during a night‑time armed reconnaissance sortie over southern Laos: On 29 September, VMA(AW)-242 squadron Executive Officer Major Luther Lono and 1st Lt Pat Curran departed Da Nang Air Base, South Vietnam, at about 20:30 hours on an Steel Tiger armed reconnaissance mission as call sign 'Manual 73', their jet being armed with 22 Mk-82s and a quartet of Mk 20 Rockeyes.

Aircraft was reported missing while on a night reconnaissance armed mission. The stricken aircraft lost radio contact with another aircraft in the target area at 20:50 hours. Weather was cloud base 4,500 feet scattered, 7 miles haze. Although working with a USAF Forward Air Controller, they disappeared at some point. Their last radio contact had been about 25 miles west of Khe Sanh.

Attempts to contact the aircraft were unsuccessful. At 10:30 pm, the Commanding Officer of the 11th Marine Aircraft Group declared them "overdue." At this declaration, electronic search efforts began for the crew members, and a signal was received by the Tactical Air Control aircraft at 02:48 hours on September 30, which was believed to be a signal from an emergency transmitter.

Subsequent attempts to contact the crew were unsuccessful. A visual search began at dawn on September 30, but no sign of the crew or aircraft was found. This aircraft proved to be the last A-6A Intruder lost by VMA(AW)-242 'Bats' in Southeast Asia.

Both men were placed in "MIA" status from September 30 1969. Presumptive Findings of Death for the two were issued (28 Aug 1978 for Curran; 28 November 1978 for Lono). The crash site was located in 1999 and excavations conducted which resulted in the recovery of human remains in February 2000. The remains were positively identified on 27 June 2001 as being those of Lono and Curran.


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

Revision history:

20-Aug-2013 09:01 Uli Elch Added
20-Aug-2013 09:59 Uli Elch Updated [Date, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Country, Narrative]
20-Mar-2016 21:14 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
20-Mar-2016 21:17 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
27-Dec-2019 15:18 stehlik49 Updated [Operator, Operator]

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