DENNISON, TERRY ARDEN
Name: Terry Arden Dennison
Rank/Branch: O3/US Navy
Unit:
Date of Birth: 20 January 1934
Home City of Record: Cosmopolis WA
Date of Loss: 19 July 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 204500N 1055000E (WH867945)
Status (in 1973): Prisoner of War
Category: 1
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F8E
Refno: 0395
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 April 1990 from one or more of
the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence
with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W.
NETWORK 2000.
REMARKS: 740306 REMS RETD
SYNOPSIS: The Vought F8 "Crusader" saw action early in U.S. involvement in
Southeast Asia. Its fighter models participated both in the first Gulf of
Tonkin reprisal in August 1964 and in the myriad attacks against North
Vietnam during Operation Rolling Thunder. The Crusader was used exclusively
by the Navy and Marine air wings (although there is one U.S. Air Force pilot
reported shot down on an F8) and represented half or more of the carrier
fighters in the Gulf of Tonkin during the first four years of the war. The
aircraft was credited with nearly 53% of MiG kills in Vietnam.
The most frequently used fighter versions of the Crusader in Vietnam were
the C, D, and E models although the H and J were also used. The Charlie
carried only Sidewinders on fuselage racks, and were assigned such missions
as CAP (Combat Air Patrol), flying at higher altitudes. The Echo model had a
heavier reinforced wing able to carry extra Sidewinders or bombs, and were
used to attack ground targets, giving it increased vulnerability. The Echo
version launched with less fuel, to accommodate the larger bomb store, and
frequently arrived back at ship low on fuel. The RF models were equipped for
photo reconnaissance.
The combat attrition rate of the Crusader was comparable to similar
fighters. Between 1964 to 1972, eighty-three Crusaders were either lost or
destroyed by enemy fire. Another 109 required major rebuilding. 145 Crusader
pilots were recovered; 57 were not. Twenty of these pilots were captured and
released. The other 43 remained missing at the end of the war.
Lt. Terry A. Dennison was a pilot assigned a combat mission over North
Vietnam on July 19, 1966. His F8E was struck by enemy fire when he was on
the Red River about 30 miles southeast of the city of Hanoi in Hai Tay
Province. Dennison, due to circumstances and information related to his
crash, was classified Prisoner of War.
In the spring of 1973, 591 Americans were released from POW camps in
Vietnam. Terry Dennison was not among them. U.S. officials had prepared for
the release of many more than were released. The Vietnamese did not
acknowledge they knew the fate of Terry A. Dennison.
Then in March 1974, the Vietnamese "discovered" the remains of Terry A.
Dennison and returned them to U.S. control.
Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing,
prisoner or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S.
Government. Many authorities who have examined this largely classified
information are convinced that hundreds of Americans are still held captive
today. Fighter pilots in Vietnam were called upon to fly in many dangerous
circumstances, and were prepared to be wounded, killed, or captured. It
probably never occurred to them that they could be abandoned by the country
they proudly served.
=======================
Subject: Re: VN Casualty
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2000 17:06:38 EST
From: "Destatte, Bob"
(Then) LT Dennison (call sign Super Heat 210), launched from the Oriskany on
19 July 1966 as part of a strike force that attacked the Co Trai Bridge.  An
SA-2 missile struck LT Dennison's aircraft as the strike group was retiring.
"Old Salt 305" saw the missile strike LT Dennison's aircraft, which was
Immediately enveloped in flame and tumbled to ground.
Although other pilots in the group did not observe a chute, they heard an
approximately 3-seconds long emergency homing signal about one minute after
LT Dennison's aircraft hit the ground.
Later, the U.S. Foreign Broadcast Information Service copied a Radio Hanoi
broadcast that reported that a Vietnamese missile unit shot down a U.S.
aircraft on outskirts of Hanoi at 1430 on 19 July 1966, and that the pilot
was captured.
In its preliminary report of the incident, the Oriskany listed LT Dennison
as MIA.  On or about 22 July the Oriskany changed LT Dennison's status to
captured, apparently based on the information that Hanoi Radio had broadcast
and the fact of the emergency homing signal.
At the end of the war Vietnamese authorities informed American officials
that LT Dennison died on 21 July 1966.
He was one of more than 20 Americans who died in captivity in Hanoi and were
buried at Van Dien Cemetery in the southern suburbs of Hanoi.  Their remains
were re-interred in Ba Huyen Cemetery north of Hanoi in late 1972 or early
1973, and repatriated on 6 March 1974.  The Vietnamese gave us a death
certificate signed by a medical doctor at Hospital 108 in Hanoi for each of
these persons.  My memory is that the death certificate described the
specific cause of death and the location where the person died.  Although I
don't recall off hand the specifics recorded on LT Dennison's death
certificate, the circumstances described above suggest he might have been
injured in the loss incident and died before he could enter the prison
camps....

 

 

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