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....