This site is a memorial to
Commander Carroll Owen Crain, Jr., U. S. Navy
|CDR C.O.Crain, US Navy
CRAIN, CARROLL OWEN JR.
Name: Carrol Owen Crain, Jr.
Rank/Branch: Commander/US Navy
Unit: Heavy Attack Squadron 4, USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63)
Date of Birth: 13 May 1933 (Memphis, TN)
Home of Record: Memphis, TN
Country of Loss: North Vietnamě./Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 175500N 1064000E (XE818816)
Status in 1973: Missing in Action
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A3B "Skywarrior"
Other Personnel In Incident: Ronald E. Galvin and George F. Pawlish (missing)
REMARKS: RADIO CONTACT LOST
SYNOPSIS: The Douglas RA3B was the reconnaissance version of the
A3 Skywarrior attack bomber. Operating from DaNang Airbase, South Vietnam
and Don Muang Airbase, Thailand, the RA3s provided surveillance along the
infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail with their infrared and video real-time
Working with attack aircraft from the carrier air groups, the Skywarrior
fingered" the truck traffic for the bombers during the night when they
moving and during the day when they were hiding. They also carried COIR
(camouflage detection) film that could detect the difference between
and dead foliage thereby spotlighting camouflaged enemy truck parks. Other
conversions of the Skywarrior, which was nicknamed the "whale" because of
its size, included airborne jamming and refueling tanker.
On 8 March 1967, then Lt. Cmdr. Carrol O. Crain, Jr., pilot; Lt. JG
co-pilot; and ATC Galvin, aviation electronics technician, launched from
deck of the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) to conduct a night
mining mission in North Vietnam. Since the Skywarrior's mission deep in
enemy held territory, it was provided with fighter escort as protection
against enemy aircraft attack.
The Skywarrior's launch was normal and contact was maintained with the
aircrew for 20 minutes. The last radio contact was made at 2020 hours when
the aircraft was passing over the northern edge of Hon Gio Island
approximately 13 miles due east of the coastline and 30 miles
north-northeast of the major port city of Dong Hoi, North Vietnam. In his
last radio transmission Lt. Cmdr. Crain stated the mission was progressing
A rescue (SAR) operation was immediately initiated and continued for several
days. Aircraft from the USS Kitty Hawk and the USS Ticonderoga, as well as
the destroyer the USS Ingersol, participated in the visual and electronic
search along the Skywarrior's flight path, particularly in and around the
area of last contact. Unfortunately, no parachutes or survival rafts were
seen and no emergency beepers heard emanating from either water or the
nearby island. At the time the SAR operation was terminated, Carrol Crain,
George Pawlish and Ronald Galvin were listed Missing in Action.
If Carrol Crain, George Pawlish and Ronald Galvin died in the loss of
aircraft, each man has the right to have his remains returned to his
friends and country. However, if the crew was able to bail out of their
aircraft before it crashed, they were close enough to enemy controlled
territory and could have been captured. If so their fate, like that of
Americans who remain unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, could be quite
different. Either way there is no question the Vietnamese know what
and could return them or their remains any time they had the desire to do
Since the end of the Vietnam War well over 21,000 reports of American
prisoners, missing and otherwise unaccounted for have been received by our
government. Many of these reports document LIVE American Prisoners of War
remaining captive throughout Southeast Asia TODAY.
Pilots and aircrews in Vietnam were called upon to fly and fight in many
dangerous circumstances, and they were prepared to be wounded, killed or
captured. It probably never occurred to them that they could be abandoned
by the country they so proudly served.